5 Ways The Miami Heat Offense Tried To Evolve In 2014

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Miami Heat: 5 Ways The Offense Tried To Evolve In 2014

Miami Heat
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When the Big Three moniker made its way from Boston to Miami, so did the thoughts that South Beach’s new “it” team could come together and begin to dominate. And although they struggled, the Miami Heat still willed their way to the 2011 NBA Finals.

But thanks to a stagnate offense, the Heat went down to a not so defensive Dallas Mavericks team.

According to the organization, their failure was due to the offense being too traditional. They were too focused on Chris Bosh playing the post, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James camping out on the wing, and having prototypical centers like Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Erick Dampier planted in the paint.

However, the following year saw things change when coach Erik Spoelstra adopted a technique called “pace and space.”

Instead of James standing on the outside, he ran the offense from the post while Bosh floated mid-range. The unique spacing gave Wade the ability to cut to the hole freely, until Bosh went down in the playoffs.

From that day forward, the offense went the small ball -- aka position-less basketball -- route with Shane Battier stretching the power spot to the three-point line and Bosh occasionally platooning out there with him, which left the team susceptible to rebounding and big man abuse.

So, halfway through this season, the Heat decided to reinvent themselves again, but not entirely by choice.

“To a degree, Spoelstra's players are forcing their coach's hand. Chris Bosh is playing as well as at any point during his four seasons with the Heat,” said Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Chris Andersen has settled into his Birdman role of paint pandemonium… And Greg Oden's 7-foot, 275 pound stature in the rotation continues to grow.”

As the season goes on, we could see the Heat offense get a lot less position-less and a little more traditional. But until then, scroll through the next five slides to see how the team’s big man offense has evolved in the Big Three’s fourth year.

Richard Nurse is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @blackirishpr or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Extra Energy

andersen
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

As the Miami Heat’s resident energy guy, Chris Andersen brings the hustle and energy to the team's offensive rebounding game.

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4. Chris Bosh In Post

Bosh
Andrew D. Bernstein-Getty Images

The size of most modern-day centers allows Chris Bosh to take some team’s fives down on the block. But with coach Spoelstra now using him in tandem with Greg Oden and Chis Andersen, Bosh is able to put inside pressure on players at his natural power forward position.

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3. The Greg Oden Upgrade

oden
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Once Greg Oden gets comfortable in the offense, his big body will cause extra rebounding, a few extra points, and hopefully put fouls on people like Indiana's Roy Hibbert.

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2. Birdman

andersen
Fernando Medina-Getty Images

ChrisBirdmanAndersen is one of the few Miami Heat players -- besides James, Wade or Michael Beasley -- who actually attacks the hoop to finish above the rim.

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1. Chris Bosh For Three

Bosh
Sam Forencich-Getty Images

Chris Bosh’s ability to maneuver between the mid range and the post has always made him a threat. However, his new found three-point prowess has made it easier for coach Spo to keep the "pace and space" when he plays lineups featuring multiple big men.

"That's huge for them if they can get those points and that efficiency from him. That's a game changer," San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan said Sunday via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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