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Can the Heat be beat inside?

Aug 5, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for bosh_wade_james.jpgNobody is going to be better than the Miami Heat at the two, three and four spots.

But picture them playing Orlando. Jameer Nelson has the ball (guarded by Mario Chalmers) and Dwight Howard (covered by Joel Anthony) comes out to set the high pick. That is a hard-to-stop P&R combo for any team, and the undersized Anthony is really going to struggle to stop the strength of Howard rolling to the rim. LeBron, Wade and Bosh are going to have a hard time helping out because you can’t leave Orlando’s perimeter shooters (especially when JJ Redick is in for Vince Carter).

Can Orlando beat Miami this way? Can some combination of the O’Neals (Shaquille and Jermaine) along with Kendrick Perkins (when he returns from injury) do the same thing for Boston? Is there a model for beating the Heat?

Center appears the place to attack. But as Ira Winderman points out in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, it’s not that easy.

I think Wade and LeBron, and to a degree even Miller, rebound very well for their positions. Look, you can’t have it all, but I think the Celtics are somewhat of a size exception in the East. And it’s not like they will have more than two bigs on the floor at any time. If they did, it would mean Pierce or Allen or Rondo would be off the floor, which actually might favor the opposition.

Again, I think it’s all about matchups. Against the Celtics, Magloire will play. Against the Magic, the Heat might even try Udonis’ defense against Howard. Look, on most nights the Heat will be overmatched at center. But the opposition also will be overmatched at power forward, small forward at shooting guard. Heck, Michael Jordan’s Bulls often were overmatched at center, and they did just fine.

Only a handful of teams can even dream of matching up with the Heat. Particularly in the regular season, when teams have limited time to prepare and game plan.

What will be more interesting is the playoffs. Orlando and Boston certainly have some personnel that create their own matchup problems, some things to try and exploit. And those are two teams that reached the finals the last two years because their players know how to go right at a weakness.

The Heat have their own advantages to exploit. And that may well more than cover any weakness at the five. The regular season Heat are going to be a lot of fun. The playoff Heat are going to be interesting, because then we will see just how good they really are.

  1. ZakMan - Aug 5, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    I hav been saying this all along when people hav tried to say the Lakers will beat the Heat, but the only real advantage they have is Bynum at the 5…
    And i always respond saying that Bynum’s numbers will not even compete with the way LeBron rips up Artest and therefore u cant make the arguement that height alone will beat the Heat

  2. D - Aug 5, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    My prediction for next year: Heat will sign Tyson Chandler for the MLE. Should take care of that center problem and make them that much more difficult to beat.

  3. S - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    The Lakers have advantage at the 1, 2, 4 and 5 against the Heat so i don´t see this as a problem even though the gap at the 2 and 4 is not much.

  4. trueballs - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Zak, man. You can’t just do a +/- with stats to determine an outcome. Just like you can’t assume Bosh Wade and LeBron will maintain their scoring averages. Bynum managed to play through the entire playoffs this year and was at about 50%. When you got two very good 7 footers (Gasol also being a skiller passer) in your starting five it creates immediate problems for any team

  5. Atomsk - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    I’d take Kobe + Gasol over Wade + Bosh, and Artest can slow down Lebron… The Lakers have a problem defensively at PG, but the Heat are not exactly going to use Chalmers + Arroyo to attack defenses; While the Triangle limits the amount of responsibility for our PGs, leaving them to do what they do best.. Hit open 3s. Bynum and Lamar should more than cover the impact Lebron makes, and don’t sleep on Sasha… Don’t forget his last contract season; I have a feeling the Machine will be repaired this season. And this is all assuming the chemistry works, and the Heat can even play as a team for 82 games + post season. Every team goes through downs, and I’m not sure Wade/Bosh/Lebron will be able to handle it.

  6. Ferg - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    This is a funny comment. I love Lakers fans. Good luck.

  7. trueballs - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    Good point Atomsk. If LeBron loves comparing basketball and his life to a “business” than he should know the golden rule. Don’t mix business with pleasure. When does “work” not sacrifice relationships?

