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Danny

Jazz at HEAT Official Game Thread and Preview

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670_heatjazzpre_121222.jpg(Photo Credit: Victor Baldizon)

The Miami HEAT host the Utah Jazz at AmericanAirlines Arena. The HEAT enter with a record of 17-6 and sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. The Jazz are 14-13. Tip off is set for 7:30 PM; coverage on Sun Sports starts at 7 PM.

1. Miami has another Top-5 offensive rebounding team in town tonight in the Utah Jazz. Should that be a concern?

Couper Moorhead: As much as we have discussed how silly overall rebounding margin is over the past few days, the purpose was never to excuse the HEAT for giving up offensive boards. It is a reality of this roster that they have to put an extraordinary effort on the defensive glass to keep teams like Utah, Denver and Minnesota away from those second-chance possessions, but it’s not as if other teams don’t struggle as well. I suspect that Utah will end up with about 10-15 offensive rebounds tonight, but we’ll have to see whether those extra opportunities translate to efficiency.

Danny Martinez: It will certainly be something to keep an eye on. “Concern” might be a bit strong. The HEAT will have to limit the Jazz’ effectiveness when they do get the rebound. Against the Timberwolves, the HEAT got beat up on the glass, but they were able to limit the Timberwolves’ shooting. Just because a team gets multiple looks doesn’t mean they’re good looks. If the HEAT keep up the defense of the last few weeks, the offensive rebounds won’t be a huge problem

2. What would you do with the Utah frontcourt considering both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will be free agents in the summer?

Couper: It depends on the value each would bring back individually in a trade – we can’t just assume that both will fetch the same return because there’s no saying the same teams will have the same interest. Jefferson is central to Utah’s offense right now and moving him would require quite a bit of reconfiguration, but if he isn’t in their long-term plans anyway then that shouldn’t be as big a deal as it would seem. Millsap affects more of the game on either end of the court and certainly offers more versatility, so he would be my choice if they can only keep one in the interests of getting Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter more playing time. It’s going to be a tough decision either way, but it’s a nice problem to have during a rebuilding process.

Danny: This is tough. A lot of their decision will come down to the development of Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter. If the Jazz believe both are franchise cornerstones, then there’s no harm in trying to get value in return through trades either this season or this summer. The Jazz have had a strong offense the last few seasons, but a fairly weak defense. Moving Jefferson or Millsap would theoretically give Favors more minutes, which should help the defense.

3. Is it possible this is Miami’s biggest defensive test of the month, at least until the Thunder game?

C: For a few reasons, yes. Outside of the Lakers, in theory at least, the Utah frontcourt was always going to be one of the greatest tests for Miami’s smallball, especially if Ty Corbin throws out his Millsap-Jefferson-Favors lineups that he’s used on occasion. But it’s not just about size. Utah’s offense involves a ton of off-ball movement and activity, meaning that any defender not keeping an eye on multiple offensive players is liable to get beat by a backdoor cut or caught off guard by a screen. If the HEAT shut down this offense, there won’t be much to complain about with the defense for quite some time.

Danny: I don’t think the Jazz’ offense is nearly as potent as the Knicks’. That being said, the Jazz give the HEAT a look that they haven’t seen much of. With their frontcourt, the Jazz are tough to matchup with. Especially when they use their jumbo lineup with Paul Millsap at the three. Mo Williams and Marvin Williams provide space with their shooting, giving the Jazz a true inside-out game. They’re tough, but not the toughest offense the HEAT have faced in December.

4. Chris Bosh or Paul Millsap for a last-second three-point attempt?

Couper: This is a tough one. Both players have certainly hit some big threes over the last few years if we’re going to judge on clutch performance, but Millsap is likely the better three-point shooter right now based simply on percentages and volume. I’ll cheat and say Millsap if there is time on the clock to actually run a play and Bosh, because of his quick release, if there is only time for a catch-and-shoot.

Danny: Ha. Both have hit a few big ones the last few seasons. I think Bosh is the better shooter, so I’ll roll with him. He’s comfortable from deep, especially in the corners.

