Sports Perspective: Beating the Heat - The Explorer: Sports

Sports Perspective: Beating the Heat

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Evan Hofmann

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 4:00 am

Anybody who owns a television, radio, or has access to the Internet has heard of the Miami Heat. We have stamped nicknames upon them such as “the big 3”, “the Hollywood Heat”, or “the super friends”. We have immortalized their highlights and famous quotes such as “takin’ my talents to South Beach” and the infamous “not 1, not 2, not 3” championship speech. But do we truly understand how they function, what makes them tick, and most importantly, how they can be beaten? The basketball team has become more than a 1990’s-esque dynamic duo, a one man show, or a stacked super star experiment. Team president Pat Riley and underrated Coach Erik Spoelstra have transformed the Heat into a complex organism. The ball club is a riddle that is not easily cracked, but like any sports team, the Heat can be defeated. 

The backbone to Miami’s success is the masterful orchestration of offense led by none other than LeBron James. James has become a point-forward, meaning that though he is not the smallest or quickest player on the court, he is the one who facilitates the offense. Of course, Miami can also rely on shooting guard, Dwayne Wade, who compliments James by utilizing his athleticism, durability, and finesse in order to provide a second scoring threat for opposing teams. Yet, while Wade uses quick flashes to the basket to rack up points, LeBron prefers to strong arm his way into the paint via raw athleticism. King James’ basket driving attack is the most unstoppable offensive onslaught in the NBA, but what makes him especially dangerous is his keen court vision, as well as a passing ability that draws comparison to NFL quarterbacks. This is why the Heat organization has surrounded James by outside shooting specialists. High post whiz Chris Bosh, as well as legendary 3-point shooters Ray Allen, Mike Miller, and Shane Battier provide an offensive safety valve on the outside in case LeBron runs into any trouble when attacking the basket. This forces the defense to spread out, taking away their ability to crowd the inside, and thus minimizing Miami’s weakness of lacking size and strength. LeBron’s ability to collapse the defense and feed outside shooters has given aged and battered veterans a resurgence in their careers, as they could not remain so stationary on any other NBA team.

So how do you compete with a near perfect basketball team? There are three methods in particular that would prove highly effective against the 2012 Champions. First, opponents must force the Heat into playing a physical basketball game, one where less physical Miami players such as Wade and Bosh are constantly concerned for their health. Second, opposing organizations must build around quick, athletic, durable, and extremely tall players. A particular fusion of size and speed is crucial in order to keep up with Miami, while still exploiting their lack of height. This allows quick and long armed defenders to rotate in time to place pressure on outside shooters such as Ray Allen, and also uses athletic centers to make James think twice before taking the ball inside against towering defenders. Finally, teams must combat Miami by mentally attacking their engine, LeBron James, and bringing him out of his element. The San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Greg Popovich (who has been referred to as the LeBron James of coaches) accomplished this by leaving James open as he brought the ball up the floor. This lack of outside defenders goaded James into taking lower percentage shots rather than using his unparalleled athleticism to take the ball inside for one of his unstoppable attacks on the basket. 

This is the formula for defeating the Miami Heat. There is no such thing as an unbeatable basketball team. All it takes is careful planning, a brilliant coach, a blend of size and speed, expendable enforcers, near perfect execution, and maybe a Miami injury or two. In other words, it takes the perfect storm. Which reminds me, what’s the weather like in San Antonio this time of year?

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Kino College

Kino CollegeEnroll today:

HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 30

Boys Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View at Haven Golf Course

Ironwood Ridge, Buena, Catalina at Rincon (Dell Urich)

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at CDO

Maricopa at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Vista Grande

Poston Butte at Catalina Foothills

San Miguel at Pusch Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Wednesday, October 1

Girls Golf (3 p.m.)

Mountain View vs. Ironwood Ridge (Omnu Tucson National)

CDO, Sunnyside at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Sabino at Catalina Foothills

Cross Country (4:30 p.m.)

Ironwood Ridge, Sahuarita at Flowing Wells (Columbus Park)

Marana, St. Gregory at Catalina Foothills

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

CDO at Ironwood Ridge

Freshman Football (6 p.m.)

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills at CDO

JV Football (6.p.m.)

Marana at Maricopa

Salpointe at Mountain View

CDO at Catalina Foothills

Thursday, October 2

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Mountain View, St. Gregory’s, Pusch Ridge at Marana

Girls Volleyball (4, 5, 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Poston Butte

Catalina Foothills at Flowing Wells

Pusch Ridge at Willcox

Varsity Football (7p.m.)

Maricopa at Marana

Mountain View at Salpointe

Catalina Foothills @ CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Rincon

Friday, October 3

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Girls Vollyeball (all day)

CDO, Catalina Foothills at Falcon Invitational

Cross Country

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Desert Twilight Festival

Varsity Footbal (7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at San Tan Valley

Saturday, October 4

Boys Golf (all day)

CDO at Santa Rita/Flowing Wells Invitational

Swimming (all day)

Catalina Foothills, CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Brophy/Xavier Swim Invitational

Girls Volleyball (4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Desert Christian

MOS: U of A Football

We asked students about the University of Arizona's football game against Cal.

MOS: Storms and Floods

We asked the community about the coming floods and storms.

More Featured Videos

Follow us on Facebook