(Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann)The Miami HEAT host the Sacramento Kings tonight at AmericanAirlines Arena. The HEAT (40-14) beat the Kings (19-38) first matchup of the season, putting up the finest offensive display in team history. The HEAT have won 11 straight overall. Tip off is set for 7:30 PM; coverage on Sun Sports begins at 7 PM.1: How did Miami blow out the Kings in January, and how much of it is repeatable?
Couper: The HEAT aren’t going to lose too many games when Mario Chalmers hits 10 threes, but that isn’t likely to happen again, either. Miami was simply able to get whatever it wanted to get on offense, assisting on nearly 80 percent of their baskets, and on the other end the Kings were relegated to rushed, dribble-happy offense. Basically, it was the same as Miami’s victory over the 76ers the other evening.
Danny: I don’t think we’ll see Mario Chalmers tie the team record for three-pointers again, but the big picture is still encouraging for the HEAT. The game in Sacramento was the HEAT’s highest offensive efficiency in team history. They got the looks they wanted all night long. Recently, it’s been much of the same, including when the HEAT have played tougher defenses than the Kings will present. So in a sense, much of the first game is repeatable in that the HEAT will probably get a similar shot distribution. However, I’d expect to see the conversion rate drop some.2: What type of team fares better against Miami, Good Offense-Bad Defense or Bad Offense-Good Defense?
Couper: Good defense will always stand a better chance, because unless you’re a truly elite offense, you probably don’t have a chance to keep up with Miami’s efficiency pace if you don’t have a good system to rely on. The better your defense, the more you can slow the game down, take away shots the HEAT want to get and hope that on the other end, a couple of players will catch fire and hit enough shots to sustain you, at least for one evening. The Kings, we should note, are last in the league in defensive efficiency.
Danny: Good defense-bad offense. There are so many variables on offense that are hard to account for. On any given night in the league, a player gets hot and sets a career high. It’s not necessarily sustainable, but in a one-game sample you don’t need sustainable. So if a team has a strong defensive foundation, they can find a way to get the requisite offense. The other end of the spectrum can still win games against the HEAT, but the HEAT are so good offensively that it makes things much more difficult.