Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Heat Meltdown

OKC played well and Scott Brooks made some great moves.

1) In the 2nd half, they fell back and dared Wade/Bron to shoot and it worked.

2) Switching the screens on the heat to shut down the drive and give them jumpers.

3) Playing Derek Fisher for most of the 3rd quarter recognizing that defense was going to drive their offense. It really helped getting Russell Westbrook in transition off good defense.

4) Playing Collison over Ibaka or Perkins to match up with the Heat's quickness at the 4 and 5. Collison was a beast defending the pick-n-roll also challenging shots.

5) Every one is going to talk about Durant and he was knocking down shots, but his shots were created by his teammates. Sefolosha, Fisher, and Collison's defense, Westbrook's drives, and also the Heat's inability to guard the pick-n-roll.

Why Eric Spoelstra and Dwayne Wade are killing the Heat

1) Bosh should be starting these games and utilized more in pick-n-rolls. I understand that they exploited the Celtics with the Bron-Wade pick-n-roll, but that's because it exposes Pierce and Allen's slow feet. You need to run the pick-n-roll with the ball in Bron's hands and Bosh screening because it forces them to go through screens. It takes away the ability to switch AND it forces them to play Durant on Lebron. If you play Sefolosha on Lebron and Collison or Ibaka on Bosh, then Bosh can shoot 15 footers over Sefolosha all night or back him down.

2) Wade SHOULD NOT be initiating offense. He does not pass to set up his teammates. The only good pass he made all night was when Chalmers slipped a screen in the 4th quarter. The rest of the game, Wade was throwing shitty jump passes or misplaced post entry passes. He's passing after his one-on-one game gets shut down. He's not driving to set up the offense. Run him off as many screens as possible while Sefolosha is guarding him. You have to make Sefolosha work by playing team offense. If you let him guard Wade isos all day it plays right into OKC's plan. The more tired Sefolosha is, the less effective he will be guarding Bron in the 4th.

3) I'm not mad at Lebron. He was aggressive the entire game. Yes, he took one bad flat footed 3 pointer in the 4th, he also missed free throws, but the biggest transgression was that he wanted no part of Russell Westbrook on the defensive end. It's one thing to switch the screens, but Bron put absolutely no pressure on Westbrook and just gave him jumpers. Quarters 1 through 3, it should be Wade on Westbrook, Bron on Sefolosha, and Battier on Durant, but 4th Quarter it should be Battier on Westbrook, Wade on Sefolosha or Harden, and Bron on Durant playing deny defense with help from Bosh. They should NOT be switching, they should be hedging and retreating. Deny Durant the ball!!! If Westbrook scores it's fine because he's most likely going into the teeth of the defense alone leaving his teammates standing. You can't win in the Finals that way. Westbrook is the dumbest player on OKC, keep the ball in his hands, he will play selfish basketball, and self-destruct.

4) Also, it makes me cringe to say this, but if it's not Bron initiating offense, I'd rather it be Chalmers. Force OKC to defend someone besides Bron, Wade, Bosh. Chalmers is HORRIBLE initiating the fast break, throws bad outlets, but in the half-court, he's aggressive and he forces OKC to guard him on the pick-n-roll. Wade is taking way too many flat footed jumpers and it's killing the Heat. It should not be a lot of Chalmers, but just to give Lebron looks in the post or to initiate some plays for Bosh, let Chalmers run the point. He is also a better 3 point shooter than Wade so it gives you better spacing to post up Lebron. You get no spacing with Wade because they all sag. Wade can't shoot 3s.

5) MOVE the ball. The Heat are not a good one-on-one team. Besides Lebron's drives in the secondary break or post-ups, no one else on the Heat should be getting isos. Wade simply isn't explosive like he used to be. Look at his field goal percentages. I don't mind Bosh isos if there is a switch on the pick-n-roll and he has a matchup, but otherwise, they play much better moving the ball. They got ahead in the 1st half because they made the second pass. They have guys who can knock down 3s, they need to utilize that and move the ball. You look at the stats and it looks like Durant took over, but he got his shots out of great sets where his team ran 2 screens, used the clock, and got open looks. If the Thunder continue to give the Heat jumpers, post up Lebron and run the offense out of the post, OR, put the ball in Chalmers' hands, run Bron off baseline screens and get him the ball in triple threat position 12 feet out. When the Thunder gave the Heat jumpers, they did not adjust at all. Spoelstra sucks. Run Wade off stagger screens, get him some pick n pops, if you're going to take jumpers, take them in rhythm. No one on the heat should be dribbling the D down and shooting flat footed. That's not their game.

6) Initiate offense off the elbow. Use Bosh for a few Princeton offense type sets with Wade and Bron cutting around him. Anything to move their offensive sets closer to the basket and force OKC to step up. You can't keep initiating your offense from behind the arc and allow OKC to force you into jumpers. If Bosh isn't getting the ball on the elbow, use him to free up Wade off the ball for easy baskets on stagger screens or back door cuts. Way too many plays were basically Battier running across the court to screen for Bron out of the corner only to get a post-iso. If you're going to use Battier to free Bron on a post-entry, simultaneously run a back screen for Wade with Bosh on the weakside!!! Either way, you still get the iso, you get a cutter, and when the smoke clears, Battier is probably open in the corner if Bron doesn't like his matchup.

7) SPOELSTRA, make sure people know their cot damn defensive assignments! How is it the 4th quarter and your entire team doesn't know their rotations? Durant got most of his buckets off blown help assignments!