Spoelstra is still confident that the Miami Heat offense will get better

December 26, 2022

The Miami Heat’s defense has been fine this season, despite not yet playing at an elite level like the squad from last year. The Heat’s most significant problems have been on the offensive end through the season’s first two months.

The Heat had an offensive rating of 26th among the 30 teams and an offensive rating of eighth in the NBA entering Sunday. They had a sub-Christmas rating. 16-17 500 records. The last time Miami’s offense finished a regular season this low in the standings, the Heat finished in first place in 2018–19, and they also missed the playoffs. 26 out of 100 for the offense.

Erik Spoelstra, the Heat’s head coach, is still optimistic about the unit’s potential despite the team’s ongoing offensive difficulties because of the recent advancements he has noticed in the offense.

The Heat will have a good balance of paint pressure and threes as soon as players return from injury, according to Spoelstra, as they attempt to rebound against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday at FTX Arena after starting its four-game homestand with two defeats. “There is already some cooperation between the two. The outcome hasn’t necessarily been impacted. However, compared to six weeks ago, I feel much better about the process now than I did then.”

The Heat’s offensive production would undoubtedly increase with a healthier roster. According to Spotrac, Miami had missed the second-most games this season due to injury (124 missed games) in the NBA going into Sunday.

The metrics suggest that the Heat’s offense would improve simply by having star Butler, who has missed 12 of the team’s first 33 games this season, in the lineup more frequently. Butler sprained his ankle during Friday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, and he is questionable for Monday’s game against the Timberwolves.

With Butler on the court this season, the Heat has averaged 114.07 points per 100 possessions, which would place them eighth among all NBA teams in terms of offensive rating. Miami has only averaged 104 points per 100 possessions without Butler, which is the worst offensive rating in the league.

For us offensively, Spoelstra said, “some better things are happening. The balance between our rim pressure, paint pressure, and three-point shooting should be excellent once we start to get the guys back together. It’s necessary when we have players out, and if opposing teams are aware that we’re only using one particular item on the menu, it’s a little bit simpler to defend against us. “

The Heat’s paint touches and three-point shooting are related. The fact that Miami passes the ball on the fifth-highest percentage of its paint touches (28.2 percent) contributes to the fact that the Heat attempt the sixth-fewest shots (23.2 per game) at the rim in the NBA this season.

A lot of the Heat’s three-point attempts result from drive-and-kick plays, but for Miami to play its best drive-and-kick game, its best attackers, including Butler, Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, Gabe Vincent, and Victor Oladipo, must be healthy and available.

The Heat entered Sunday with a team three-point percentage of 34.4%, ranking 21st in the NBA. They must make more three-pointers for that process to succeed. Miami finished the regular season of the previous year as the top three-point shooting team in league with a percentage of 37.9 points, which helped the team finish with the 12th-best offensive rating and the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Spoelstra is still confident that the Heat’s offense will improve as the season progresses and the roster becomes healthier. It will become apparent in the upcoming weeks and months if that optimism is justified.

Spoelstra said the last three weeks had gone well, adding that he likes the direction things have been heading. “I feel like we’re understanding what we’re trying to accomplish and are being more intentional and purposeful in how we execute it. Some of the rotating lineups can impact rhythm and flow. However, in terms of our execution, we’ve been able to withstand many moving parts, which is advantageous from a coaching perspective. “