Found November 05, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
MIAMI -- LeBron James didn't think anybody would be talking about defense after the offensive show his Miami Heat put on Monday night.
The Heat scored their most points since the fifth game of last season in a 124-99 rout of Phoenix at AmericanAirlines Arena. They had a team-record eight different players make a 3-pointer while shooting 57.1 percent from beyond the arc.
But James, who scored a game-high 23 points, said it wouldn't have been possible had the Heat not played such sound defense.
"We preach defense here," James said. "A lot of people are not going to talk about it because of how well we're shooting the ball right now, how well we're scoring the ball. But when we defend at a high level, that's what we want to do in this building, when we defensive rebound, when we turn teams over, it makes the offense that much easier."
Those on the highlight shows might not talk too much about defense when shown are dunks and tape-measure jumpers, including a 40-foot bank shot by Norris Cole at the first-quarter buzzer. But show James some love. Talk about the Heat defense while at the water cooler Tuesday before election results are posted.
Talk about the Heat holding the Suns to 39.8 percent shooting. Make note of them winning the rebounding battle 49-38.
OK, so Phoenix having 99 points might not look all that great. But it was such a fast-paced game with so many possessions that the Suns' point total is misleading. And they did pad their numbers during garbage time.
Miami's defense was important Monday because it took last Saturday off. The Heat watched Denver shoot 51.8 percent, outrebound the Heat 47-32 and have eight blocks to their three.
Miami was very fortunate to win that game 119-116. That's why the Heat weren't staring at a 1-2 start and sharing some headlines with the Lakers about what the heck is wrong with one of the NBA's superpowers.
"It was just about trying to make a better effort as we continue to get better as this team," Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who scored 22 Monday, said about making up for the crummy defensive showing against the Nuggets. "We're not last year's team right now. We're tying to find our own identity and right now we have work to do. And defensively obviously is what we're going to focus on because that's what wins championships. So we did a better job (Monday) of having a better effort."
As great James was offensively last season, the Heat wouldn't have won the title had they not stepped up on defense regularly when it counted. They'll have to do that again this season if the want to repeat.
Yes, the Suns are terrible. But the Heat (3-1) wouldn't have shot 54.7 percent had their defense regularly not gotten them out on the break. The Heat were 15-of-26 from 3-point range, which is better than some teams do in an empty gym.
"That really was our focus coming out," said Heat guard Ray Allen. "So, as much as you may say that (offensively) that's the type of night it was for us, defensively was where we kind of hung our hat From that aspect, it got our offense going."
Allen helped the Heat barrage of 3-point shooters by going 3-of-4 and scoring 15 points to become the 24th player to reach 23,000 for a career. But he seemed most content after the game talking about defense.
So did point guard Mario Chalmers even though he shot 3-of-3 from 3-point range and had 11 assists. But he also had three steals and a blocked shot. Hey, a blocked shot is a big thing for a guy who entered the night with a career average of .13 in that category.
"We wanted to come out and get back to Miami Heat defense," Chalmers said of the team making up for the Denver game. "So I think we did a pretty good job of it."
They did a good enough job that the first words out of Miami coach Erik Spoelstra's mouth in his post-game press conference had not to do with any offensive numbers, but with defensive ones.
"It was good to see two numbers," Spoelstra said. "The sub-40 percent allowed and winning the rebound battle. I'll take those two things. Everything else was just the cherry on top."
The highlight shows after the game will show the cherry. It's a lot more sexy.
But make James happy. Talk about Miami's defense. He doesn't think you will.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Remember all the rumblings during training camp that LeBron James was adding another offensive move to his repertoire?
Rumors had him adding a sky-hook shot, then there were video clips of him practicing the sky-hook.
Well, the rumors were true about the sky-hook.
James debuted his new shot against the Phoenix Suns, which went wide-right and drew some a smile from fellow teammate...
I’m untouchable T…
We know Gloria James has skirted the law a few times, and often it’s her famous son who comes to her rescue. Now her coattail rides are getting old. Here’s the scoop via Gossip Extra, “She’s been getting the red carpet treatment from South Florida law enforcement because she’s riding the coattails of her extremely rich, world famous NBA son! So...
MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade scored 22 points on 10 for 14 shooting, LeBron James finished two assists shy of a triple-double and the Miami Heat improved to 4-0 at home for the first time in franchise history by beating the Brooklyn Nets 103-73 on Wednesday night.
James had 20 points and 12 rebounds in only 30 minutes, and Rashard Lewis scored 13 points for the Heat (4-1). Miami -...
Even as a rising sophomore, Diamond Stone was one of the top posts at LeBron James Skills Academy. Here's a highlight reel of Stone at the event.
THE BROOKLYKNIGHT RISES
After teaming up and working with Marvel on the superhero concept, the Brooklyn Nets unveiled the team's new mascot Saturday: BrooklyKnight.
On nights like the Miami Heat had on Monday night versus the Phoenix Suns, they really look hard to stop. Dwayne Wade started the first half with 6-of-8 shooting and 13 points along with hitting a three-pointer. LeBron James was all over the court both on offense and defense.
He finished the half with 10 points and eight rebounds. Monday night again, Chris Bosh tore up the floor...
HOUSTON So there is this guy, James Harden, and he has a long beard and a well-constructed Mohawk, but he does not speak like a guy with a long beard and a Mohawk, which is to say he is not trying to play some kind of character.
He doesn't speak much, really. Well, not much more than he has to, although now that he's the star of the Houston Rockets, he has to speak a lot...
The NBA was all in on Tuesday night as America awaited the results of the Presidential election. Check out Tweets from a few of your favorite jocks on election night. Kris Humphries was punked by his cab driver into thinking Mitt Romney won, LeBron James shouts out his favorite states that supported President Obama (Florida [...]
LeBron James had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 22 points and the Miami Heat beat the Phoenix Suns 124-99 on Monday night.
Chris Bosh finished with 18 points and Ray Allen had 15 for Miami (3-1), which is averaging 111.8 points to open the season. Allen became the 24th player in NBA history to eclipse the 23,000-point mark when he made a free throw with 1:01 left...
Athletes such as Metta World Peace weighed in on Barack Obama’s victory, often showing wisdom while others cared to be nothing more than athletes. Photo credit: US Presswire.
Last night the world witnessed an historic election in which the 44th President of the United States was re-elected to a second term. Like the rest of us, many athletes watched at home and participated in...
The Brooklyn Nets (1-1) will make a trip to Florida to face the Miami Heat (3-1) for an Eastern Conference showdown. However, it will be a tall task for the Nets to leave South Beach with a win as Miami is undefeated at home early in the season. Not to mention the Nets have lost six in a row in Miami.
Miami is coming off a 124-99 win over Phoenix while Brooklyn is coming off...
MIAMI (AP) -- Offensive numbers to savor were everywhere for the Miami Heat on Monday night.
They thanked an upgraded defensive effort for that.
LeBron James had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 22 points and the Heat beat the Phoenix Suns 124-99 on Monday night. Chris Bosh finished with 18 points, Ray Allen had 15 and Mario Chalmers finished with his second 11-assist...
By now, many sports fans have had the pleasure of reading all of the mock Facebook conversations starring NFL quarterbacks. You can find them all at Pro Football Mock. If you haven’t seen them all yet, I highly recommend it. They’re all absolutely hysterical.
With this in mind, it’s only fair that the NBA stars get a crack at it as well. So here at Pass the Pill, we took it...