May 24, 2005

"What you talkin bout Wallace"?: Wade sa going on here?

posted by HOE.O.K. to basketball at 05:08 PM - 3 comments

Let's not forget our friend, regression to the mean; Wade does not shoot that poorly regularly, and the odds are that he'll return to form in Game 2. The Heat win Game 1 if 5 shots fall that typically fall but didn't that night, and you can find those shots just in Wade's uncharacteristic misses. It was an impressive feat, Detroit holding Miami scoreless for the last 4 minutes; but it wasn't due to pressing defense so much as good boxing out for the rebounds, so that the Heat misses fell right into Detroit's hands. If the Heat are hitting their shots, the Pistons couldn't afford to cluster, which opens up second chance points to the Heat, etc... Tangent: Which brings up my perennial pet peeve, and the one real advantage Detroit has: if your shots aren't falling, you damn well better have a blue-collar, low-post game to get you some quick and easy layups, or you'll go scoreless for 4:01 to end a playoff game. I wasn't bothered by Miami missing even some open jumpers, I was bothered by them not working a good, moving offense, with pick and rolls and give-and-gos. There is little in basketball as hard to defend as a well-executed pick and roll, yet it's stunning how often a team that falls behind suddenly forgets how to execute good cutting plays that have players moving without the ball. I saw the same thing when Seattle lost 98-96 in the Spurs/Sonics Game 6; a team needing to score resorting to desperate, clearly unplanned jumpers with a lot of players just standing around and no friendly jerseys under the basket, instead of working the ball in, out, and around until that one defender is late getting to position and leaves your guy open to cut hard to the rim. That's how you kickstart your offense, because once the fundamentals game in the interior starts clicking, the opposing defense has to concentrate on it, allowing your outside shooters to be more open and set, which gets them clicking, and next thing you know you have one of those 12-0 runs where every shot you put up just falls, and every player is clicking as one. Miami was guilty of the same thing Monday, relying on weak spot-up jumpers instead of really moving the ball, and making Detroit work for a stop. Anyway, the point is, basketball is very much a game of these cascading connections, and if one link grows weak, the rest starts to falter as well. Similarly, if one link grows strong, the rest can be built up by that: if Wade starts nailing jumpers like a mo'fo, the Pistons have to give him more attention, which means other Heat become more open, etc, etc, etc. What was missing in Game 1 was that Wade spark, and they didn't know how to play fundamentals basketball until that spark came back.

posted by hincandenza at 08:45 PM on May 24, 2005

Seems pretty obvious to me that the Heat are just the Lakers East. Detroit is gonna handle the Heat and Shaq and Wade the same way they handled Shaq and Kobe & Co. last year. They handcuffed Kobe then and now they are doubling down on Wade and the results will be nearly the same. Plus the fact that Wade isn't a big game proven player like Kobe will make this near sweep. Detroit in 5.

posted by bluekarma at 01:30 AM on May 25, 2005

Hal is looking like he knew what he was saying.nice insight.

posted by HOE.O.K. at 01:55 PM on May 30, 2005

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