Blog Entry

NBA Finals: Heat trying to get the glass back

Posted on: June 4, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 4:06 pm

Posted by Matt Moore

Game 1: Miami grabs 16 ofensive rebounds to six for Dallas, controlling 35 percent of all available offensive rebound opportunities. Miami wins. 

Game 2: Rick Carlisle talks exhaustively before the game about improving their defensive rebounding and keeping the Heat off the glass. Dallas wins the offensive glass 11-6, controlling 31 percent and only surrendering 11 percent to Miami. The Mavericks win by two. 

So going into Game 3, offensive rebounding has to be paramount on the minds of both teams. Extra possessions for Miami means more chances for the superstars to do their thing. Conversely, more offensive rebounds for Dallas means tip-ins from Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler with the advantage they have in the paint athletically.

Udonis Haslem told reporters Saturday it was a matter of mindset, and it starts with defense. 

"It's going to be our focus. Ground and pound has been our mentality, physical style of play. We've got to be physical. We got away from some of our defensive principles. It's kind of hard to rebound when you take the ball out of the net 10 out of 11 possessions." 

Joel Anthony said the problems were both in scheme and intensity.

"It's got to be a greater focus. There's certain situations, where guys who are coming across the lane, we're not blocking out. So it's a matter of both. We've got to be active and attack the glass, but it's also a matter of finding their offensive rebounders and getting a body on them."

Rick Carlisle made note that for the Mavericks, it's a matter of "disposition." 

"It's scrambling and it's an awareness that our team has to have five guys on the boards. It's not just their bigs. It's not just Anthony, Halsem, and Bosh. We did do a better job."

You have to wonder if, in addition to the lower number of misses for the Mavericks in Game 2 overall, if shot selection for Miami played into their lowered total. Most of the Heat attempts were from long or mid-range, with Wade and James two of the better rebounders stuck on the perimeter. With the Mavericks swooping in on the wings for the long rebounds, and controlling things down low, that afforded an opportunity to shift the battle towards Dallas' strengths. And it worked. Now it's up to Erik Spoelstra, in addition to fixing the offense, defense, and mental intensity on the road in a hostile environment, to also get the glass evened out. 

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