The current Miami Heat roster may be the most offensively destructive force the franchise has ever seen in its 25-year history. The subtle addition of Michael Beasley into the rotation has reaped plenty of benefits, but what has been the driving catalyst for the offense’s success is how well this unit is sharing the ball.
The Heat currently rank third in the league in points per game (105.9) and second in assists per game (25.0). What this has led to is the rise in efficient shooting for most players on the Heat roster. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Beasley and Chris Andersen are all having career-high shooting percentages this season, which could be a major reason why the Heat are riding an eight-game winning streak.
How all of this translates into postseason success is simple. In the playoffs, opposing teams grind each other down through the course of a potential seven-game series. The game basically slows to a screeching halt. By passing the ball more often, the opposing team’s defense becomes stretched thin over the court, allowing for either wide-open shots around the arc or open driving lanes for easy layups. Each and every shot becomes harder to get, and especially to make in the playoffs. That is why the most efficient shooting team typically prevails.
The hot shooting percentages for multiple players may not last, but the ability to share the ball this well has to become a permanent fixture for the defending champs, especially in their run through the 2014 NBA Playoffs. With their championship-caliber defense still rounding into form, the Heat have been heavily relying on their offense to extend this eight-game win streak, and will most likely be riding it’s success well throughout the playoffs.