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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. Tony - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    Sorry I will take D Wade over Kobe.Kobe has the rings so everybody things he is the greatest but he only wins with great teams! He shot 6 for 23 against Boston and the Lakers still won! In the world games, Wade was MVP not Kobe! Against a good defense like Boston Kobe gets shut down but Wade averaged over 30 points per game against Boston! Even scored 46 in one game! If Wade was playing with the Lakers the last 7 years he would have 7 rings!

  2. jaided - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    u are dumb or just ignorant to think because miami got 3 of the top 10 players is gonna make a good team. u guys have bums other then the 3 all bums how can anyone compare odom to haslem talk about my knowledge of the game now thats the dumbest comparison in the history of comparissons. seriously. some fans in miami i bet still rock the odom jersy. u probably have one in ur closet. dont front. u gonna say ppl in miami have haslem jerseys. come on now these miami clowns. Ill still rock a shaq laker jersey where he was a real beat.

  3. Cordae - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    Some of the comments I’ve read here are funny “Artest can slow down LeBron”?? lol on what planet? LeBron owns artest. With that being said, lets just wait and see what happens. The lakers have the last 2 rings but have NEVER played a team with this type of power. So we’ll see..

  4. steve - Aug 5, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    what a stupid argument and comment. you are the only one that thinks wade is better than kobe. not one sportwriter or analyst thinks wade is better than kobe. most think that wade is 4th best in league behind queen james and durant.i think 5 rings, mvp, scoring title, 1st team defense every year and 13 years of proven greatness makes him better.what has wade won aftr shaq left.

  5. jaided - Aug 5, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Dumbest comparrison in the history of comparrisons now!!! u win the prize i hadnt even read this till now. Now thats funny stuff. I dont have nothing else to say.

  6. Cordae - Aug 5, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Lakers fans dont see out of California. Wade is a thief off the dribble and if you watch sportscenter EVERY night you would see Lebron chasing someone down to glass their sh*t or toss it in the stands. Watch basketball dummies, they will have defense! If you’re really a basketball fan (meaning you dont only pay attention to the great players) you’d see that Mario has some of the quickest hands in the league. Like Isaid before, we’ll have to see. But considering this as a blowout for either side really shows how low your basketball IQ is.

  7. jaided - Aug 5, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    noones calling it a blowout, and mario with the quickest hands in the leauge doesnt get him pts or asst whats the point of the quick hands.

  8. Come onnn - Aug 5, 2010 at 9:52 PM

    People who are hating on the Heat are simply afraid. Lakers, Celts, Magic, whoever else. I like how people point out what the Heat lack at the 5, but what about the disadvantage the Heat create for the opposing teams? Wade and LBJ can’t be doubled anymore…these guys don’t have to be a one man team anymore…3 superstars…Gasol never carried a team before…Wade has…LBJ has…come on now…these 3 are going to be electric and they do indeed play D…Celts are too old, Magic really are over hyped…what have they done?? So yea, see you Laker fans in Miami for game 1 in June!

  9. Zachariah Blott - Aug 5, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    Of course they can be exposed inside. Here’s a complete primer on how to beat Miami.

  10. Maybe... - Aug 6, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    Yes, Bosh is overrated. No respectable big in the league worries about having to play against Chris Bosh. Don’t get me wrong: he’s a solid player, but he’s not going to be enough down low. I’m not a Lakers fan and I’m not a Celtics fan; I’m just stating the obvious. You brought up KG, but I don’t think anyone would argue that Chris Bosh is in the same caliber as KG in his prime, stats be damned. The Heat will be good, and it won’t surprise me if they win a few championships…but they are a few pieces away. They don’t need a huge piece, but they do need better role players than what they have right now. And speaking of injuries: Wade is by far one of the gutsiest players in the league and will be the glue that holds this team together, but he’s not exactly Mr. Durable.
    I’m just glad the Heat have fans again. If that fan base doesn’t think they’re in a championship year, they completely wilt. The people in South Beach folded up their Lakers and Celtics jerseys for a few years.

  11. 1336 - Aug 6, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    All these lakers fans r stupid the only reason kobe was on alldefensive is because he had a good reputation. Dwade gets about two steals and 1.5 blocks per game almost while Kobe gets 1.5 & .8 a game. So don’t be boastin that Kobe is beter cause he has more awards- it’s only cause he has a good rep. Which he has from winning a lot which he has from good role players and good starters. And now dwade has that. 6 championships in six years for heat. UNSTOPPABLE!!!

  12. Kirk - Aug 6, 2010 at 1:40 AM

    I’ll go w/Wade & Bosh ….. let the bettin’ begin !

