Playoff basketball is all about making simple plays. Over and over you will hear Jeff Van Gundy, Marc Jackson, and every other commentator talk about ball movement and sucking defenders in. For the past couple of months
I’ve repeatedly mentioned those words to player, coaches, and readers alike.Throughout the playoffs Dallas had made their name through penetrating forcing defenders to help off of other players to help on the ball and kick to open players. They have sliced through their opponents like a hot knife through butter. Their defense has been above average, but their ability to be efficient on the offensive end and put up points put a lot of pressure on their opponents to score on the other end to keep up. They were able to get in the lane suck in defenders kick to an open teammate and in most cases penetrate again and find another open player on the same possession.
Miami has struggled at times with this philosophy with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James taking show stopping tough shots with defenders draped all over them. It seemed like they took almost nothing but tough contested jumpers, which at times hurt them during stretches. Of course they defeated each opponent in five games so it wasn’t like they were in much trouble at all throughout the playoffs, but you could see the trouble coming on the horizon against Dallas.
Miami has make a great transformation and are just attacking the Dallas defenders and forcing weak side help to rotate off their spot up players and big men. This has opened up a lot of easy offense and open shots for the Heat. Dallas has been so good in the first few rounds at making easy plays but have struggled with their playmaking ability find themselves in a difficult position down 2-1. Besides bot being able to get good looks from Miami’s defense Dallas needs to do a beeter job boxing out and keeping Miami to 1 shot per possesion. Too many times throughout the series Miami has 2,3, and sometimes 4 attempts in a possesion as they’ve attacked the glass very well.
With so much attention of Dallas’s defense being put on LeBron and Dwyane Wade players such as Mario Clamers, Udonis Haslem, Mike Bibby and Mike Miller show their true value. Not to take anything away from CHris Bosh who has shown great energy, ability to make shots, and activity on both ends of the floor. They need to continue to attack Miami’s defense and get the ball in the paint to open up opportunities. It will be tough to just try to shoot their way out of it on the perimeter. The ball needs to go in the paint and suck in defenders and force Miami to close out long and run out at their perimeter players opening up drives.
It will be interesting to see how both teams come up tonight. Enjoy some of the better plays made in the Finals thus far.