Miami's defense has been much maligned early in the 2012-13 season, allowing an average of 99.8 points per game over their first five contests. Unfortunately for the rest of the NBA – it may not matter.
The Heat added two of the NBA's best shooters, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, and they have boosted the offense immediately. Coach Erik Spoelstra has sparked some offensive changes in the Heat's system, spreading the ball around more, and increasing the volume of shots attempted. He had this to say about the offense to-date:
"The ego-less part of it is one of our bigger strides right now. Guys are using their strength, their gifts, to create opportunities to force the trigger and the ball just moves to the open man. The challenge now is not getting bored with simplicity. A lot of those plays are simple."
Perhaps the Miami Heat have revolutionized the NBA again with their "no-position" system – the basic ideology that you put your best players in the best position to play to their strength. LeBron James, who has played every position on the floor for the Heat in the past, has been the primary ball handler, which allows the Heat to play at a pace that many teams simply can't keep pace with.
After last Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets, where the Heat carried a 23 point lead in to the fourth quarter, coach Avery Johnson had no answers for what the Heat were doing, saying:
"It puts your team in a bind…LeBron is more of a point forward and it spreads the floor when you bring in guys like Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis in the game. It opens the court up. They pass and cut and are fast."
While some would point to the Heat's defense and claim they are in trouble, they aren't concerned. They did allow 99 points to an offensively starved Phoenix Suns team, but they held a double-digit lead for the majority of the game and allowed Phoenix garbage points late in the fourth quarter. Spoelstra isn't worried about the defense, saying:
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"If we get to our identity offensively where we're attacking the paint, the rim and the free throw line as we're capable of…you control tempo. It's tougher for team[s] to run out on you. We can do a better job on defense. We did that [Monday] and we need to keep that going."