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Ilgauskas claims starting role

The Sports Xchange
 
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Ilgauskas claims starting role
 

For the Heat, the rotation beyond the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has been a revolving door almost the entire season.

Late last month, coach Erik Spoelstra settled on Mike Bibby as his starting point guard.

Now it appears Zydrunas Ilgauskas will go into the playoffs as the Heat's starting center.

For Ilgauskas, it is his second crack at the starting job. He began the season as a reserve behind Joel Anthony. He then took over in the middle, only to be replaced by Erick Dampier.

But now, after 22 starts by Dampier, Ilgauskas has started the past two games, including Sunday's 100-77 victory over the Boston Celtics.

"It will depend ultimately on our matchups," Spoelstra said. "I've talked to our centers about that. It is a different dynamic with him in the starting lineup. We're getting a lot more paint opportunities, so he does help us stretch the floor."

Ilgauskas downplayed regaining the starting job.

"It is what it is," he said. "It really doesn't matter what role you play on this team. We're all role players. You just go out and do your best, whether it's starting or coming off the bench.

"We're just going to take it one game at a time. We'll see how the matchups dictate what who we're playing."

For now it appears the Dampier not only won't be starting, but may not even be in the rotation.

The Heat's playoff rotation likely will have Anthony continuing to play in reserve of Ilgauskas, with Dampier shuffled to the end of the bench.

Sunday, in fact, Dampier was inactive.

HEAT 100, CELTICS 77: Getting strong supporting efforts from guards Mario Chalmers and Mike Bibby, as well as centers Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Heat won for the first time in four meetings with the Celtics, gaining the upper hand in the battle for the No. 2 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. While LeBron James led the Heat with 27 points, the Heat endured on an afternoon when Dwyane Wade was limited to 14 points and Chris Bosh 13.

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2014-15 Team Leaders
PPGChris Bosh , PF21.1
RPGChris Bosh , PF7
APGMario Chalmers , PG4.2
FG%Goran Dragic , PG49.9
FT%Mario Chalmers , PG77.3
3P%Chris Bosh , PF37.5
BLOCKSChris Andersen , PF39
STEALSMario Chalmers , PG91
MPGChris Bosh , PF35.4
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