After Shane Battier‘s knee injury will the Miami Heat continue to play small ball or will they use a more conventional starting line-up?
That is the question of the hour after Battier suffered a slight right knee sprain late in the third quarter Saturday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Heat won the game finishing with a line-up of Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, and Mario Chalmers. If Battier’s injury forces him to miss some games it is not clear who will be inserted into the starting line-up as his replacement. Despite his great shooting it does not make sense to start Allen who has struggled all season to play good one-on-one ball defense. Especially since Wade is still not at 100 percent.
The three players that make the most sense for the Heat to use as replacements if need be are the Heat’s new all-time leading rebounder Udonis Haslem, former starting center Joel Anthony, or the sharp shooting veteran Rashard Lewis.
Haslem is the Heat’s best rebounder and along with Wade is the team’s co-captain. Anthony is the team’s best post defender and has been the starting center for the Heat for the majority of the regular seasons and post seasons for the last two seasons. Lewis is a 6 six feet 10 inches and could provide the same spacing that Battier brings to the Heat’s offense.
Chances are that Battier will not have to miss any games due to the minor injury because the Heat don’t play again until Thursday night when the other 10 win team in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs make their way to South Beach but if he does need to miss time head coach Erik Spoelstra will need to consider what kind of line-up the Heat will use.