Rebounding Continues to Haunt the Miami Heat

By Shane Phillips
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

So far, this season has proven to be anything but scripted and far from easy for the Miami Heat. The defending champs could easily be 8-0, but instead they are 5-3 and find themselves riding the coattails of the red hot Indiana Pacers.

Offensively, Miami is a juggernaut and has had no problem putting points on the board. Led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat are shooting an impressive 53 percent from the field and 45 percent from range. They are averaging 106.8 points per game with a league leading 28.1 assists.

Obviously, the offense is the glue holding the three-peat hopes together, which is odd considering Erik Spoelstra and the Heat have prided themselves on their defense.

That’s just it; the defense is the issue, but I do not want to give the generic overview of the defense. I’d rather offer a precise area that Miami must improve on and that area hasn’t changed.

Rebounding continues to be the bane of Miami’s existence.

We all know that Miami ranked dead last in the NBA in rebounds last season and it nearly cost them the title. Well, guess what? Nothing has changed!

The Heat currently rank 30th in the Association, grabbing only 34 rebounds per game. Miami has been out-rebounded in all three losses and seven of the eight games this season. Bosh leads the team in rebounding, averaging just over six boards.

Seriously? The leading rebounder only averages six a game? That’s a recipe for disaster.

I said it before the season started: Miami must improve their rebounding in order to win a third straight championship. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they have made the correct adjustments.

Miami cannot depend solely on their offense to carry them all the way to the Finals. Rebounding must see an improvement and must see it soon. Players like Chris Andersen, Udonis Haslem and Bosh all must step up.

Not only do the big men need to step up, but rebounding must be an entire team effort, especially when the front court struggles like Miami’s does.

Spoelstra and players have talked about how much work they have put into their defense, but what about rebounding? Spoelstra should consider more box out and rebounding drills in practice, otherwise Miami may watch the three-peat and “Big 3” slip away.

Shane Phillips is a Miami Heat Writer Follow him on Twitter @Smphil01, “Like” Shane on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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