Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann
The Miami HEAT host the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The HEAT defeated the Bobcats in their last meeting 104-96 in overtime on January 18. Tip off is set for 7:30 PM. Television coverage on Sun Sports begins at 7:00 PM. Listen to the action live on the new FM 104.3 and AM 790 The Ticket.
Couper Moorhead: That his teammates really want him to succeed. While it never strays into truly deliberate territory, you can tell that once Oden got on the floor and was moving well, the rest of the team was specifically searching for ways to get him touches. Much of that stemmed from LeBron James as he appeared to be running plays to get Oden opportunities, even trying to thread the needle on a pass that was stolen but clearly indicated James’ intentions with Oden. When a team is supporting a player like that, that’s the process you want to see.
2: It’s starting to look like a strong possibility that the Bobcats will be Miami’s first-round opponent. Is there anything more to be learned about them before then?
Couper: There’s always going to be more to learn about an opponent, whether you’ve faced them in the playoffs for three consecutive seasons or if it will be the first time ever. With Charlotte, things will come down to being able to score against a Top-5 defense and an offense that turns the ball over less than anyone else in the league. It’s not hard to imagine some methodical, drawn-out, half-court affairs against Charlotte, so the HEAT will need to figure out how best to maximize every possession against a defense that strays a bit from league trends.
3: What should be done about Al Jefferson?
Couper: If the Bobcats want to be deliberate about posting up Jefferson – he works out of the post, the left block specifically, more than just about anyone – then that’s probably just fine. Part of the reason the Bobcats don’t turn the ball over much is due to how often Jefferson plays with his back-to-the-basket, but even one of the most highly regarded post players in the league scores significantly less on a per-possessions basis than an average offense. And it’s not like defending constant post-ups is particularly taxing on a defense, either.
The caveat is that the HEAT need to be forcing isolation post-ups or fronting to take away the first option. What they can’t do is consistently allow Jefferson to catch the ball in space out of pick-and-rolls. Keep the offense deliberate and keep the spacing muddied.
- The HEAT have won 15 in a row against the Bobcats.
- The Bobcats have won six of their last ten.
- Dwyane Wade has averaged 21.3 points on 61.4 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in his last eight games.
- HEAT Offense: 110.1 (1)
- HEAT Defense: 102.5 (T-12)
- Bobcats Offense: 99 (22)
- Bobcats Defense: 101 (6)