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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. T. Rogers - Aug 6, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    The Lakers are two time defending champs. The Celtics are defending EC champs. Until the Heat make at least the EC Finals the media and the Heat’s new fans should keep the talk to a minimum. The Lakers and Celts are the last two champions. Their fans have a seat at the table. Miami needs to prove something on the floor before their fans can be taken seriously. That is especially true since 85% just started paying attention to them a month ago.

  2. Big L - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:47 AM

    Dude ur delusional… Overrated and no respectable big worries about playing him? he had 24,10 and a block per game last year wat more does he have to do? he shot 80% from the foul line and 55% from the field still not enuff ? against the Celtics he Shot 66 % from the field 94 % from the line and averaged 25 and 11… did K.G , Perkins , and Big Baby take those games off? becuz if not seemed like he owned their ass to me.. O Yea against L.A last year..he averaged 20,10, and 5 assists.. guess Gasol,Bynum,and Odom Took those games off too huh? And im not even gonna get into the numbers wade and Lebron averaged against those 2 teams wen they were basically playing 1 on 5… or that they have 3 guy on the bench who shoot 39 % or better from 3, or that Boston will have worst chemistry wen shaq is on the floor therefore he wont play as much ( see phoenix and cleveland) , or that Bostons best defender is now in memphis and now ur relying on Avery Bradley, lil nate, and wafer… LoL yea good luck with that , and last but not be least all this bein said about Miamis defense and rebounding… Boston was a Horrible rebounding team last year with their ” bigs” playing…. So Spare me with this Big Baby and the O’Neal brothers are gonna do damage becuz a) ill take haslem over Big Baby Everyday of the week and twice on Sundays b) Shaqs not playin more than 20 minutes a game, probably less if in foul trouble and c) J.O cant jump anymore, still has a decent shot from midrange but i doubt Bosh is worried about being guarded by 2 guys with bad knees a guy off the bench whos like 6’8 and a Center who cant defend the pick and roll… Celtics fans better Pray Perkins comes back completley healthy

  3. t - Aug 10, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    If Bosh is over rated because of his previous teamates were not good and everyone seems to think Cleveland sucks now that Lebron left can’t the same be said about him? Now that I think about it I guess Wade is also over rated as well as Durant and Chris Paul. You know you can also reverse the argument Mo williams is really an awesome player just Lebron was getting in his way. This is all stupid you are not over rated if you did it good team bad team doesn’t matter you scored those points got those rebounds. Something obviously has to give on personal stats when you play with other great players but that does not make you over rated. I am not particularly a fan of Bosh but to say he is over rated doesn’t make sense. He is not as good as wade or James but he is all star calliber. The numbers don’t lie regardless of the team your on.

  4. t - Aug 10, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    You are right about boston except they may just tire him out enough to make a diffrence. Also Jordans Bulls showed us that you do not need a good center or a good point gaurd to win it all. With the HEat it will come down to one thing can these three guys play together if they can and adjust there games accordingly then maybe not the first year but the next 4 years will be very intresting especially with Boston age and lets face it Kobe is 32 that is old in this NBA.

  5. Anonymous - Aug 20, 2010 at 8:13 PM

    y so sure la makes the finals??

  6. Anonymous - Sep 3, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Udonis Haslem gaurd Dwight Howard?? Rightttttttttttttttttttttt…
    As for the Bulls being overmatched at center… not really…maybe offensive talent but they had 3 pretty big 7 footers in there for a total of 18 fouls lol… i mean yeh haslem, illgauskus and anthony can do the same thing for u but u gotta respect will purdue, bill weddington and luc longley!

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