Miami Heat Stat Monkey Brief: Heat/Nets (12/1/12)
Who Are Those Guys?
In the last installment of the surprisingly ongoing series of â€œThe Heat Almost Blow a Game to a Terrible Teamâ€ the Heat mostly trailed until the final minutes in a game in which Coach Popovich rested everyone on the Spurs you could name if you were quizzed on the topic without warning. Incidentally, I hate getting stopped on the street and asked to name NBA rosters. The Heat were outrebounded by this group of no names and allowed an offensive efficiency of 102 to them. While, strictly speaking, this is better than the Heat have performed on average this year on the defensive end, given the competition, it was certainly a letdown. This lends further evidence to the idea that the absent Shane Battier is key to the defensive performance of this squad as Miami allows 8.5 more points per one hundred possessions when heâ€™s off the court than when heâ€™s on it.
I really donâ€™t like that chant. Fortunately there arenâ€™t a ton of Nets fans in the Miami area, so I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll have to hear it tonight. Isnâ€™t the purpose of a chant to fire up a fan base and not to sound like a bunch of Yankees fans mocking Chipper â€œLaaarrryyyyyyyyâ€ Jones? Anyway, assuming no one gets ejected for mauling Kris Humphries during this game, here are key factors.
The Nets play slower than anyone else in the league, averaging only 90.6 possessions per game. Presumably, this is done because the coaching staff things the Nets play best when the games slow down. If Miami, a considerably faster paced team, is able to get out in transition and push the tempo, they might be able to disrupt Brooklynâ€™s game plan.
Crashing the Boards
Thanks largely to the play of Andray Blatche (?!), Brooklyn has been an extremely effective offensive rebounding team. They rank fifth in the league with an offensive rebounding rate of 31.1. Miami is a below average rebounding team on both ends of the floor. Brooklyn will likely abuse Miami on the offensive glass. The extra offensive chances are a big part of why Brooklyn has a great offense (107.7 points per 100 possessions) in spite of the fact that they donâ€™t shoot particularly well (16th ranked True Shooting %).
Shutting Down Dwyane
The Hawks and Heat faced off twice last year. In the 50 minutes that Dwyane Wade and Joe Johnson were on the court together, Dwyane saw a severe drop off in his shooting numbers, shooting only 36% from the field with no threes. However, Wadeâ€™s assists per 36 minutes increased from 5, his season average, to 7.9. It will be interesting to see if Wade becomes passive when faced up against Joe Johnson tonight.
I should also mention that, while The BrooklKnight is absolutely terrible as a mascot, heâ€™s still a lot cooler than the Heatâ€™s Burnie. While Burnie might be able to shut BrooklKnight down in the low post, he lacks the lateral quickness to guard him on the perimeter. Also, Burnieâ€™s handles are probably awful what with the giant stubby fingers and all the fur. Thereâ€™s no way he would win the turnover battle. Advantage â€“ Brooklyn.