Heat notebook

Look for Rashard Lewis to make a bigger impact for Miami Heat in this year’s Finals

 
 
Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis during practice at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014.
Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis during practice at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Thursday, May 29, 2014.
David Santiago / El Nuevo Staff
WEB VOTE Which Miami Heat role player will likely have the biggest impact in the NBA Finals?

NBA FINALS SCHEDULE
Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs

Game 1: Thu., June 5, at San Antonio, 9 p.m.
Game 2: Sun., June 8, at San Antonio, 8 p.m.
Game 3: Tue., June 10, at Miami, 9 p.m.
Game 4: Thu., June 12, at Miami, 9 p.m.
*Game 5: Sun., June 15, at San Antonio, 8 p.m.
*Game 6: Tue., June 17, at Miami, 9 p.m.
*Game 7: Fri., June 20, at San Antonio, 9 p.m.
*If necessary
All games on ABC

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

Forward Rashard Lewis, who played just 12 minutes in last year’s Finals, has gone from midseason afterthought to a rotation piece and potential starter in Game 1 of the Finals, if coach Erik Spoelstra sticks with the lineup he used to close out the Indiana series.

Lewis played just 28 minutes between Feb. 1 and late March, but the Heat recently has thrived with Lewis on the court.

The Heat has outscored opponents by 92 points in Lewis’ 204 postseason minutes and was a plus-58 during his time on the court in the final four games of the Eastern Conference finals, the last three of which Lewis started.

After shooting 0 for 7 in the first two of those four games, Lewis ended the Indiana series by hitting 11 of his last 21 shots, including 9 for 16 on threes.

“It’s satisfying,” Lewis said. “Coach has the option of playing me, Shane Battier or Udonis Haslem depending on who’s on the court. It’s good to have those many options.”

With Mike Miller, among others, ahead of him in the rotation last June, Lewis appeared in only three games of the 2013 Finals, shooting 2 for 6.

Besides having Lewis, Battier and Haslem, Spoelstra also can use Chris Bosh or Chris Andersen at power forward when those two play at the same time.

The Heat is a plus-13 in Battier’s 169 minutes in the playoffs, and he’s shooting 9 for 18 on three-pointers.

Haslem started the Heat’s Game 2 and Game 3 wins against Indiana, but Miami has been outscored by 56 points in his 146 minutes this postseason.

Spoelstra’s ability to use Lewis, Battier or Haslem at power forward “gives us three chances of finding a guy who has a game going,” Battier said, laughing. “That’s the biggest advantage. Hopefully one of us will play well in a given game.”

All-NBA voting

LeBron James was named first team All-NBA, and the only surprise was that it wasn’t unanimous. James was selected to the first team on all 125 ballots except the one submitted by Chris Sheridan of Sheridanhoops.com.

No other Heat player was named to the first, second or third teams. Dwyane Wade, who missed 28 games this season, finished 29th and failed to make any All-NBA team for the first time since 2008. Bosh was 37th in voting.

Bosh’s approach

Bosh averaged just 11.9 points in last year’s Finals and shot 0 for 6 on three-pointers.

“The three is not something I’m going to lean on,” he said Wednesday. “I’m going to try to get into the paint as much as possible. That’s the part of my game I need to work on. The three will always be there. … The last few games I made an effort to look for my shot.”

• Bosh, on playing so many games the past four years: “It’s what we signed up for; it’s what people remember you for. When they see me limping later on, when I’m closer to 40 and they see my bad knees, you’ll be able to look at the tape and understand why. I don’t even know what reinvigorated feels like anymore.”

• Unlike Bosh, Wade said he draws no motivation from Tim Duncan saying that the Spurs will win this series.

“When you are in the Finals, you are supposed to think you’re going to win,” Wade said. “I think we get microphones in our face too much.”

• In his career, James has opened seven playoff series on the road and he has lost all seven, by an average of 12.3 points.

•  Ray Allen said that once or twice a week, he still sees video of his series-saving Game 6 three-pointer in last year’s Finals. “It’s hard for me not to see it, because [of] social media.”

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