5. How much credit does Joel Anthony get for the defensive turnaround of December?

Couper: Considering that teams only score 96 points per 100 possessions when Anthony is on the floor, it’s impossible to say that he hasn’t made a huge difference, but the lion’s share of credit has to be spread over the entire rotation. Having a mobile big man around to clean up mistakes makes it easier for the guards to be aggressive on the ball and really attack the passing lanes, but it’s everyone’s responsibility to make smart rotations and close out on shooters, and the activity level has been much better recently. Saying that one player fixed everything doesn’t accurately portray the burden that lies with an entire team.

Danny: A fair amount. Anthony covers so much ground, so fast, that his impact is significant. His pick-and-roll coverage has been a huge help. When he’s on the floor, teams really struggle. He’s not the only reason for the turnaround, but he’s a big one.

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Bosh aint playin...we have no chance...........

****! That's going to make this game extremely tough to win. It also sucks that Jorts is sick too. Can't wait to see Pittman foul out in like 5 minutes <_<

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****! That's going to make this game extremely tough to win. It also sucks that Jorts is sick too. Can't wait to see Pittman foul out in like 5 minutes <_<

Pittman gotta make those fouls count....he gotta hit AL Jefferson w. the Hulk Hogan leg drop or somethin lol

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Considering BOSH will sit this one out,RASHARD should get some extensive minutes,along with the WARDEN.Let's just hope the shots for the HEAT are falling tonight.MIAMI will have to be crisp on the defensive side of the ball as well.If we play efficiently,we shall be ok.Looking for a big night from our guards...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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Considering BOSH will sit this one out,RASHARD should get some extensive minutes,along with the WARDEN.Let's just hope the shots for the HEAT are falling tonight.MIAMI will have to be crisp on the defensive side of the ball as well.If we play efficiently,we shall be ok.Looking for a big night from our guards...TEAM HEAT since '88!

doubt it..its gonna be difficult cuz we need Bosh's length & spacing

+ Jefferson & Millsap bout to feast on them boards.........

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Joseph Goodman: DWYANE WADE: "We kind of got behind the eight ball because we were doing what worked for us in The Finals and late in the playoffs but I think this is right what we need now—bigger lineup, as conventional as we can go.”

Well hopefully pittman can show something but that would be a miracle. Man we need to trade for another solid big.

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Tom Haberstroh ‏@tomhaberstroh

Heat announce they'll start Battier in place of Bosh. That's three 6-8 guys against the UTA big front-line. Should be fun.

Prepare to get dominated in the paint and the boards tonight.

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Considering BOSH will sit this one out,RASHARD should get some extensive minutes,along with the WARDEN.Let's just hope the shots for the HEAT are falling tonight.MIAMI will have to be crisp on the defensive side of the ball as well.If we play efficiently,we shall be ok.Looking for a big night from our guards...TEAM HEAT since '88!

plus Miami is putting too much pressure on Lebron at the 4 w. the small lineups in the reg season, they might as well just experiment w. either Pittman or Harrelson till playoff time comes, not because they're any good, although Harrelson might be, but playing small against lineups where they get manhandled downlow is senseless. You gotta preserve your best player instead of trying to milk him during the reg season, plus they need to be giving those guys reps anyway...that's one of the reasons why Pittman is raw & Harrelson is in his 2nd yr

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Tom Haberstroh ‏@tomhaberstroh

Heat announce they'll start Battier in place of Bosh. That's three 6-8 guys against the UTA big front-line. Should be fun.

Prepare to get dominated in the paint and the boards tonight.

plus u got Kanter & Favors on the bench as well.....

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Something is seriously wrong with Erik Spo I mean seriously why won't he play Pittman even if he gets in foul trouble I still start him over Battier.

If the Heat players get tire and wear down by the end of the season blame Erik Spo b/c this guy his just wearing down his players by time playoffs start. Pittman or Jort should be starting at Center and bosh move to pf position.

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LeBron is playing so stupid and I don't care what the stats say. He just had Al Jefferson on him and instead of driving he throws a stupid pass.

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