Blueprint for Beating Heat
If you wanted to see how to capitalize on the Miami’s weaknesses to beat them, look no further than their game against Utah. The Jazz were able to overcome a fourth quarter comeback attempt, a 32 point outing on 13 of 19 shooting for LeBron James, and the presence of Marvin Williams in their starting lineup en route to victory. The slow pace of this game may have masked what a tremendous offensive showcase it was to those who just looked at the score, as Miami shot a spectacular 60.4 percent effective field goal percentage from the floor in a loss.
Utah was able to win by having superior rebounders on both ends of the floor and wound up with a ridiculous offensive rebound percentage of 41.9 percent. The Heat, for comparison, grabbed a measly 15.6 percent of available offensive rebounds. Chris Bosh grabbed a single rebound in 27 minutes before being sent to the bench for the fourth quarter.
Miami has now slipped past the Boston Celtics to dead last in team offensive rebounding percentage of the team, a fact made all the more embarrassing by the fact that Celtics coach Doc Rivers’s stated position is that offensive rebounds are not terribly important while Spoelstra has emphasized over and over again that his team needs to perform better on the boards. The defensive rebounding situation is not much better as Miami grabs a 25th ranked 72 percent of defensive rebounds available.
More Trouble Ahead
The Heat will not get a break from effective rebounders as the face off against the Golden State Warriors. Andris Biedrins and David Lee have led the way for this third ranked squad in defensive rebounding percentage. The last time these two teams played, Golden State got 84.6 percent of available defensive rebounds as well as the W. If recent performance is any indication, Miami will have its hands full trying to compete for rebounds with this group.
Considering that LeBron spent a good portion of the Jazz game defending the 5 and playing point, I’ve given up on predicting who might be guarding Lee, but whoever it is will have a hard time doing it. The No. 14 player in our nERD player rankings with a mark of 10.0, Lee is having a great season. In addition to the rebounds, he also contributes with an efficient offensive game with an effective field goal percentage of 53.4 percent. Combine this with his career best 103 defensive rating, and the All-Star buzz for Lee makes sense.