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Heat hold team meeting to address rebounding issues

Jan 5, 2013, 6:30 PM EDT

Miami Heat's Chris Bosh works against New Orleans Hornets' Robin Lopez as they try for the rebound in a free throw in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida

The Bulls took it to the Heat in Miami on Friday, winning 96-89 and outrebounding the defending champs by 20 in the process.

If this was an aberration, it wouldn’t be likely to bother a team that knows it has the talent to play deep into the postseason, while struggling from time to time with its regular season duties. But Miami has been getting killed on the boards all season long, so it was time to put a spotlight on this issue once again.

The Heat did not practice on Saturday, but held a team meeting to address the rebounding woes, according to a report from the Associated Press. They reviewed video of every single rebound from Friday’s debacle, a game in which the Bulls collected 48 rebounds to just 28 for Miami.

The quotes from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh after the loss to Chicago essentially told us that something like this was coming.

From Michael Wallace of

“It’s killing us,” Bosh said. “I’m out of recommendations. I’m trying to figure it out myself. It’s not the first time we’ve been outrebounded by 20. Who says that and is in first place in the East? We just have to keep fighting.”

“We’re not going to get bigger overnight,” Wade said. “We have to find a way to fix it or we are going to keep losing those games. ‘Go get the ball’ is all we can do.”

“If I knew, it wouldn’t be happening,” Wade continued on the poor rebounding efforts. “I don’t have the answer, and we don’t have the answer as a team.”

“It’s a recurrence — we got smashed on the boards,” James said. “You’re not going to win many basketball games like that. It’s not like we’re losing multiple games with one- or two-rebound [deficits]. It’s been by 15. Tonight was 20.”

The AP report correctly notes that the Heat rank last in the league in total rebounds, but a look at some of the more detailed statistics available shows that the team isn’t truly at the bottom of the league when it comes to cleaning the glass.

In terms of rebounding rate — the percentage of missed shots a team rebounds — the Heat rank 23rd. Still in the league’s bottom third, but not quite dead last, obviously. And on average, Miami gets outrebounded by 2.8 per game on the season — again, not good, but that differential places them at 23rd once more.

As a comparison, the Heat ranked sixth in each of those categories last season.

Rebounding is about a lot of things — tracking the ball, putting yourself in proper position, and exerting the effort necessary on every possession as a team to secure the basketball. It’ll come as the season progresses, and as the games get more important. For now, it’s simply the latest area of concern for the team that finds itself at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, rebounding issues and all.

  1. paintman34 - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Bosh has to step it up

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      as Barkley would say” jump” that’s how you get more boards……………
      and Riles use to say ” no rebounds, no rings”

  2. elbatazoperfecto - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Reblogged this on El Batazo Perfecto.

  3. nycalldayz - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    They need a team meet for that? The reason why they’re getting out rebounded, because they play small. You play small u give up size and rebounding. The Heat played the Bulls last night, one of the best rebounding teams in the league. So of course the Heat got out rebounded. The Heat need to find an adequate big man with size if that’s even possible in today’s NBA.

    • nbascreed - Jan 5, 2013 at 9:21 PM

      My sentiments exactly. All we heard at the beginning of the season was how Bosh at the 5 and Bron at the 4 would work. Maybe it does in other facets but the thing about the league is that bigs are still BIGS when it comes to banging and boarding.

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:17 AM

      Except, as the article noted, the Heat went from 6th in the league last year to 23rd this year, despite virtually the same roster.

      Last year, the starting lineup was Chalmers, Wade, James, Bosh, and Joel Anthony at center.
      This year, Anthony has lost minutes to Shane Battier as part of going small, with Miami favoring Chalmers, Wade, Battier, James, and Bosh as its starting 5.

      However, Joel Anthony (the Heat’s 6′ 9″ center) is a terrible rebounder and has always been a terrible rebounder, so him losing playing time doesn’t explain why the Heat are worse at rebounding with virtually the same top-8 guys on the roster who get all of the playing time as last year (only notable change being the addition of Ray Allen).

      • michaeljordanseviltwin - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:27 PM

        Great post. Agree completely. Taking Joel Anthony out of the lineup shouldn’t affect rebounding… just defense and shot blocking. I’m not too worried about the Heat’s issues. They are first in the east and certainly not playing to their potential yet.

      • savvybynature - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        While I have no doubt Anthony’s personal rebound numbers are unimpressive (as are most of his career numbers), somebody still needs to be there to box out a big. If he is doing that effectively, then it helps the team tremendously with rebounding.

        A better statistic than Anthony’s rebounds per game would be to look at team rebounding #s with specific 5-man lineups. I guarantee you they rebounded a higher percentage of misses with a lineup that features Anthony at the 5 and Bosh at the 4 as opposed to Bosh at the 5.

  4. cmart0907 - Jan 5, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Just play the big guy josh harrellson. Whats the worst he can do? 6’10” 270 take up space and grab boards. Maybe can step out and hit a couple three’s. Who signs someone and out them in a suit?

