Miami Heat ready to face Sacramento Kings’ versatile lineups

 

 

Coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat did a better job of getting into their game during second half of loss to Spurs. (AP Photo)

Coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat did a better job of getting into their game during second half of loss to Spurs. (AP Photo)

MIAMI – The Heat get their first look at the Kings tonight and coach Erik Spoelstra says they have to be ready for Sacramento’s versatile lineups, but more importantly Miami must do a better job of controlling the game.

“I think that was important the last two games that our opponents dictated the identity and pulse of the games more consistently than we did,” Spoelstra said. “A lot of times you can make it a lot more complicated than it needs to be but usually it comes down to that.

“San Antonio played their game more consistently. We were better last game but we need to really dictate the pulse of this game tonight.”

The Heat (1-2) fell 106-99 to the Spurs Sunday after trailing by 16 points in the first half. Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic led the Heat; Whiteside with 27 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks; Dragic with 25 points and 5 assists.

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Spoelstra calls the Kings “unique” in that they essentially start two centers, 6-foot-11 DeMarcus Cousins and 7-foot Kosta Koufos along with three guards, including 6-8 Rudy Gay.

“They start with a really big front line but they move into a lot of versatile lineups as well,” Spoelstra said. “They bring (Matt) Barnes and (Anthony) Tolliver off the bench and all of a sudden their lineup will look a lot different and they can play with more speed and space.”

The Kings (2-2) are playing the second night of a back-to-back after losing Monday at Atlanta, 106-95.

The question is will Spo make a change to his starting five – power forward perhaps – after two losses?

Luke Babbitt has started all three games, scoring 20 points and make 6 of 15 three pointers. Babbitt has played 64 minutes, one more than backup power forward James Johnson, and just 13 minutes in the second half of the last two games.

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