November 2, 2009
Starting off the year 3-0 is not something to rave about, particularly in an 82-game season. But it does help build confidence in a young developing team like the Miami Heat. Sunday night the Chicago Bulls drove into town to face the Heat in what ended as a tight match throughout. When the final whistle blew, Miami came away with the victory by the score of 95-87.
That's not the story.
The story is in how Miami has won their first three matches of the season.
They've done it with defense, holding opponents to a 37.5 shooting percentage. Even Quentin Richardson mentioned that he had never seen a coach that preaches defense like Erik Spoelstra does in Miami. The message is starting to get across.
Miami forcing their opponents to sub-par shooting performances places them atop the NBA in opponent's shooting percentage - something that Coach Spoelstra can be proud about and use to fuel his team even more.
In Sunday's game alone, Miami blocked eight shots on Chicago - two of which cane from the defensively-aligned Michael Beasley. And when you add in the charges drawn from newcomers Carlos Arroyo and Quentin Richardson, it it obvious that the culture of sound defense is beginning to permeate in the Miami Heat locker room.
If Miami can continue to distribute the weight on offense and play solid defense, then fans can expect more success as the season progresses. Until now Miami has not faced an elite NBA team, although the Knicks, Pacers and Bulls all have their respective strengths, but may surprise the league with a few big underdog victories down the stretch.
The team has played good, but as the Miami Heat 09-10 slogan goes, "Good Enough Ain't Enough."