Four games, three wins, the Miami Heat Should be pleased with some of what they’re seeing. Two new major players on the bench and the rest is pretty much the same, except for the defense which has been giving up 109 points per game. LeBron James, a bit wiser about what it takes to win an NBA title, isn’t working up much of a sweat.
It’s all geared to our defense. When we defend, we can do whatever we want offensively. It starts with the point guard. Rio got everybody involved, got his assist total up tonight and we just tried to make shots for him.
One of the more easily spotted symptoms that the Miami Heat have when they’re playing well is the ball movement. Extra pass and extra pass. Even open guys look sideways for another man. No wonder they finished with 33 assists against one of the worst defenses (The Phoenix Suns) they’ll encounter this season, finishing with 124 points (a season high) while keeping Phoenix at 99, shockingly the best defensive performance by the Heat so far this season.
As James said, it was about defense and making easy shots available by great passing. They kept the Sun at 39.8% from the field. It’s much easier for the Miami Heat to handle a team like Phoenix, who are all about one point guard trying to make everything happen, while the rest wait to get the ball and act as the last stop before driving to the hoop.
Goran Dragic had 9 assists, but the rest of the team had only 13. Predictable offenses are like breakfast for the Miami Heat, who had no problem clamping down in the third quarter (33-21) to put the game finally to bed and allow some rest for players in the final quarter.
So far, No one on the Heat is trying to be the hero. Well, there was Chris Bosh against the Denver Nuggets, but it looks like this team is about sharing at this point. James led the scoring with 23 points, followed by Wade (22), Bosh (18), Ray Allen (15) and Udonis Haslem (12). Allen is probably the one enjoying a more balanced type of passing offense the most in comparison to what he had in Boston, which was mostly about Rajon Rondo deciding where to put the ball at.
He’s averaging 15.5 points in 28.5 minutes, while shooting an impressive 57.6% from the field and 60% from beyond the arc. His former Supersonics partner, Rashard Lewis, seems like he’s enjoying the new role as a bench player, usually on the court together with Allen, averaging 8.5 points per game in 18.3 minutes.
Mario Chalmers getting elite passing point guard numbers is the surprise, at least in this game, with 11 assists. Chalmers is averaging 7 per game so far this season, almost double his career average, although as the tougher games come along, the ball will be much less in his hands and much more be subjected to the decision making of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. So far, both Wade and especially James are spreading the wealth with others. Maybe it’s about saving and conserving energy for the tougher roads ahead, knowing that giving 120% of effort and taking everything on themselves at this point of the long, weary road to an NBA title is quite useless.