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Joe B.

Charlotte Bobcats at Miami HEAT Game Thread and Preview

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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.

 

1: What did you take away from Greg Oden’s performance the other night against Orlando?

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.
 
Joe Beguiristain: That he has advanced so much since he first saw action in mid-January. He looks more aggressive when posting up and much more comfortable with the HEAT’s system. A lot of the recent aggression perhaps has to do with him not worrying about his previous injuries anymore.
 
Another thing that I took away his last few games, including Saturday, was that he works so hard in his limited minutes. Oden is extremely active on both ends contesting shots, setting picks and banging down low. His teammates have taken heed of his hard work by rewarding him with feeds inside. Oden had a very good stretch at the end of the second quarter against the Magic that was great 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.
 
Joe: No team looks the same throughout an entire season. There are always ups and downs and bumps in the road. The Charlotte Bobcats are no different. The Bobcats have gone 10-7 since their last meeting with the HEAT on January 18, including a 6-4 February which was good enough for their best win percentage in a month this season. In short, both teams have improved since mid-January.
 
The HEAT are going for the season sweep so it may not seem like there is much to learn from them, but the Bobcats have played them tough all year. The HEAT defeated the Bobcats in overtime the last time out and won by a point the meeting before that. The HEAT will have another crack at the sixth most efficient defense in the league tonight before a potential first-round matchup.

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.  
 
Joe: Jefferson is primarily a back-to-the-basket player, but can move without the ball pretty well and find open lanes to get easy finishes. He has scored 20 or more points in eight of the past ten games and is currently averaging 20.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. The nine-year vet also has improved his defense since coming to Charlotte this year.
 
The HEAT need to keep someone in front of Jefferson at all times to make it harder for him to move without the ball and find his spots. When he gets the ball on the block, he’s very difficult to stop. Forcing him to get the entry pass a little farther out should make it a bit harder for him.

 

Highlights:

 

http://www.nba.com/video/games/bobcats/2014/01/18/0021300593-mia-cha-recap.nba

http://www.nba.com/video/games/heat/2013/12/01/0021300252-cha-mia-recap.nba

 

Game Notes:

  • 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.

Efficiencies (Rank):

  • HEAT Offense: 110.1 (1)
  • HEAT Defense: 102.5 (T-12)
  • Bobcats Offense: 99 (22)
  • Bobcats Defense: 101 (6)

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The HEAT will have to maintain focus, this isn't an easy win. If MIAMI can contain Al Jefferson, they'll make the game a lot easier. Limit the turnovers, play lockdown defense, and be efficient on offense. Just win...TEAM HEAT since '88!

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I think the heat will 3epeat, but i do not think they will catch Indy for 1st seeding

Those loss games early.in season was too much, and heat priorities is different from Indy

Heat has to stay healthy

Iif we face chi in 2nd round it is going to be a dog fight

Indy will have it relatively easy

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(1) attack the rim in transition

(2) find a way to execute at the mid range with ease*

(3) maintain a keen eye for unprepared and distracted defenders

(4) force turnovers on defense

(5) rebound

 

use Wade heavily in the first quarter (he's on a roll) to grant an easier game for LeBron so he can gradually get used to playing with a mask

  >  *keep using bank shots off turnaround attempts, visually recognize who is sagging to you while you're dribbling, give priority to dribbling away from the baseline on iso's to the side of the lane

  >  know when the defense is either too focused or not focused enough on LeBron when he is offball (particularly when you are the primary playmaker for a given posession)

 

ration Oden's minutes so that he will gain the insight of knowing how he is expected to help the team from here on out

  >  having height on the bench to help in certain match-ups will pay off well, for opponents will be most worried about our dominance with running a smaller lineup

  >  Oden should play both when he is of optimal usefulness and in times where he will be forced to adapt

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You can't underestimate this Bobcats team. Walker, Big Al, MKG...they have a solid defensive team.

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You can't underestimate this Bobcats team. Walker, Big Al, MKG...they have a solid defensive team.

Yup, and it's a very possible playoff preview. So this game does have some relevance. 

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Guest magicmike

There is no such thing as a boring game when you watch the Heat.

 

agreed haha

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Look at the difference between 12th and 6th place in defensive rating. lol

Nah our defense sucks brah :rolleyes:

 

And yeah our Heat like to keep it close so it's never a boring game ;) let's keep chasing that #1 spot to cripple the Pacers psyche and keep DWADE PLAYING LIKE FLASH AGAIN while working Oden into his PT B)

 

Indiana, we see you

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Want them to stop toying with us and now since wade is out give some serious burn to Mike, sure he has played recently but I want extended minutes ago James and Bosh don't have to be the entire offense tonight

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Wow, this is the deadest I've seen the forum on a game night in a while. lol

Well, to be fair...Bobcats on a Monday night doesn't sound very appealing, but yeah it's pretty dead around here

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not sure if we are playing al jefferson or hakeem olajuwon 

He is extremely underrated. When people mention great centers in the league they talk about Howard, Noah and those guys but no one talks about Jefferson

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