Startling Statistics from Miami Heat's Season Thus Far
We all know how crazy talented and athletic LeBron James is. We all know that Dwyane Wade can score at will. We all know that there is virtually no obstruction blocking the Heat's path to claim the Eastern Conference and a possible second consecutive NBA title.
There are still some statistics floating around out there involving Miami, though, of which some people may be unaware.
The highlights are abundant, and the wins continue to rack up, but let's go a little more in-depth with the Heat and see what's really impressive about their dominance this 2012-13 NBA season.
Plus-1.4 Differential in Free-Throw Attempts Per Game
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One of the biggest beefs NBA fans have with the Miami Heat and their team of stars revolves around the supposed favoritism when it comes to foul calls by the officials.
While there's a general tendency in this league for referees to give the superstars a little more slack, the Heat maintain a very modest differential for free-throw attempts per game.
Foul calls can be a significant part of the game, but fouls leading to free throws are especially important, and Miami simply isn't drawing an abnormal amount of those.
By attempting fewer than two more free throws than their opponents in games, there's a lot more merit to be given to the Heat for winning as many games as they have, as they haven't really had any significant help from the charity stripe.
Last in the League in Field-Goal Attempts
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The Miami Heat have proven themselves to be an offensive powerhouse (fifth in the league in points per game at 103.5), but that stat is even more impressive when you consider that they're dead last in field-goal attempts.
Averaging just 78.4 attempts per game, Miami clearly demonstrates that you don't need to jack up a lot of shots to be an efficient, high-scoring offense. The Heat are second in the NBA, in fact, in offensive rating (112.6, per Basketball-Reference), which calculates points per 100 team possessions.
Therefore, this season has been about efficient shooting for the Heat—a team that limits shot attempts but maximizes scoring on high-percentage shots.
Shooting Nearly 50 Percent as a Team
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Speaking of efficient scoring, the Heat are maintaining the highest team shooting percentage in the league with their 49.6 percent.
If we're rounding up here (we most certainly are), that's 50 percent of Miami's shots going in. To put it simply, one out of every two shots for the Heat is a converted field goal.
With that kind of high-percentage shooting on a nightly basis, the Heat are able to create and keep leads, and it also allows them to fight their way back into games when faced with a deficit.
This makes sense for the Heat, as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade would rather drive and finish at the rim than settle for outside shots.
Those who do take riskier shots for Miami (Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Chris Bosh) are all very solid perimeter players who usually have space to work with thanks to James and Wade's attention-drawing offensive talents.
The bottom line here is that there may be no team in the NBA that functions as effectively and productively as the Heat right now.
Last in the League in Rebounding
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While this may not be a good kind of startling, it's definitely true: The Heat are the worst rebounding team in the NBA.
At this stage in the season, to say that Miami is the worst at anything, besides losing, would be an easily debatable topic. However, the numbers don't lie here—the Heat are putting up a paltry 38.5 boards per contest.
This area of weakness is due to the Heat's lack of quality big men on the roster, to the point where they were forced to sign Chris "Birdman" Andersen off the street. LeBron James is leading the team with 8.2 rebounds per game, with the next closest being Chris Bosh at 6.8.
Rebounding is a crucial facet of the game, but the fact that the Heat are so deficient in this area and are still managing to win so many games makes it seem less important than ever.
23-Game Win Streak
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As of this writing, it has been 23 games since the Miami Heat have come up in the loss column.
That is the second-longest win streak in NBA history, only behind the Jerry West/Wilt Chamberlain-led Lakers' 33-game win streak back in 1971-1972.
This statistic is startling for just about any championship contender in the league right now, as it shows just how scary good this Miami Heat team is and can continue to be.
The Heat have won blowouts, and they've won nail-biters. No one knows how much longer they can keep this up or if it will translate into another championship in the postseason.
But for now, the Heat are putting on a show for the rest of the NBA. Until someone stops Miami, we'll just have to sit back and watch.