The Miami Heat are set to face off against the Detroit Pistons tonight at American Airlines Arena, and the two teams’ vastly different styles of play will collide in what should become an epic showdown. The Heat have stuck to their small-ball lineups for the majority of the season whereas the Pistons currently have one of the larger front courts in the NBA, starting Andre Drummond (6-foot-10), Greg Monroe (6-foot-11), and Josh Smith (6-foot-9). Although the Pistons’ front court hasn’t been performing well as of late, leading the team to a 7-10 record, the tangibles their front court possesses can make life a lot more difficult for teams like the Heat around the rim.
Drummond currently ranks as the fourth best rebounder in the league, which also happens to be one of the Heat’s biggest weaknesses. This will most likely continue tonight as Drummond looks to expose the Heat on the glass. It will be up to both Chris Bosh and Shane Battier to defend against both Drummond and Monroe around the rim, especially for rebounds. The Heat’s front court players will also be responsible for drawing out Drummond and Monroe from the rim in order to create space in the offense, which is what fuels and drives the Heat’s explosive fast break offense.
In most games that the Heat play they are usually out-rebounded, so this statistic does not correlate to wins or losses. But the shear fact that the Pistons have multiple large front court players who can create major offensive and defensive plays on their own is a big reason to believe the Heat will have their hands full tonight. The Heat should ultimately end up victorious due to the absurd amount of depth on their roster, but don’t be surprised if the rebounding and block numbers heavily favor the Pistons.
Jared Doyle is a Miami Heat writer for RantSports.com.
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