The Heat’s defense has been spectacular this postseason, allowing just 101.7 points per 100 possessions. That’s good for third-best in the playoffs, and it’s even an improvement over their top five defensive performance during the regular season. They’ve allowed 100 or more points just once in their 14 playoff games, and they’ve clamped down in crunch time to the point where it doesn’t even matter that their last few seconds shooting percentages were terrible all year long. For all the talent they have offensively, it’s their defense that’s been winning them games.

You can chalk that up to strategies or a team buying in to what their coach is selling or any number of things, but the Heat’s defensive abilities really come down to one simple thing, which Derrick Rose explained last night.

From the AP:

“It’s extremely hard,” Rose acknowledged, “when a 6-8 guy can easily defend you.”

Yes, that does seem like a pretty nice advantage to have on that side of the ball. Having a strong, fast, athletic guy who can guard anyone from the league’s quickest guards to its strongest post players is a definite defensive weapon. And when the league’s MVP, a guy who looks unstoppable almost always, says that he makes things “extremely hard” and that he can “easily defend [him],” that’s impressive. Then, add to that another guy who has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive second team three times and is the shortest player to ever have 100 blocks in a season, and you can kind of understand just how hard it is to score against the Heat.

Obviously the Heat are more than one guy on defense. They are more than two guys. They’re a whole team of guys with long arms who are committed to shutting down the other team, plus Mike Bibby. However, having LeBron James at their disposal certainly makes things easier.

Unless Rose was talking about another 6-8 guy. James Jones, maybe?

Comments (5)

  1. That last Rose possession at the end of the 4th was a disaster I saw coming a mile away. As crazy as it sounds, I thought Thibs should have used Rose as a decoy there — and yes, I said that out loud before the in-bounds. I know, MVP, etc., but I don’t care who you are: If LeBron is guarding you for one crucial possession, then you are not the highest percentage scoring opportunity on the floor.

  2. “They’re a whole team of guys with long arms who are committed to shutting down the other team, plus Mike Bibby. ”

    So, so true.

  3. I can’t wait for the Dallas series to see how they defend Dirk.

  4. As crazy as it sounds.. If both Dallas and us make it, expect to see a TON of Haslem on Dirk. We’ll try some Joel on him and Dirk will abuse him and we’ll finally make a switch lol.

    But Haslem did an amazing job in 06 finals against Dirk, so we’re hoping we can rekindle some of that magic again. And definitely some LeBron on late game situations.

  5. Let’s give Bibby a little (actually deserved?) credit here. He’s played his ass off on the defensive end for probably the first time in his career this playoffs. When he went up and bothered Noah’s dunk attempt enough to get credit for a block (two games ago, maybe?), I almost passed out in shock. But it actually happened. Mike Bibby: trying on defense (with the help of two of the best perimeter defenders in the game and a long, aggressive frontline, but still).

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