In their last outing, the Heat had a solid win against a very good Hawks team. What truly shined was their offensive performance against an excellent Hawks defense. The Heat were the first team to shoot over 50% against Atlanta, going 58.2% from the floor and 42.9% from three. Tonight, they go up against a decent Golden State squad.
A key area of tonight’s game will be the battle on the boards. Miami is a very bad offensive rebounding team. Their offensive rebound percentage of 21.1% is better only than that of the notoriously offensive rebound averse Boston Celtics. The Warriors have the highest defensive rebounding rate in the league at 75.1%. Miami will have to have a very good game to do anything on the offensive glass. As the best shooting team in the league with an effective field goal percentage (appropriately weighting three-pointers) of 55.1%, their lack of productivity on the offensive boards is the only thing holding them back from having the best offense in the league.
Golden State turns the ball over on 14.6% of its possessions, good for 26th in the league. While normally, Miami doesn’t do much damage in the turnover department, causing turnovers on a ninth-ranked 13.7% of possessions, it could certainly turn into an advantage for them against the Warriors. The Warriors are even worse than Miami at causing turnovers, doing so on only 12.7% of opponent possessions. As such, Miami could easily win the turnover battle tonight.
Miami is the best in the league at shooting threes, shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc. This is not surprising as the Heat have plenty of shooters and LeBron James has a tendency to cause the defense to collapse into the paint. Golden State may challenge them in this department tonight as they are the fifth-best in the league at defending the shot with an opponents shooting threes at only 33.8%. If the Heat go cold from beyond the arc, they may have to look elsewhere for scoring against this talented perimeter defending team.