Wednesday, March 9, 2011

El Heat tiene frio

In fact they are downright frigid. The Miami Heat dropped its fifth straight game, this time losing to the visiting Portland Trailblazers by 9 last night 105 - 96. There has been much hand-wringing, wailing and gnashing of teeth in Miami, while the rest of the league and country watches with a certain amount of schadenfreude. There has even been mention of tears in the locker room, causing jocularity, consternation and a certain amount of WTF was Erik Spoelstra thinking when he made that revelation.

There has been a plethora of analysis about what is wrong with the Heat such as: they can't close out games, can't win against over .500 teams, Wade and James aren't meshing well together, neither one knows whose team it is and thus neither is as effective as they should be, the bench isn't scoring enough, there hasn't been effective enough play out of the center position, Mike Miller has been injured and hasn't come around, they have been unlucky and not been able to convert the last second play to win, the coaching doesn't take advantage of the unique makeup and talents of the players of the team, and blah, blah, blah ad nauseam.

Well, allow me to inject my analysis. The problem is DEFENSE. These guys are playing long stretches of lackadaisical defense. In fact, there are some stretches where they play no defense at all, confident that since they have such good players they can score any time they want and just match up bucket for bucket, ultimately winning the game. Well, that is not the case as their lack of victories against over .500 teams proves. You have to work for every possession in the NBA (even the bad teams are too good for that mindset to work) and stifle the other team until they just can't wait for the game to be over so they can get out of the gym.

During this recent slide the Heat had large leads (one as big as 24 points) which they let slip away and ended up losing. That just does not happen without defensive lapses. I can understand if you lose because the shots aren't going in, but what is unacceptable is a poor defensive showing night after night. The Heat look befuddled and frustrated and seem to not know what to do to stop other teams from scoring. With the talent they have this should not be an issue. I am surprised that Pat Riley (a man whose entire emphasis when he was coaching was defense) has not stepped in and said or done something up to this point.

Miami, you better start playing some DEFENSE when the other team has the ball or your run in the playoffs will be short and not sweet, but extremely sour.

UPDATE - 3/11/2011: All is not lost, they beat the Lakers last night 94-88. Let's see if this starts a trend.


MF GATOR said...

You are so right my fellow disc slinger...defense wins championships! That goes for football, hockey, baseball...too bad there is no defense in disc golf, only potential mind games and psyching your opponent out!

T. T. Douglas said...

Too true about DG. Thanks for the comment and good seeing you today MF Gator, even if it was a brief hello.