  5. edwardemanuelson - Jan 5, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Swing a trade for DeMarcus Cousins. He’s cheap, just give Sac a reasonable offer. They’d bite.

    • savvybynature - Jan 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM

      ^Textbook clueless homer.

      • eventhorizon04 - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:22 AM

        On every blog-post here at Probasketball Talk these days, there’s always at least one fan of every team who says, “Why don’t we trade 3 random scrubs and a second round pick for Demarcus Cousins, it’s easssyyyyyy.”

        If Heat fans really want to get Demarcus Cousins, he’s not joining Miami in exchange for Norris Cole, Joel Anthony, and a lottery-protected first round pick.
        You have to be prepared to say goodbye to Chris Bosh, and Miami has to take on some bad contracts to make the numbers work, since I suspect there’s a bit of a behind the scenes bidding war going on for Cousins. Cousins is a young big who could be an All-Star if he gets his head on straight – those are valuable.

    • jmclarkent - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:08 PM

      I was unaware that Kings signed Isaiah Thomas as GM…

  6. savvybynature - Jan 5, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    You play small you give up some boards.

    Playing small w Lebron is obviously a big advantage, but I think doing it all season is a mistake. Sure, you get more reps doing what you want to do come playoffs, but you take a beating and it’s difficult to do for long stretches.

    They need a true big man (sorry, boshasaurus) they feel comfortable giving start’s minutes, even if they don’t give them to him every night (depending on matchup).

    Still the best team in the East though.

  7. lakerluver - Jan 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Call me a “hater” but the Heat aren’t going to win the title this year. I said it at the start of the season and I’m even more sure of it now.

    • heatfan142 - Jan 5, 2013 at 9:30 PM

      lakerluver you’re so wrong it hurts; I say that as a fan, but even when considering the issue objectively the Heat, even with their problems, are still the best team in the East.
      You can’t possibly sit there and judge a team’s Playoff-winning chances off of the results of a few regular season games; ESPECIALLY when they have the best record in the East still.

      It also shouldn’t be expected for a team to play at their peak during the regular season; especially when they’re sitting on a 22-9 record.
      Not saying they shouldn’t play hard, they need to get ready for the playoffs, but they’re not to be underestimated due to some problems during the regular season.
      Better that they’re screwing up now than later is my mentality on the issue.

    • eventhorizon04 - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:24 AM

      Then again, you began the year saying, “This is the year Kobe gets ring #6!” and that’s looking….highly doubtful.

      So, no, you’re not a “hater.” You’re just a guy whose opinion isn’t very credible.

  8. thenmoveback - Jan 5, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    Each of the past 2 seasons the Heat have had some sort of “problem”. the season is still young and enough time to figure out what they are doing wrong in the rebounding game. Besides we have seen during the past 2 seasons this team steps up big when its playoff time.

  9. lakerluver - Jan 5, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    They have had problems the past two years. Last year they overcame those problems, the year before last they didn’t. Had Harden not soiled his undies the Heat might not have won it last season. That prediction of seven or eight rings looks ridiculous now. If LeBron does win a bunch of rings, and he still might, it won’t be in a Heat jersey.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      You do understand that 7 rings wasn’t meant literally, right? Competing for the championship every year was the point he was making, and in 2 years they won one and went to game 6 in the other. I’d say its working out pretty well.

    • philtration - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:06 PM

      They “overcame” their problems last season when Derrick Rose blew out his knee.

  10. sethy138 - Jan 5, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Simple get a real big

  11. mazblast - Jan 6, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Rebounding isn’t just about size, although that’s extremely important. It’s also about desire and dedication. Rebounding isn’t nearly as glamorous as slam dunks, three-pointers, or fancy passes, so it stands to reason that LBJ, Bosh, and Dyane the Kicker don’t want to expend the effort necessary. Their idea of rebounding is the long rebound that bounces in an empty area, to be picked up and turned into a “here you go, ESPN” moment at the other end.

    Get a decent widebody in there who wants to work and doesn’t care about his offensive touches, and the rebounding woes will be eased. Keep pretending Bosh is a 5 and LeBron a 4, and you’ll get what you’re getting now.

    • gmsingh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:14 AM

      “It isn’t about size” is an understatement: Nate Robinson was outrebounding some of the Heat players.

  12. soopreme - Jan 6, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    As a Heat fan I trust that the great Pat Riley is assessing the situation and will eventually make the right move.
    He knows he has to eventually make a trade and he also knows that he has the best trade assets. He is just being patient to make the kind of move to truly make this team a real dynasty.
    He knows that there are few dynasties without a somewhat dominate center and that is what he is waiting on.
    Mark my words, Riley will eventually pull the trigger on a dominate big man.

  13. eflem80 - Jan 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    The Heat are gonna lose in 5 or 6 to the Knicks in the ECF. Their team is terribly flawed form poor PG play to lack of size….

  14. paulhargis53 - Jan 6, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I will call you a felcher.

    Shut up moron. You’re opinion means nothing. You’re a Kobe ball sniffer and I’m sure you still think the lakers are winning it all. GKY.

  15. glink123 - Jan 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Laziness. Period.

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