Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is not happy with his team’s performance against the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Play-In Tournament. So much so, Spoelstra is considering a rotation and lineup change for Friday’s elimination game against the Chicago Bulls, reports Heat beat reporter Ira Winderman.
Before the matchup with the Hawks, star Jimmy Butler publicly stated his confidence that the Heat would win and move on to face the Boston Celtics in the NBA Playoffs. After the Hawks 116-105 win where they dominated from start to finish, Butler needs to give the Bulls a little more respect going into the game.
The Heat got off to a lackadaisical start and really never recovered. At the end of the first quarter, they were down 36-27, and going into halftime the Hawks were up 65-50. The Heat had some flurries in the second half, but the Hawks ultimately had a response every time en route to a 116-105 victory.
A lineup and rotation change would not be a surprise given the mediocre performance and what looked to be a lack of energy from the Heat. They will definitely need to play with more intensity against a Bulls team that is coming in motivated after a thrilling comeback victory.
The Bulls were down by as much as 19 against the Toronto Raptors, but came storming all the way back for a 109-105 win. They were led by a dominant 39-point performance from Zach LaVine, with 30 of those points coming in the second half.
Regardless of if Erik Spoelstra makes any changes against the Bulls, the Heat need to put forth a much better effort if they want to advance to the NBA Playoffs.
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