With all the new faces on the roster, the Heat are still tinkering with lineups in the early going. The latest personnel trend? Playing the 6-foot-10 Chris Bosh at the 5. LeBron's thoughts pre-game Thursday night:
Well, I don’t really like to classify him as a center just like I don’t like to be classified as a point guard. He’s just a player that’s out on the court that at times has to guard bigger guys. I know he doesn’t agree with [playing at the 5] as much but statistically, we’re a pretty good team with [this lineup].
The lineup he's referring to includes him, Dwyane Wade, James Jones, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Bosh. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra deployed that five for long stretches in Tuesday night's loss to Utah. All in all, the Heat have used it for a total of 41 offensive possessions so far this season, according to basketballvalue.com. Their offensive efficiency? 134.1 points per 100 possessions. That's off the charts good considering the league average sits around 103 this season.
But just like all "small-ball" lineups, opposing teams can pound the thin frontline and the Heat certainly aren't the exception. That lineup's defensive efficiency? 128.2 points per 100 possessions -- which makes for an advantage of 5.9 points every 100 possessions.
Oh, and the only team to outscore that lineup so far this season?
Boston in the season opener.