Despite point guard Kyle Lowry being limited by a balky hamstring and despite a shooting slump by guard Max Strus, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after his team’s morning shootaround that there would be no lineup change for Friday night’s Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals at TD Garden.
“These are tough decisions. We’re going with that lineup,” he said, with his team down 3-2 to the Boston Celtics in the best-of-seven series. “It’s been a really successful lineup.”
The Heat have started that lineup throughout the playoffs when injuries have not gotten in the way of opening with Bam Adebayo, PJ Tucker, Jimmy Butler, Lowry and Strus.
“This is a fast-moving series,” Spoelstra said. “And that happens with two competitive teams: Who can get to who? Who can get to their strengths more often? Who can take the other team out of their strengths?
“It’s a fine line between doing those things and making adjustments. But that’s part of the deal.”
Less certain is the reserve rotation, with sixth man Tyler Herro having missed Games 4 and 5 with a groin strain.
“We’re still working through that,” Spoelstra said after the light game-day session at the gym at the team’s hotel. “He was able to do some work this morning. He is doing everything he possibly can to converge the head coach and trainers that he’s available, but we’ll make that determination tonight.”
Asked what it would take to get Herro back on the court, Spoelstra said, “I’m going to have to talk to the trainers. He’s going to have to pass a few protocols. He’s doing some stuff, so we’ll see.”
In addition to Herro, also continuing to be listed on Friday’s injury report as questionable by the Heat were Lowry (hamstring), Strus (hamstring), Tucker (knee) and guard Gabe Vincent (hamstring). There also is the issue of Butler playing through knee pain.
Spoelstra smiled when asked for an update about those players.
“Considering I’m not allowed to ask the other guys,” he said, “I’d assume that they’ll at least go through their routine.”
Spoelstra ended his media session with, “I think we’re going to get some great performances tonight, regardless of the lineups we have out there.”