With even Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra acknowledging that opponents have a read on his team’s offense, the goal now is to flip the script.
The hope, Spoelstra said going into Friday night’s game against the visiting Indiana Pacers, is that a return to health will mean a change in the offensive outlook.
With the Heat entering Friday second in the NBA in terms of games lost to injury or illness by their players, according to SpoTrac, as well as second to last in the league in scoring, Spoelstra said the optimism is an increase in player availability will lead to an increase on the scoreboard.
“When we start getting guys back together, I think there’s going to be a great balance between our rim pressure, paint pressure and our 3-point shooting,” Spoelstra said.
“When we have guys out, it’s just by any means necessary. And if other teams know that we’re just kind of tapping into one specific part of the menu, it becomes a little bit easier to defend.”
Such had been the case in recent games with Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and other rotation elements sidelined.
“As we get guys back, we’re going to have a real good balance of paint pressure and threes,” Spoelstra said. ”I think that synergy between the two is already happening.
“It hasn’t necessarily reflected the result. But the process, I feel much better about this process the last two or three weeks than I did six weeks ago.”
For those that have noted a lack of attack mode, Spoelstra said the attackers are back to attack.
“I think our paint attacks have been trending in a much better way the last two or three weeks,” he said.
“When we have a few more of our guys, certainly that ability to attack the paint, attack the rim, put a little more pressure in those areas, it can work hand in hand, so we’re not just only living by whether we’re making threes or not.”
With the team’s return to health, Spoelstra said it also will allow guard Tyler Herro to get back to a more diverse menu.
“His diversity and versatility is paramount for him and for us,” Spoelstra said. “If it only becomes pick-and-roll basketball, it can be schemed. And that’s what we saw [Tuesday] with the Bulls and what we’ve seen the majority of the teams. They’re going to trap the pick and rolls and get the ball out of his hands. We do have some counters for that, and we’re getting better.
“He’s getting much more comfortable getting trapped. But he has an ability [unlike] with a lot of high-usage guys that are only pick-and-roll guys, Tyler can just as effectively play off the ball. And that’s much more difficult to scheme against. So he’s being a lot more assertive on those plays.”
Herro on Thursday teamed with the Voices for Children Foundation for a shopping spree at the Nike store . . .
Heat center Bam Adebayo on Thursday hosted his fourth-annual Christmas Experience for students from the Liberty City Youth Center. The event took place on the Heat’s practice court, in conjunction with the BBB (Bam Books and Brotherhood) Foundation . . .
Heat captain Udonis Haslem was among those participating Thursday in an ice cream party and holiday gifts giveaway to children in the after-school program at the Belafonte TACOLCY Center. The event was part of a Miami Connected initiative to provide access to high-speed, high quality internet service at home, at no cost, to families that qualify . . .
Previously, for the 15th year the Heat last week teamed up with the Share Family to provide toys and gifts to children of the South Florida community from each of the three Heat Academy schools.
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