[credit provider=”Getty Images/Mike Ehrmann”]
On paper, the fact that the Miami Heat’s defence has fallen off a cliff this year is the most surprising story in the NBA.They’ve slipped from 4th in the league in defensive efficiency last year to 24th in the league this year. They’re giving up almost eight more points per 100 possessions, and they’re losing to the Wizards and getting blown out by the Knicks as a result.
But ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh, who follow the team’s every move, says there’s nothing to it:
This is so boring, but the Heat’s D woes can basically be boiled down to a lack of effort. Not much else to say.
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) December 7, 2012
The Heat are cruising through the regular season, just like they did last year. They’ve shown that they can “turn it on” whenever they want to, and once that happens the defensive issues — slow rotations, bad help around the rim — will go away.
Last year in the dog days March they were 10-7, got blown out four times, and lost to every good team they played. Then they turned it out. There’s no reason to think that won’t happen again this spring.
It’s not a structural problem, it’s a motivational problem.