clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Have the Heat found the replacement for Mario Chalmers?

New, comments

Gerald Green is still returning to form after his absence from the team but was a valuable spark off the bench in victory.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Trading away Mario Chalmers left a huge hole in the leadership of the Miami Heat's second unit.

The unbelievable fourth quarter comeback against the Philadelphia 76ers was fueled in part by the intensity that Gerald Green provided the entire team. Erik Spoelstra left the combination of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, and Green intact at the very end to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Green did not stuff the stat sheet, but fans witnessed the rest of the team fighting for rebounds, blocking shots, flying down the court for scores before the defense could organize itself. The key was the Sixers were often caught out-of-position because they could not react quickly enough to Heat's ball movement.

In the first half the Heat's slow pace allowed the Sixers to pack the paint and be totally prepared for the Heat's game plan of attacking the rim. That lead to numerous turnovers because passing lanes were non-existent, dribbling too much caused traveling violations or setting illegal screens. In short, more than two dribbles leads to double-teams, taking away court vision by concentrating on handling the ball, and the rest of the team standing around ball-watching.

With Green on the court the team moved and challenged the Sixers into making nervous mistakes and backing off from contesting for ball control. Even Dragic appeared to become very chippy in going after rebounds and not allowing second chances on 50/50 balls. And when the Heat got the ball they did not dribble it but brought the ball up the court quickly enough that Sixers missed defensive assignments.

Sioux Falls Skyforce guard Briante Weber's motto at VCU was "havoc." He did that by being fast enough to make other teams confused enough to miss rotations and assignments. In the new NBA, screen plays may have outlived their usefulness.

When Gerald Green was on the court all the Heat players were moving, both on defense and offense, to create havoc and confusion, not letting the Sixers double-team any ballhandler for turnovers or ill-advised passes. Green got Dragic out of his funk, and put the entire team in a combative mode to convert 50/50 chances into 75/25 opportunities for the Heat.