Heat Need Activity To Slow KG

BOSTON — The Miami Heat defense ranked fourth in the regular season and No. 1 in the postseason through Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. But in the last two games, against a below-average offensive team, the Heat defense has not been very good.

The Boston Celtics have scored 212 points on about 181 possessions over the last two games, the worst two-game stretch of defense the Heat have played all season. But the Celtics have done that damage in two completely different ways.

In Game 2, the Celtics scored 55 of their 111 points from outside the paint and 40 of those 55 points from mid-range. That’s somewhat typical of Boston, a jump-shooting team. But what wasn’t typical was that Rajon Rondo shot 11-for-13 from outside the paint. And when Rondo does that, you basically have to just tip your cap to the guy and move on.

The way that the Celtics scored in Game 3 wasn’t typical either. But while their Rondo-heavy offense in Game 2 was flukey and not cause for a major adjustment, Boston’s paint-heavy offense in Game 3 was much more concerning to the Heat.

“They were able to get probably the easiest buckets they’ve been able to get all playoffs, and particularly in the paint, at the rim,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Saturday. “They were making one-trigger plays to get deep catches in the paint on any situation that they wanted to. It could have been a pick-and-roll, it could have been a post-up, it could have been a catch-and-shoot.

“We allowed a great jump-shooting team to have easy opportunities to get themselves into a terrific offensive flow.”

Kevin Garnett has figured out that he can beat the Heat in the paint and under the basket. So does Miami now make an adjustment? Maybe not, because Spoelstra feels that a lack of effort was his team’s biggest problem defensively.

“Our effort numbers and our activity numbers that we chart were the lowest of the playoffs, tied with Game 3 in Indiana,” he said. “So if we don’t have that, it’s tough to judge how any of the schematic things were working. We weren’t applying or normal type of activity. We have to start with that and then see.”

Improvement has to come both on the perimeter (pressuring the passer) and on the weak side — especially helping on Garnett’s rolls to the rim. The Heat have to remember how suffocating their defense has been at times in these playoffs, using their speed and athleticism to cover more ground than any other team can.

Garnett is bigger than anybody the Heat will put out of the floor, but Spoelstra knows that his team has what it takes to deal with size.

“We’ve dealt with that for a couple of rounds,” he said. “And we feel we can be very disruptive when we’re committed to what we do defensively.”


  1. boston c's says:

    Miami plays with no effort, and sadly father time has caught up with the c’s. But OKc/SaS both are going to crush the eastern winner because they are both bd on defense. PLus, okc leads the league and blocks and is in the top 2 for steals, and sas has 8 people in the ir rotation that shoot 40+% from three, and that will carve up those two old teams.

  2. Camille says:

    It’s absolutely right that Heat was lack of defensive efffort and offensive touch at Game 3. It was so irritating watch them standing around looking at Celtics score. You should always put your best effort in each game even if the game was caught in a surprise and not to your liking. you have to learn to adjust to it emotionally and mentally. You can’t just give it up and let it slip like that. Look Celtics, they always made their best effort, even they lost, you can’t blame them not trying…. but I will blame Heat not trying hard enough…

  3. el mejor says:

    stop this heat and boston we all now that the winer of san antonio vs okc is goin to win the ring

    • heh says:

      The western teams only seem invincible on offense because they have yet to face a truly elite defensive team in the playoffs. You, and many other OKC/Spurs fans, are in for a real surprise in the finals regardless of who wins the series in the East.

  4. Kaiily says:

    Kobe was numero uno in the followitg years: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010.

    You only have bragging rights as long as you are not knocked off of the throne.

    This is 2012 and Kobe is nowhwhere to be found. Lebron, on the other hand,
    has his foot on the pedestal, and it remains to be seen if he can climb his fine
    self up to the top.

  5. The Master! says:

    Kobe is the best in this era! 5 championships! Hahaha! Lebron still has to earn his first! Then he has 4 more to go! Hahaha! Kobe is no. 1!!!!!!

    • JG says:

      Excuse me this aint about kobe…Isnt he off fishin somewhere? You should join yur hero! lol

  6. jhmertens says:

    This is a tough series for the celts but I really hope the big 4 have enough in their tank to take the heat out and get one last ring. The team has been too good in the last five years, I’d hate to have them leave it at one.

  7. OzHeatFan says:

    I think that Celtic win will sting hard for the Heat, especially for DWade who is probably feeling most of the pressure. I think the Heat will still take Celtics, but I’d say its not impossible for this to go 7 games.

    If DWade has another stellar game like the Indy series and LBJ just does his thing, the rest will fall into place. I think the Heat no-stars are playing pretty good… but BATTIER, please stop shooting 1 for 6… you need to defend hard and rebound thats all.

  8. One more thing:
    Since Ronny Turiaff got in the Heat the Heat has been horrible.
    Pull out your New York jersey and play like a men.

    Heat was losing in game 3 and Turiaff was laughing in the bench, what about commitment! What kind of commitment Turiaff has?

    • TheLogo44 says:

      I”t’s Turiaff man, what you think. All he good for is takin up space and gettin dunked on, or givin the other team an And1. What Eric needs to do is start Joel Anthony. He always plays hard and never gets frustrated. Dosent get the credit he deserves.

  9. Garnett is used to make pick and rolls on movements. Im not saying he is dirty Im just saying he likes that way but when others do the same to him He doesn´t like it. Obviously he didin´t play against 89-90 pistons.

  10. Yeah , I absoluty agree with the article. I think Boston dominated the game in game 3 and in final quarter of game 2. That´s due Kevin Garnett in the paint. If you stop Kevin Garnett in the paint tha Heat will have real chances to sweep 4-1.
    The clue is Garnett. No doubt.
    If I was Spo I put Howard guarding whole game whispering in his ear for two hours, playing hard with elbows and hard fouls as Garnett likes to play. Yes Garnett plays hard, not dirty, so Garnett dont act like a girl when the Miami Heat plays hard to you.