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Miami Heat Start Ray Allen In Place Of Mario Chalmers For Game 5

With his team on the brink of elimination, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made an adjustment to his starting lineup for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Ray Allen will start in place of embattled point guard Mario Chalmers, who has scored just 14 points on 5-18 shooting in the series’ first four games.

Starting the game alongside Allen will be Miami’s four normal starters, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Rashard Lewis, and Chris Bosh. This is the fourth different starting lineup that the Heat have employed during the postseason. However, the previous three changes were made at the team’s nominal power forward position; Chalmers had started every playoff game of his career since 2011 prior to tonight’s switch.

The move puts more of playmaking onus on James, who will be asked to do the lion’s share of ballhandling with Allen and Wade in the backcourt. Though the sample size is small, James-Allen-Wade-Lewis-Bosh have enjoyed mixed results so far in the Finals.

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This is a smart move by Spoelstra. The Heat have trailed by at least six points at the end of every first quarter in the Finals, and Chalmers’ struggles are a major reason why. Inserting Allen as a starter not only puts more shooting on the floor, but theoretically ensures that LeBron comes out extra aggressive, too. The concerns are on the other end, where James will likely be tasked with guarding Tony Parker from the game’s outset.

Who wins Game 5?

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