Heat half-court offense remarkably improved

BY foxsports • February 11, 2011

FOXSportsFlorida.com Heat Writer
Feb. 11, 2011

Take a good look at the Heat's half-court offense tonight against Detroit. Coach Erik Spoelstra has been bragging about it for the past few days. And this isn't a man who gives undeserved praise.

Spoelstra said Miami's half-court offense has gone beyond "Heat 2.0"

"It's already 3.0," Spoelstra said. "It might be a 4.0."

The Heat's half-court offense might be the team's success story of the first half of the season.

Early in the season the half-court offense was aimless. It had no point guard, no sense of how to attack and no semblance of leadership.

Then forward Chris Bosh found his way. Then forward LeBron James got comfortable. Then center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Then guard Dwyane Wade. Point guard Mario Chalmers remains a work in progress, but the reserve unit of James Jones, Mike Miller, Eddie House, Joel Anthony and Erick Dampier are all contributing to the improvement of the half-court offense.

The difference between the half-court offense in November and February is fairly remarkable. Now, the Heat know when to attack and which player will attack. The shooters know their spots, the passers know how to get them the ball. They rebound, they tip rebounds to each other, they go after loose balls, they swing the ball to the open shooter, they set good screens.

Look for all of that tonight when the Heat play Detroit. Compare what you see from the Heat's half-court offense tonight to what you saw from the Lakers and Celtics last night. The Heat compare favorably to both teams. And that's a reason to be encouraged about the Heat's playoff hopes as well as Sunday's showdown against the Celtics.

"Boston is a team we have to beat . . . They have what we want, and that's what we're playing for," Spoelstra said. "But we're playing for something more important, and that's to get to another level or two.

"We didn't necessarily know this level of our offense would happen this quickly. In the second half of the season we were going to focus on our half-court execution, and it's come together a little bit quicker in the last three weeks than we anticipated."

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