NBA Finals: Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra won't reveal starting lineup until an hour before tipoff
NBA coaches must turn in their starting lineup card one hour before tipoff. Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra revealed after Tuesday's morning shoot-around he would not turn in his starting lineup card for Game 1 against the Thunder until the latest possible moment, which will be 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. start.
That's when it will be revealed whether Chris Bosh will return to the starting lineup since coming back from an abdomen injury, or if veteran Shane Battier will continue to fill in for Bosh.
"In terms of the starting lineup, rotation and everything, I will turn in my card before the game," Spoelstra said at noon Tuesday.
Spoelstra routinely has waited until the last possible moment to share his starting lineup.
"One … it's my right, you know," Spoelstra said. "Secondly, and more importantly, I just want everybody (on the Heat roster) focusing. Everybody knows what we're doing. I want to keep the noise to a minimum and focus on just the game."
OKC (47-19) has home-court advantage in the Finals by virtue of having a better regular-season record than Miami (46-20).
The Thunder and Heat split their regular-season series 1-1, each winning at home. Miami would have had to finish one game ahead of OKC in the final standings in order to get home-court advantage because the Thunder owned the tiebreaker thanks to a better record against the opposing conference (13-5 vs. 11-7).
The Heat lost three of its last four regular-season games. Bosh sat out the last six games. Wade essentially sat six of the last eight games. James missed three of the last four games.
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