Around 3:10 p.m. Sunday. That’s when Erik Spoelstra figures to reveal his starting lineup for Sunday’s Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers.
To a degree, there is no correct choice for Spoelstra, since the only correct call would be to have Chris Bosh penciled in, with a Game 1 lower-abdominal strain instead knocking the All-Star power forward out of the lineup.
With Bosh, it is easier to carry a non-productive, at least from an offensive standpoint, Udonis Haslem in the starting lineup.
Without Bosh, Spoelstra initially made the simple switch, moving Ronny Turiaf into the starting lineup for Game 2, with a flurry of fouls ending that experiment early.
In Game 3, Turiaf and Haslem were out and Dexter Pittman and Shane Battier were in.
That certainly didn’t go very well.
So what now for Sunday?
Haslem and Joel Anthony.
Granted, neither will provide much in the way of offense, but that’s where Dwyane Wade has to pick it up, anyway.
Haslem and Anthony both can, however, provide rebounding, which has become essential for the Heat.
It also keeps Battier on the bench to relieve LeBron James against Danny Granger, with that tag-team producing early-series success in keeping the Pacers forward in check.
For now, Spoelstra will say it’s not about the lineup.
And he’s right.
It’s only about Wade looking something like Dwyane Wade.
James looking even more like LeBron James.
And Mario Chalmers showing Game 3 was no fluke (aggressive Mario can be quite the sparkplug.)
Friday night in Philadelphia, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked about lineup changes in the middle of playoff series.
“If you have to do it you have to do it,” Rivers told reporters. “It’s one game at a time, and you have to win that game. But I don’t do it very often. Sometimes you sub early, something like that. I’m a big believer in continuity.”
Without Bosh, the Heat have been robbed of continuity.
But the simplicity of Anthony and Haslem in the power rotation would get the Heat back to basics.
And possibly back on track.