Miami Heat Stat Monkey Brief: Heat/Suns (11/17/12)

The Small Ball is working to perfection this year for the Heat.

Small Ball

Miami’s smaller lineup this year has resulted in an uptick in offense and a decline in defensive performance. The Heat are currently second in offensive efficiency with 112.9 and are the third worst team in basketball defensively with a defensive efficiency of 108.6. One reason for this that should not be surprising is that the smaller lineups are do not rebound as effectively. Last year, Miami ranked tenth in defensive rebounding rate with 73.9. This year, the rate has fallen to a 25th in the league at 71.4. They gave up 11 offensive rebounds to Kenneth Faried alone in their last game. For reference, Miami is averaging 8.6 offensive rebounds per game as a team. They are giving teams second and third chances to score which, naturally, results in more points allowed per possession.

Hand Down Man Down

The Heat are getting beat not only on the glass, but also on the perimeter. This is nothing new, as 36.3% of opponents’ shots from beyond the arc went in last year, but now the mark has climbed to 38.6%. Only Toronto and Phoenix have performed worse in this regard. Miami must improve in this area if they hope to be an elite defensive team again.

High Scoring Affair

Tonight’s matchup against the Suns will probably not be a defensive struggle. While the Heat have been terrible defensively, Phoenix has been the worst team in basketball with a defensive rating of 110.3.

Don’t Count on Transition Points

In the past few years, Miami has come to be known for its highlight worthy play in transition. However, that might happen tonight. Phoenix has the second lowest turnover ratio in the league with only 11.9% of its possessions ending in turnovers.

The Suns Are Terrible

According to our nERD ratings, the Suns are the 25th best team in the league, so the injuries bothering Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers might not be too big a problem for the Heat. The Suns best player so far by nERD is Goran Dragic who is the 46th ranked player. Number 47 is Jerry Stackhouse who has started two games since the 2007-2008 season. The last meeting between these teams was a 124-99 victory for Miami.