But deep within the core of these gifted scorers is a foundation of solid defense; a foundation that Erik Spoelstra has harnessed to further his culture of defense in Miami.
Think about it, before James, Bosh or any of the other fresh faces joined the Heat this offseason, Miami was already a quality defensive team in the NBA.
But the Heat didn't stop there.
Just last season Miami took the next step and elevated their defense once again. Their OFG% dropped by almost two percent to 43.9 (tied for first overall), while their OPPG took a four-point dip to 94.2 (second in the league). That is, the Heat defense catapulted from poor to average to top-tier in the span of two seasons.
Fast forward to 2010 and you'll find the Heat picking up right where they left off. To date, the Heat lead the Association in OPPG and are second in lowest OFG%.
In essence, what you have is the same system only with better pieces.
There is no doubt that the flash and frills of a high octane offense are the most exciting element of the Heat product. However, as LeBron would say, "don't think for one min[ute]" that the real hero is the gritty, hard-nosed soul of the Miami defense.
* * *On a side note, sometimes defense steals the show in Miami as we witnessed (we were all witnesses) this week by LeBron's tremendous block on New Orleans Hornets' rookie Wesley Johnson. It was so emphatic we thought it was worth taking another look at. Let us enjoy: