NBA Finals: Despite Nick Collison's success, don't expect change in starting lineup

Collison has the highest plus/minus total than any player in the finals, Thunder or Heat.
By John Rohde Published: June 16, 2012

For the Heat: Dwyane Wade plus-4; Mario Chalmers plus-3; Shane Battier minus-1; LeBron James minus-5; Chris Bosh minus-5; Udonis Haslem minus-20.

Perhaps even more interesting, the Perkins-Ibaka combination is minus-17 while playing together.

Perkins is minus-1 when he is OKC's only big in the lineup, as is Ibaka. Meanwhile, Collison is plus-21 as the solo big, outscoring the Heat 64-43.

Collison said the problem isn't with who's starting, but rather how they're playing.

“When we don't play well, we usually don't point to lineups, play-calling, things like that,” Collison said. “Usually it's because of our effort or our focus. We just watched film of the first quarter (in Game 2), and the mistakes we made had nothing to do with lineups or anything else. It was between our ears and how mentally focused we need to play better. Those are the things we worry about more.”

Collison was the star reserve of Game 1 with 10 rebounds (five offensive), eight points and one steal in 21:16 of playing time. In Game 2, however, Collison played just 14:32, had one rebounds and didn't take a shot.

“We've played well this year with the guys we've got and with the different rotations we've had, the different minutes we've had, so I'm ready to go when I get out there,” Collison said when asked if he was disappointed he played fewer minutes on Thursday night. “We have faith in all our guys. We have faith in 1 through 15 and especially in the guys in our rotation. Whenever we're struggling we're not looking at tweaks here, what can coach do, what magic plays can we run? We have to look at ourselves and how we can play better, and that's kind of where we're at.”

Like Brooks, Collison is a believer in continuity, which is why he doesn't expect any lineup changes in Game 3.

“I doubt it,” Collison said. “Maybe he will. If that's what he does, we'll go with it, but I'd imagine we're going to go and do what we do, we just have to play better.”



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