Miami is taking a familiar turn on its road to repeat as Eastern Conference champions, which is bumpy after falling into a 2-0 first-round hole to Milwaukee.
Veteran guard Goran Dragic replaced second-year playmaker Kendrick Nunn in the starting lineup ahead of Game 3 on Thursday (LIVE, TNT). The move is a repeat of the same adjustment Miami made in the Orlando bubble last year, when Dragic — who came off the bench in all but three regular season games — started 16 of the Heat’s playoff 17 games during their unexpected run to the Finals.
Nunn was enjoying a more efficient sophomore season, averaging 14.6 points on 48.5% shooting, including 38.1% from 3-point range. All those marks have fallen drastically in his 48 total minutes in the playoffs, in which he has shot just 8-for-24 from the field.
The 35-year-old Dragic, meanwhile, enjoyed a renaissance return to the postseason with a 25-point performance in Game 1. He followed that up with 18 points in Game 2, with his 5-for-11 shooting making him the only Heat guard to shoot better than 40% in the 132-98 Bucks blowout.