A relatively quiet day at the Heat's house today, with the team having a full practice and film session. The team was pretty loose, but focused. No stories of Dwyane Wade telling his teammates to ‘shut up and focus'...I think the message got through the first time.
Jamario Moon sat out practice after feeling some tightness in his sore groin, but he should be fine for the game tomorrow. Otherwise the Heat is a healthy bunch, anxious to kickoff their Black is Back campaign. D-Wade is especially excited about the fans wearing black, as it takes him back to his rookie season when the AAA was draped in black while the Heat beat the Hornets in an exciting 7-game slugfest.
The Heat covered several things during their film session. One main point that was made was that Miami should not try and run with Atlanta. The Hawks are a terrible half-court team, especially on offense. They try and match up one-on-one, usually resorting to taking jumpers, which is fine with the Heat. On defense, the Hawks are good at making switches while Miami runs through their pick-n-rolls, but the Heat kept Atlanta switching so often during Game 2 that the Hawks lost their legs early, which resulted in so many open looks for the Heat's outside shooters. But still, the Hawks did a good job of recovering; limiting the Heat to a couple tough outside shots in the 4th quarter that luckily still went down for Miami.
The coaching staff did a great job breaking down the footage from Game 2. Dwyane Wade said that you would've thought the Heat had lost judging by what they were shown today, which is great for the young guys to see. No matter how good you might play and how much you may win by, there are always things to improve on. Said Wade:
"We did a lot of good things, but we did a lot of things we can get better at as well. They're going to continue to stay on us. We're not going to get overconfident because there's no reason to be overconfident.''
It will be interesting to see how the Hawks adjust after the shooting onslaught the Heat put on them on Wednesday. After their success in Game 1, they continued to pack the paint and take away the Heat's driving lanes in Game 2 only to see Miami make it rain with their 55.6% shooting. While it's unlikely for the Heat to have another shooting game like they did in Game 2, they did expose some weaknesses in the Hawks D and they will assuredly make some adjustments. However, you can't clog up the paint AND take away outside shooting attempts at the same time, so it will be a matter of Miami being smart and not forcing the issue, rather taking what the Hawks give them and using it to their advantage.
One final note...when the Heat return to Atlanta for Game 5, their live-Hawk mascot 'Spirit' will no longer be used for his pre-game flight to courtside after not wanting to leave his above the backboard seat prior to Wednesday nights game.