With Haslem Out, Should LeBron Slide To 4?
Playing the traditional power forward position is nothing new for LeBron James. He did it in Cleveland, and he's done it in Miami.
With Udonis Haslem out long-term with a torn ligament in his left foot, expect more of it.
"LeBron and [James Jones] now will play some of [Haslem's] minutes when we play small," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after Monday's shootaround.
"Defensively, [LeBron] will be able to play a lot of the small forwards. Particularly tonight when they [the Pacers] go with [Danny] Granger or [James] Posey at the 4. That was one of the luxuries that we had [with Haslem]. People don't even really notice it until it's gone that U.D. can guard anybody -- a big 5, normal 5, normal 4, stretch 4 and he can even play 3. So that versatility that can't be understated. Now LeBron can do that as well."
Pregame Notebook: Nov. 22
• The Hornets and Spurs both have a chance to improve to 12-1 with victories on Monday. The last season in which two NBA teams began 12-1 or better was 1996-97, when the Bulls and Rockets won 12 of their first 13 games. The only season in which two teams in the same NBA division started 12-1 was 1970-71, when the Pistons and Bucks did so.
• The Heat could be without Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem for Monday's game against the Pacers. It's no surprise that Miami has struggled when Wade hasn't played, going 40-64 while averaging only 89 points per game under those circumstances since the 2003-04 season. A little more surprising is how dismal Miami has been when Haslem is out of action: Since Haslem signed his contract, Miami is 14-43 (.246) without him. With both players sidelined, Miami's record is 8-22.
• The Spurs' past winning streak of 11 games was in early 2008 (Feb. 11-March 6). They can equal that mark with a victory against the Magic on Monday night. San Antonio has been rolling despite Tim Duncan's struggles. Duncan already has been held to fewer than 10 points and rebounds in five games this season. He never had more than four such games in any other season. Duncan's current streak of seven consecutive games with a field goal percentage below .500 is tied for the second-longest streak of his career.
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Fantasy Focus: Watch For Thunder
Special to ESPN.com
The Oklahoma City Thunder will face the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are allowing a league-high 109.9 points per game to opposing teams. This makes James Harden a great spot start, as Kevin Durant is day-to-day with a sprained left ankle and could miss his third consecutive contest.
The Phoenix Suns-Houston Rockets matchup should be a shootout, as it pits the second- and fourth-worst teams with regard to opponents' points allowed. Start involved players liberally. The new-look Kings likely will struggle against the Utah Jazz, especially from downtown, where the Jazz allow opponents to shoot just 29.1 percent from 3-point land, the lowest mark in the league.
NBA Today: 11/22
Ryen Russillo and Henry Abbott cover Blake Griffin's dunks, the Peja Stojakovic trade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, San Antonio's 11-1 start, Greg Oden's future in Portland and much more.