Heat's 4 game trip to be defined by Rebounding

Mike Ehrmann

Pay Riley famously said no rebounds no rings. Miami will play its next four games on the round against the top rebounding teams in the NBA. How will they fare?

The Detroit Pistons beat the Miami Heat 107-97 on Tuesday night in Miami snapping the Heat's 10 game win streak. The Pistons did it not only through taking advantage of Miami's defensive breakdowns but they also pounded them on the glass. The Pistons out-rebounded the Heat 46-34 with 18 of them coming from Andre Drummond in only 23 minutes.

Now, the Heat leave for a four game road trip against some of the biggest and best rebounding teams in the NBA. First up is the Chicago Bulls who are the second best rebounding team in the NBA. The combination of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah have always been a tough matchup for the Heat. And despite Derrick Rose being out, Chicago will still make the Heat work for the victory, especially in Chicago.

Then on to Minnesota where the Timberwolves are tied as the 6th best rebounding team in the NBA behind Kevin Love. Minnesota, on paper, may not seem like the most challenging of opponents, but with Miami not having a healthy Udonis Haslem, and yet to try to play Greg Oden this year, they will struggle against teams who love to rebound.

The Heat will then get another chance at the Pistons at the end of a back-to-back in Detroit. And after that, they'll get to visit the NBA-leading Indiana Pacers who are also tied with Minnesota as the 6th best rebounding team in the NBA. David West and Roy Hibbert have been chomping at a chance to play Miami again.

That means in a span of 5 games, the Heat will have played 5 straight opponents who rank in the top 10 in the NBA in rebounding (Detroit is #10).

How will the Heat fare? They already lost the first game against Detroit, albeit without Dwyane Wade. We all know that Miami struggles to rebound, as they rank last in the NBA in rebounding. But we also know that last year they ranked dead last as well and still won a championship.

Sometimes it takes a concentrated effort on the part of the entire team to overcome their lack of size and strength down low. Will that come in early December regular season games? It's unlikely. Chris Bosh and LeBron James share the lead for the Heat averaging 5.8 RPG. There are 63 other players in the NBA with a better RPG rate than the Heat's two leaders.

Over the next week, we will get a much better idea of how far the Heat have to go to get back to the championship level we are used to seeing.


Heat Schedule

Next 5 Games

@ Chicago Thu 12/05 9:30 PM EST
@ Minnesota Sat 12/07 8:00 PM EST
@ Detroit Sun 12/08 6:00 PM EST
@ Indiana Tue 12/10 7:00 PM EST
Cleveland Sat 12/14 7:30 PM EST

Last 5 Games

Detroit Tue 12/03 L 97 - 107
Charlotte Sun 12/01 W 99 - 98
@ Toronto Fri 11/29 W 90 - 83
@ Cleveland Wed 11/27 W 95 - 84
Phoenix Mon 11/25 W 107 - 92


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