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Miami shredded the Dallas zone in Game 1

Jun 1, 2011, 12:20 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

Dallas has counted on its zone defense as more than just a change of pace. In a series where Tyson Chandler might have to chase Chris Bosh out on the perimeter, the zone could be a way to keep Chandler in the paint protecting the rim.

But in Game 1, the Heat just shredded it.

Mario Chalmers drove into the heart of it and drew fouls. Chris Bosh was shredding it with interior passing. Mike Miller and Chalmers knocked down threes over the top of it. And the zone is a notoriously poor defense for rebounding anyway, and that turned out to be a big problem for the Mavericks in Game 1.

CBSSport’s Matt Moore asked the Heat’s Chalmers about the zone.

“They’re going to play a lot of zone, that’s who they are. When we’re hitting shots like that, we’re hard team to stop. And tonight we were able to do that.”

According to ESPN Stats, the Heat scored 20 points on 18 zone possessions by the Mavericks. That works out to 1.11 points per possession, which is higher than the 1.06 they had on other possessions. (Think of it this way, Miami averaged 1.093 points per possession during the regular season and no team was higher than 1.095, but Miami was better than that against the zone.)

It’s one weapon Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle may have to leave in the bag from now on.

There are two ways to really attack a zone — pound it in the middle or shoot over the top of it. Miami did both.

Remember Udonis Haslem’s late game and-one that was one of the dagger plays of the game? Came against the zone. Miller’s second half three? Against the zone.

It changed things this way — Dallas had to go away from it. Which means they had to play man-to-man on Dwyane Wade and LeBron James late. Advantage Heat.

Dallas’ bigger issues are on the other end of the floor — they have got to knock down shots against the Heat defense to stand a chance — but not having one of their go-to defensive sets will hurt the Mavericks as well.

  1. silk32 - Jun 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    Time for all of Lebron’s detractors, including Barkley, to eat that proverbial crow >>

    • barkley4life - Jun 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      Hi Haters! lol…..

    • Waxxx4321 - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:47 PM

      barkely you need to get a a new user name…using Charlies names proves your a wannabe..just a commentator who does not know the game…a big mouth..and the heat Rock..

  2. rbrown4495 - Jun 1, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Where are all the HATERS MAN.Ever since Miami beat up Boston and Chicago the haters have been more quiet and are hiding out somewhere. Lets lay some corn out on the ground and see if the chickens will come out to eat crow, LOL. Wow, if Miami does complete this mission, watch out NBA once they get a better bench, YAW IN TROUBLE MAN!

    • david8726 - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      One of my favorite phrases is “happiness is the best revenge.”

      The Haters are hiding? Let em hide.

      If we go on the win the championship, I’d urge my fellow Heat fans to be classy. You don’t wanna drop to the level of the people who have been bashing on the team all year long.

  3. lunasceiling - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    *shrug* Dallas was ice-cold when the Heat doubled, and THAT was by far the biggest factor in what was a pretty close game. Unless the open shooter is hitting, a doubling defense has no reason to stop doing what it’s doing. But it’s unlikely that the Mavs will continue missing so many open jumpers…OR that the Heat’s excellent defense will adapt accordingly. This looks to be a really entertaining Finals, at least for people who just want to see good basketball.

    • david8726 - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      Dallas shot 40% from three. They weren’t THAT cold when they got shots out of double teams.

      Are you expecting them to shoot over 50% from the outside going forward?

      • southbeachtalent - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        Exactly David..

        luna do you expect the Heat to shoot 38% from here on out?

  4. nfl25 - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    just curious, if someone doesnt like my team, the sixers, are they a hater?

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      No one has called anyone a hater on here…

      So far it’s a discussion, I’ll let you know when the hating begins..

  5. davidis57 - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    The dictionary describes hate as a extreme emotional dislike. Another definition says intense dislike. Hate can also mean an intense desire to murder the one hated.

    I have dificulty with people using hate in describing dislike for another team. Its immature its only a game. I am a Boston fan and I say best of luck to both teams and whoever wins great.

    I think the dislike for Miami is because not that James changed teams players change teams all the time its because James made a media circus out of it. People are critical of that. Hopefully he learned not to do that in the future.

    Shaq retired today with no fanfare. He announced to his fans on Twitter first and than quietly announced his retirement. If anyone had a right to make a big deal of it he did.

    Anyway dont use the word hater to describe another teams fan. Hate is strong word and sounds like its coming out of the mouth of a kid.

  6. david8726 - Jun 1, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Kind of ironic you bring up Shaq. His retirement today might be the one thing he’s done throughout his career without much fanfare.

    Not bashing on the MDE…. just stating a fact.

  7. philiplewis1 - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    The Mavericks played a horrible game, i.e. shooting percentage, turnovers, rebounding yet were still right there late in the game. Can’t see another performance as poor as this one and I think the Heat know that too. May be the pressure of Game 1 got to them a little. Can’t wait for the rest of it to see.

  8. secdominance - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:56 PM

    Zone is for cowards

  9. coltsfanindc - Jun 2, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    agreed David. plus we want than one anyway(i want them to win at least 3 in 5yrs. at least thats the bet i made w/ my co-worker). so if they win, we’ll be happy, while hoping they can do it again…and again…. and again

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