The head coaches for both teams have made the right moves throughout this series.Game 7 won’t just come down to the players on the court. The two coaching staffs in the NBA Finals have each made adjustments throughout the series that have paid off significantly.
Let’s run through what they’ve done so far:
Game 2: Heat go to Chalmers-James pick-and-roll
The Heat went to this combo often during Game 2's most pivotal run.
The Heat made 6-of-7 shots and scored 16 points on pick-and-roll plays with Chalmers handling and James screening during a 33-5 run in the Heat’s series-evening win.
GAME 4: Mike Miller inserted into the starting lineup
The Heat used a lineup with one traditional big man for all of Game 4 after doing so 65 percent of the time in Games 1-3.
This opened up driving lanes. The Heat shot 11-of-15 off drives by James and Dwyane Wade, with Wade hitting all six of his field goals off his drives.
GAME 5: Manu Ginobili starts for first time since June 6, 2012
Spurs use Boris Diaw extensively on LeBron James
Gregg Popovich inserted a slumping Manu Ginobili into the starting lineup and Ginobili responded in a huge way. He scored a season-high 24 points, including 14 on drives to the basket. His nine points on drives during the Spurs 19-1 fourth-quarter run helped put the game away.
Popovich and crew also gave Boris Diaw an extended look against LeBron James.
James was 1-for-8 shooting against Diaw for the game.
GAME 6: LeBron James attacks with Wade on the bench
The Heat were outscored by 15 points with Dwyane Wade on the court in Game 6, the worst +/- among any Miami player.
LeBron James in NBA Finals
With Dwyane Wade On/Off Court
Wade was subbed out with 39 seconds remaining in the third quarter with the Heat down 12 in Game 6. When he returned with 3:48 left in the fourth, Miami had a 3-point lead.
James was given more space to drive after Dwyane Wade sat on the bench for the first 8:12 of the fourth quarter, going 3-of-4 on drives in the fourth quarter/overtime.
James was the ball handler on the pick and roll 15 times in Game 6, nearly twice as often as his usage on those plays the first five games of the series.
The Heat shot 7-of-9 on pick and rolls when James was the ball handler in Game 6 (10-of-30 in Games 1-5).
Will this carry over to Game 7? Therein lies some interesting discussions for potential adjustments.
In the series, Miami has been outscored by 56 points with James and Wade on the court together (+48 when James is on the court without Wade)
James is shooting 13-of-14 inside five feet with Wade out of the game in this series, and just over 50 percent on such shots with Wade on the floor.