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NBA FINALS

Miami adapts to less-physical style of play against San Antonio

After two bruising series with Indiana and Chicago, they don't expect any 'chippy' play against the Spurs. This Finals series 'has its other challenges in different ways,' Dwyane Wade says.

June 09, 2013|By Shandel Richardson

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MIAMI — The previous two series for the Miami Heat were all about matching the opponent's physical play.

That hasn't been the case against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. The Heat doesn't expect it to happen the rest of the series, either.

"It's a lot less physical," guard Mario Chalmers said. "I'll say that. I feel like Eastern Conference basketball is a lot more physical than Western Conference basketball. When you go against teams like Chicago or Indiana, they're two physical teams. When you face a team like San Antonio, it's not as physical. That's the difference."

BOX SCORE: Miami 103, San Antonio 84 

Guard Dwyane Wade said that not only do the Pacers and Bulls play a physical style, but also there's a built-in dislike for conference opponents.

He said he doesn't expect any "chippy" play against the Spurs.

"We played each other more, there's more of a dislike there," Wade said of the Pacers and Bulls. "It's not really as physical of a series. It might not be a physical series as those. It has its other challenges in different ways."

Not so fast on retirement talk

Forward Shane Battier somewhat backtracked on his comments regarding his playing future.

On Saturday, he told reporters he was debating retirement after next season. He told USA Today, "I think I have one more year" and it was a "good possibility" he would retire in 2014.

Before Game 2, Battier said he won't think about the decision until the time arrives.

"That was the fatigue of the playoffs," Battier said. "I always say if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans for tomorrow. We'll just leave it at that."

Days off benefit Wade

From a basketball standpoint, it was a long two days between games for Wade.

The days off did, however, provide him much-needed family time. Wade used the break to take his son, Zion, to the Haiti versus Spain soccer match Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. It was a birthday present for Zion, who turned 6.

Wade said the downtime came at the perfect time and gave him a release from the two-month grind of the NBA postseason.

"It was good to have those days in between," Wade said. "It sucks from a standpoint of losing and having to wait two days to play."

Fourth-quarter rotations

Coach Erik Spoelstra caused a stir when LeBron James was not on the court at the start of the fourth quarter in Thursday's Game 1.

James and Wade defended Spoelstra, saying the lineup depends on the flow of the game.

"Every game is different," James said. "You never know what type of rhythm you're going to be in."

James did say he prefers to start the fourth quarter only because it's been the norm this season.

"That was we've been accustomed to, me being out there in the fourth," James said. "It's whatever. We've got guys that can make things happen."

Last run

For San Antonio assistant coach Mike Budenholzer, this NBA Finals is a last hurrah of sorts.

Last month, Atlanta hired the longtime Spurs assistant to take over as Hawks coach, and before Game 2, Tony Parker said the Spurs are relishing one last NBA Finals with Budenholzer.

"It's hard to explain in words what he means to the franchise. He does a lot of different stuff. We'll definitely miss his knowledge and all the little talks," Parker said.

srichardson@tribune.com

Christy Cabrera Chirinos contributed to this report.

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