It is almost playoff time in the NBA. For basketball fans, it is the best time of the year. You never know who will make a run, and who will become a legend in NBA history. Every team has a chance in the playoffs. But there is always a team that seems unbeatable in a seven game series. This year it is the Heat. After a bad loss to the Pacers in early February, it looked like the Heat were easily beatable. They then went on to win 27 straight games, manhandling some of the best teams in the league. How can they possibly be so good night in and night out? Here are 5 ways they beat you.
1. Three point shooting
The Heat were one of the best shooting teams in the league last year, and they have become twice as good this year. With the edition of the greatest three point shooter of all time, Ray Allen, and even better shooting from Lebron and Norris Cole, teams are forced to play tight defense on the heat. If you don’t, you kiss any chance of a win goodbye. When you do play tight D, they just let Lebron and Wade beat you to the basket.
When you watch the Heat play consistently, you notice something every game. Almost every shot the Heat take is a good look. All of the players are willing to make that extra pass to get the best look possible. It is even more impressive when you consider the especially good shooting they have. This unselfishness is priceless when it comes down to a game seven in the playoffs.
When the Heat lost to the Mavericks in the 2011 Finals, the coaching staff sat down and decided they needed to change their offense. With all the skill Miami has, they cannot afford to play like the rest of the league. The Heat incorporated a post offense for Lebron and Wade, opposed to leaving them on the perimeter, and it has paid dividends for them. Once they get going, they can just kick it out to their three point shooters. It is simple, but efficient.
The edition of Chris “Birdman” Andersen has really improved a good defense to a great defense. Lebron and Wade both are very strong forces on defense, but the Heat were lacking a strong piece to stick in the game for 15 minutes a night to help down low. Andersen has provided that, and now players are finding it even harder to get past the red hot Heat with the Bird standing in the middle.
5. Lebron James
Lebron is Lebron. There is nothing to describe the level that he is playing at right now. Teams used to play off of him and let him beat them with his shooting. Now he can actually shoot the ball. When you play up on him, he explodes to the basket and finishes with a layup or a dunk. When you play off of him, he just hits the jumper in your face. He used to be made fun of for not being able to finish in the clutch. Now it has become his trademark. He is “Jordanesc”.
With these 5 things going for them, the Heat are the best team in the league.