2014 NBA Finals: Offense as Much of a Problem as Defense for Miami Heat
The San Antonio Spurs have put on one of the most remarkable offensive clinics against the Miami Heat. Eclipsing the 100-point mark in three out of four games with over 110 in two of them, and putting together two of the best shooting quarters in the history of the NBA, has left the Heat defense looking the worst it has been in the big three era. While the Heat defense needs to be held accountable for their unacceptable play, there is only so much that can be done when a team executes at the level of the Spurs.
The bigger problem the Heat are having is that while the Spurs are putting on an offensive clinic, they have looked feeble on the offensive side. Giving up an average of 106 points per game is bad enough. It gets considerably worse when that same team has yet to score 100.
LeBron James has put up a respectable 27.5 points per game but everyone else has been almost entirely nonexistent. Dwyane Wade put up 22 points in one game but other than that, no one else on the Heat has broken 20 points. From there it gets even worse. Bosh and Wade both scored over 16 points twice. The rest of the Heat roster has combined for a staggering zero games with more than 16 points. With James putting up average numbers, both Bosh and Wade disappointing and no consistently significant contributions from anybody else, the Heat offense has been a shell of what it once was.
Putting the ball through the hoop has been one of the issues with the Heat, shooting under 50 percent in half their games. What has been drastically worse is that the Heat have 62 turnovers, equalling their 62 assists. Even in the Heat’s sole win, not a single member of the Heat had more than three assists. The Spurs play offense at a level that is often impossible to defend. There is no doubt that the Heat’s defense needs to improve, but knowing how good the Spurs are, it is impossible to beat them without being able to execute on the offensive end.
The Spurs execute well enough on offense that it will limit the Heat’s ability to get the easy baskets off of turnovers and in transition. Forcing the Heat to score most of their points in the half court has left them taking too many jump shots. The Heat need to find a way to execute better at the offensive end and that may be too tall of a task with both Marion Chalmers and Norris Cole remaining ineffective and often liabilities. Neither point guard has registered more than five assists and Cole is the only one to score more than five points. Add on that they have combined to be minus 37 in the series and the point guard position has been an absolute disaster for the Heat.
The Heat are looking to be the first team to ever win the NBA finals after trailing 3-1, and after two home blowout losses, there are a lot of things that will have to drastically improve if the Heat want to three peat.