  13. Desi_B - Aug 6, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    Did you really spout of such ignorance? by starting out calling Lakers fans stupid? wow they really shud not let 3rd graders on here I know its summer break but damn. Kobe can D up 2 thru 4. can Dwade? Its not how many steals they get its Man up when it gets to the 4th quarter. That is what Kobe gives you. btw Artest aint so bad at that either. Dwade needs what he had when he won a championshiup a MAN in the middle. 6 ships please. this team plays together 2 yrs no rings and go their separate ways.

  14. davidly - Aug 6, 2010 at 4:41 AM

    It’s not just that they are overmatched at center. It’s that they are overmatched in the middle – Bosh notwithstanding. Garnett old? I’d take him next year over CB in a heartbeat. And the Lakers with Gasol and Odom (and maybe Bynum) are not the only thing that beats the Heat.
    Bryant/Artest and Pierce/Allen are not exactly pushovers. Some of the Bulls teams of the ’90s may have been overmatched at center, but what other teams at that time had answers at the swing position for Jordan/Pippen? Sorry, but, at least for next season, Wade/James are not that far in front of the competition.

  15. luffy - Aug 6, 2010 at 5:09 AM

    Sorry to all Miami fans but it’s gonna be a Lakers-Celtics finals again next season. Heat will/could win but not til Kobe is still on the league. Yes, it’s alright to dream, keep praying and dreaming…
    I’d pick Pau or KG over Bosh any day of the week. Celts got Shaq and if you know Bball then you know that noone in Miami could stop Shaq, seriously…
    Laker 3 peat in 6 games over the Celtics…

  16. luffy - Aug 6, 2010 at 5:17 AM

    Ok got it! Don’t worry much coz Miami ain’t getting to the finals. Chicago or Boston would smoke their sorry ass in the playoffs…

  17. luffy - Aug 6, 2010 at 5:30 AM

    Oooohhh I’m scared… very scared…
    Can’t wait for the Lakers-Heat game, hope Snoop Dogg is there too coz he and Bosh look like long lost Brothers, Damn, Brotha from anotha motha…
    Kobe shoots a buzzer beater over Wade&LBJ and says Merry Christmas, nice and sweet…

  18. luffy - Aug 6, 2010 at 5:35 AM

    I want to laugh but how? Oh got it, I’m gonna follow your advise and I’m gonna call you dumb, DUMB! DUMB! DUMB! now that’s laughable…

  19. luffy - Aug 6, 2010 at 5:45 AM

    You are the most stupid among all the stupid things, “Kobe was on all defensive team because he has good reputation”? So the Pope could go to the NBA and automatic he’s on the defensive team coz he has good reputation?

  20. Vm - Aug 6, 2010 at 7:41 AM

    Here is how I see the lakers defending the heat.
    Matt Barnes on Lebron, not sure why the assumption is Artest
    Kobe on Wade
    Artest on Bosh

  21. Danny - Aug 6, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    SUPERMAN FOR 2010 MVP!!!!!! 24PPG, 3.5BPG, 13RPG .65FG%…… DONE DEAL!!

  22. Anonymous - Aug 6, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Despite what you may believe, Ron Artest is an excellent defensive player. Although you can not stop LeBron altogether, you can still hold him to a limited number of points. Basically these two teams match up pretty equally other than the 5 position when you look at. Kobe vs D-Wade. Artest vs. LBJ. D-Fish vs. Chalmers. Odom vs. Bosh(The matchup to watch) and Bynum vs. Whichever scrub Miami puts out there. This is going to be a good game and come down to the wire every time barring injury. Well maybe. Take into consideration the fact that the Lakers have great players off the bench and the Heat have an average supporting class. That’s the difference in this matchup. Your argument is correct about the height, but yet false in that LBJ will not be able to beat the Lakers by himself. Lakers will win this matchup 9 times out of 10 due to their support players. (Btw…This is coming from a Mavs fan with an unending hate for the Lakers)

  23. jaided - Aug 6, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Im glad mavs fan live in the real world.

  24. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Aug 6, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    i just cant see how anyone can possibly say that the lakers bench will be better than the heat’s bench especially when considering that the heat have 4 capable centers(if only being capable of taking up space and keeping other bigs out) and then throw in mike miller and eddie house coming off the bench as shooters
    if wade, lbj and bosh didnt play together at the olympics and didnt play well together, id say maybe there would be an issue with chemistry…but they did play well and delivered a gold…why people think this will be any different is beyond me

  25. jaided - Aug 6, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Do u know basketball. how could u compare miamis sorry ass bench to the laker bench. 2 starters on miamis team would be what adam morrison is to the lakers….nothing. The olympics….this guy, who did they play?and who were the players they played on those teams. r u serious.Go watch the marlins who have more titles then the heat in their histories.

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