I’ve rarely seen a series of charts so thoroughly explain why the Heat have gone from a winning team to a team getting thumped with regularity. Tom Haberstroh at ESPN offers five info-graphics that summarize the decline we’re seeing in the Heat.
The gist? LeBron is not attacking the basket, Dwayne is not attacking the basket, the point guard play stinks, the Heat are not running, and Bosh is not rebounding. These are all compounding problems. Missed shots sometimes lead to fast breaks, missed long shots often lead to fast breaks, and fast breaks lead to half court offense for the team defending the break. With the point guard play struggling mightily, and center play close to non-existent, the Heat are playing 3 on 5 basketball at the offensive end. And missing LOTS of shots. That is a losing recipe. LeBron and Wade need to go back to attacking the defense and at least attempting to finish at the rim. And LeBron, in particular, needs start his offense in the post, and not on the perimeter. Never was this as clear as it was in the thumpings that Oklahoma and Boston put on Miami.
One thing that the graphs don’t show is the dismal defense being played by the Heat right now. A team that has prided itself on defense, and the ability to double team and recover, or double team and rotate has suddenly become porous. They are not rushing to get to the open man before the ball does, and on a defense that is founded on the double team, that is disastrous.
Of course, there’s three weeks of games left. And the Heat can right the ship. However, for Heat fans, it has to be serious disturbing that the ship can be so wrong, so close to the playoffs.