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Miami Heat Struggle Against Golden State Warriors

It is no secret that the HEAT has struggled this season to shut down other teams before halftime. However, you could always put faith in the HEAT coming back in the fourth quarter and beyond.


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Watch the Miami came last night? What a game! What an ending! What a strange twist of events that allowed the Golden State Warriors to defeat the Miami Heat. The Golden State Warriors were not that good, actually. One of the best players on the team had a bad night of poor shooting but they were still able to pull off un upset over the Miami HEAT,

It is no secret that the HEAT has struggled this season to shut down other teams before halftime. However, you could always put faith in the HEAT coming back in the fourth quarter and beyond.

The HEAT’s fourth quarter defense was allowing less than 97 points per 100 possessions and things just kept getting better in the last five minutes with either team closer than five points.

So while it came as a huge surprise that the defense was taken out on the second-to-last possession of the game, when Draymond Green slipped a pin-down screen and caught a throw from Jarrett Jack, how shocking it was to discover this was the exact same play the Warriors had played earlier, in the first few minutes of the game – when they turned the ball over.

The setup in the first quarter, the HEAT had everything working for them. They are running as set play with Harrison Barnes bringing the ball up the floor off a dead ball turnover on the other end. The Warriors setup to run identical actions on either side of the paint. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson start in opposite corners and David Lee and Festus Ezeli giving them pin-down screen times to hit at the same moment.

Some teams will run this dual-action and have the guards criss cross just above the free-throw line. The purpose of this move is that the defenders could get mixed up or simply run into one another, opening up a three on one of the wings. Then, if the big comes from the lower side of the floor to help, the original screen setter slips to the rim.

But this does not always work. Then you risk your offense getting all bunched up and floor spacing working against you.

With two players on two different paths, the Warriors establish a strong and a weak side of the court. Curry still remains a threat but his primary option is to flare out off the second screen for a possible spot-up shot, and this almost opens up when Mario Chalmers gets caught on Ezeil.

Did you see Chris Bosh? We are not sure what is being said on court, but Bosh turns toward the ball indicating that Thompson is the real threat. So instead of overlaying the tougher pass to Curry, Bosh sinks toward the middle of the court to assist.

Even though Dwyane Wade has done well chasing Thompson and is just a step behind, the HEAT usually play off-ball screens like this the same as they do ball screens, which means the big-man defender has to at least show on the guard – preventing a quick pass and open shot in the same manner as they are meant to prevent a ball handler from turning the corner and driving the lane. Haslem does this, jumping up the floor to meet Thompson on the catch as Wade runs around the Lee screen.

Bosh, has transverse the paint to help Lee. He has left Chalmers with two men on the weak side.

Thompson passed to Ezeli who has two defenders on him and it is picked off. The Warriors then force the HEAT to go deep into their defensive rotations.

Now in the fourth quarter, the HEAT have missed two open corner threes and the game is tied with 10 seconds remaining. Lee sets his screen for Johnson a little higher up the court with Jack, a much better passer than Barnes, holding the ball up top.

Ray Allen escapes most contact with Lee and nullifies the first trigger, than Curry runs off his first corner screen and flashes the ball. Wade is on him the entire way. Once again, Thompson and Curry are forced to cut parallel to one another.

Here is the split second where things break down.

Not wanting to leave Wade by himself, Bosh steps up to Curry a little off his line. This takes Bosh out of positive to provide any help in the paint. For those few heart-thumping seconds Battier and Allen are on their own. Thompson takes a wide arc around the pick and Battier has to show out rather than up.

It all happens at the wrong moment. Allen is already coming around the screen himself and does not need a heavy show as Battier provides. Green is left to his own devices and he makes the heads up play and slips to the rim.

Battier took responsibility for the miscue, but more credit is due to the Warriors than fault lies with the HEAT. With only seconds left on the clock, Golden State Warrior player’s continued to run through their options, and they capitalized the moment one player was caught out of position. That is something to be proud of.

In the end, the final result will mean more to the Warriors than to Miami. It is said there is no shame in loosing a well-played game and it was a great pleasure to see a young team putting things together for a win. Good job Warriors.

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