  8. JG - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    all u lakers fan are horrible, when u have 2 wings ( Wade and Bron )comming at you at full speed , Bosh can create his own shot, anthony at center can play a good D and at pg we have chalmers or arroyo but Miller will be on the game most of the time, then we have Haslem who plays like a warrior on defense, and we have House and Jones and Millers = lots of three’s on the board.. Im praying for this finals

  9. Maybe people have forgotten? - Aug 5, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    Bosh is overrated. Lakers have the advantage now, though I don’t think that will always be the case. They are better coached and have better players at every position but small forward. Artest will do a little bit to diminish LBJ’s effectiveness, and the fact Wade is the true alpha dog on the team (regardless of whether or not LBJ is superior physically) will not help LBJ, either. I’m not a fan of either team, but people who think that Miami is ready to take on the Lakers–they might not be ready to take on the Celtics until they acquire some bigs–is either a homer or isn’t seeing the big picture.

  10. Anonymous - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    I don’t care about Lakers vs. Heat. I do have to say, though, that the comment “Nobody is going to be better than the Miami Heat at the two, three and four spots,” implies that no power forward in the league is better than Bosh, which sounds like uninformed media hype.

  11. jaided - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    chalmers, arroyo, miller, haslem, house,jones,anthony,big z. wtf these are all bench players on any championship team. they would all be in the bench for the lakers behind odom and barnes on the lakers. come on miami fans get real. slap urselves.

  12. Rayjay Brown - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:13 PM

    There is no shortage of experts on the internet months before the NBA season begins. By the time June rolls around, these “experts” will have forgotten their own predictions and be making new ones.
    About the only prediction that seems safe: It should be an interesting and particularly exciting season for most NBA fans.

  13. jaided - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    bosh is the best power forward in the leauge? in europe. where u from and what u smoking. are u a raptor fan. their is plenty of pf same level or better then bosh.

  14. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    the four headed monster of joel anthony, magloire, big Z and pittman will be fine…the rest of the NBA is in trouble for the next 6-7 years
    lets go HEAT!!!

  15. jaided - Aug 5, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    these four players combined are equal to 1 laker. these four guys together will average odoms numbers. Damn miami fans are dumb. if i were a miami fan i would be real and just admit were good, but not good enough to win yet. they might be real good in 3 yrs when they are finally able to add other decent players to support the 3 player team. whos gonna score when they are sitting in the bench? or wait miami fans think those 3 guys will play every minute this yr. theyre gonna have to play so many minutes, theyre gonna breakdown late season. talk to lebron about his playoff performance when they needed him.

  16. Drew - Aug 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    I really think the size “disadvantage” the Heat have is being blown way out of proportion. Wade and James are outstanding rebounders for their positions, while Bosh is a career 9-10 board per game player. All their centres will be asked to do is rebound, defend, and make an open shot. They will also have a lot of fouls to give on Dwight Howard, a notoriously poor free throw shooter. Miami will also be strong defensively and chase the three point shooters off the line like Boston did. Yes, Howard is going to have a significant advantage, but all they need to do is slow him A LITTLE and they will rebound by committee. I believe the Heat will be one of the better rebounding teams in the league.

  17. tay - Aug 5, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    u bumb and stupid get off the computer

  18. Mo - Aug 5, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Part of the reason that Bosh has such a high rebound rate is that no one else on the Raptors that shares the floor with him can rebound. Versus the Lakers, the Lakers have the advantage at the 1, 4 and 5, 2 is a wash and the Heat have a major advantage at the 3. Defensively, the Lakers, Celtics and and Magic are far superior teams. Time and time again, strong defensive teams win championships.

  19. Ferg - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Why do Lakers fans think that Odom’s 10 points and 9 rebounds per game scare anyone? Those are Haslem number’s. And Pau Gasol’s 18 and 11…really? Bosh will avg more than 20 with wide open looks all day. So Haslem is a wash with Odom, Gasol is a wash with Bosh. Besides Kobe, where are all the rest of their points going to come from? Bynum? C’mon. Kobe and Bynum are going to outscore LBJ and Wade?
    I know I’m a homer. But you Laker fans have to admit. A series with Miami is no wehre near a foregone conclusion like you guys are making it out to be.

