Miami Heat: 5 Adjustments Team Must Make with Little Time Left
The Miami Heat are running out of time to figure things out. Sometimes they look unstoppable when they are out on the break, forcing turnovers,and playing swarming defense. Other times they look foolish continuously turning the ball over and going away from the hot hand.
That being said, when the Heat do lose they are beating themselves more often than not. Their problems are much more so internal than external. Some may claim they need a "true big man" or more of a threat at the point guard position, but the truth of the matter is that the personnel is far from the problem. The Heat have three All-Star players. Lack of talent on the roster is no longer an excuse.
Does that mean the Heat are out of luck? No. There are many things the Heat can do, many adjustments they can make, in order to bolster their chances at a championship this year.
Get James and Wade Back in the Post
If it's not broke, don't fix it. Why have the Heat gone away from Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in the post? I'm not sure, but they need to get back to it ASAP. I'm not saying the Heat don't look at them at all inside anymore—clearly that's not true—but they are not getting enough touches down there anymore.
There is nobody in the league that can stop James in the post, and when they double him he is a great passer who can always find the open man. Wade may not be the biggest, but he is crafty, athletic and knows how to work on the block.
When all else fails, put your perimeter All-Star players on the block and you will be just fine.
He may be new to the team, but he's good enough to start at center for the Heat, which is not saying much. It's not that Ronny Turiaf is so much better than Joel Anthony or any other centers on Miami's roster—even though he is clearly better—it's just that he is a bigger body who can finish around the rim.
It's not as though Erik Spoelstra is drawing up plays day and night for the center position. Turiaf would not have to learn much more than standing on the block and catching and finishing and protecting the rim on the other end. He can knock down open jumpers and he's just a good fit for Miami.
The knock on the Heat is that they are too small, a problem that could easily be addressed by inserting Turiaf into the starting lineup and having Anthony bring some energy off the bench. If Spoelstra is smart, don't be surprised to hear Turiaf's name called in the starting lineup very soon.
The worst thing the Heat could do right now is panic. At the end of the day they will be right there in contention for an NBA championship despite where they finish in the Eastern Conference. We saw last year just how dangerous the Big Three could be in the playoffs, and their supporting cast has only gotten better.
Not only is the team still learning, but so is Spoelstra. He will figure things out and he will have them playing at the top of their game come playoff time. He's no dummy, despite what you may think.
Playoff basketball is on another level and each team's true colors will show whether it likes it or not. Let's just say Miami's true colors are still looking mighty fine.
Get Bosh Going
In order for the Heat to be successful in the post season they have to have three legitimate options on the offensive end. Contrary to popular belief, Chris Bosh is what makes the Heat tick on both ends of the floor and he has shown his worth once again this season, as well as during last year's playoffs.
He stretches the floor with his mid-range jumper and is an underrated defender who causes problems for opposing big men with his length. Chicago depends on Derrick Rose for his playmaking abilities. The Thunder depend on the isolation ability of their perimeter players Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
However, in Miami the Heat have an All-Star big man that can count on for production.
The Heat have got to start going to Bosh early and often if they want to get back to their winning ways. Things will be much easier on Wade and James if defenses have to respect Bosh as a third option for the duration of a game. When Bosh gets his confidence, when he makes two or three shots in a row, he gets in a grove and is steal a deadly scorer in the post and around the paint.
The Heat have got to get Bosh going sooner rather than later if they plan on contending for a championship this year.
Stop Turning the Ball over
This has been the Heat's biggest problem in most of their losses: unforced errors.
Against the Thunder the other night, Miami had 21 turnovers. It is very hard to win playing that kind of sloppy basketball. The Heat have to value the ball more, treat it like a briefcase full of a million dollars (well, I guess that wouldn't be that much to many of those guys, but you get the point).
The minute the Heat start valuing every possession is when they will become not only a championship contender, but the favorites to win it all. The thing is, a lot of their turnovers are not the result of pressure defense; instead, there are too many little things affecting ball movement—in particular, communication. You're told to talk on defense your whole life.
Well, it's time the Heat start, before it's too late.