  20. Anonymous - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    so which laker is = to 4 heat centers? id love to know
    so what if they average odom’s numbers…the only thing that matters if they stop odom and the boys from averaging what they usually get
    real good in 3 years? we have 3 of the top 10 players in the nba and a very useful, veteran bench…what more can you ask?
    and just to let you know…the NBA has this thing called a rotation…its usually 8 guys…meaning that chances are, the big 3 will be split up at times and rely on guys like mike miller, haslem, big z, and eddie house to make shots…which is pretty reasonable being their capabilities in this league
    lakers, see you in the finals…just dont cry when you get burned
    ps, its laughable that you called me dumb when your knowledge of basketball doesnt extend beyond LA and your fanboyism

  21. Big L - Aug 5, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    Bosh is overrated? U Lakers and Celtics fans need to get off ur high horse. I guess being 1 of the few bigs to average 20 and 10 in his career is overrated huh? And now u hear the excuse is that he played on bad teams so thats y he had good numbers? are u kidding me? so does dat mean all those numbers K.G put up in minny were inflated wen he was playin on crappy teams?? no and lakers fans lets not forget it was only 2 years ago wen gasol was being called a guy who put up good numbers on bad teams And SOFT, And Dat Finals series where K.G basically ate his lunch. Point is it took for him to play with better players to make him even better, and same will go for bosh, and as a heat fan im not worried about Bynum or D.Howard.. Miami has 2 of the top free throw shooters in the league and im pretty sure the game plan against both is gonna be – attack the rim and get them in foul trouble, and that favors the HEAT because putting bynum on the bench and putting gasol at the 5 and odom or ratliff at the 4 takes alot of size out of the team. The Bobcats and Celtics have already shown the formula to beat the magic.. hack the hell out of D.Howard and let him get his points while u D’up on everybody else, And to me the Celtics have to many If’s- If Paul Pierce is healthy, If Shaq’s Healthy and doesnt Bitch about Minutes, If J.O Knees Hold Up, If Perkins come back 100%, If The old K.G come back and not the OLD K.G, not to mention with the exception of rondo they Have no wing defenders ( ray allen,nate,wafer) arent stopping anybody . and individually look at the numbers Wade & James have Put Up against the Lakers,Magic,and Celtics(see the playoffs) when the defenses were focused on jus stopping One of Them, Wat do u think is gonna happen wen there both on the same floor with another guy wh averages a double-double? O yea for all those sayin the heat will need to be defensive, they were a very good defense last year with scrubs , soo with a younger,longer, faster,more athletic team they will b scary on defense

  22. srq - Aug 5, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Does anyone watch basketball. Wade is fantastic on defense so is Lebron and then Bosh. Wade will make the other two much better on defense because they wont want to disappoint Wade and the rest of the team. Wade has consistently led the way for the Heat on defense. Lok at how good Wade makes the allstars play together and the olympic teams. The Heat will be just fine with whoever they place at center. Really, I keep reading all of this stuff about the Heat. I guess writers have to stir things up to print something.

  23. planktonDisciple - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    Everyone assumes these three ball hogs have a clue about team play.
    They are tremendous players on one team. Their is potential for a championship and a great team, but right now that’s all it is, potential. Hoops is a team sport. We’ll see.

  24. ron - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    the only real facts are: lakers champions 2 years in a row. miami does not have 1 regular season win yet. all wasted speculatin for hungry miami fans. i believe you should stop masturbating and wait to see if you actually can win something unlike the laker fans who know we can win 2 championships in a row. the last time i checked the nba recognizes the lakers as world champs, not the heat

  25. planktonDisciple - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    LAkers were the best, but the finals were very close, still in doubt until the last few minutes of 4th quarter in game 7.

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