So far this season the Miami Heat defense has failed to live up to its championship pedigree. A brief video of the San Antonio Spurs game shows a complete lack of help defense in the post.
Four games in, LA is on— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) October 26, 2017
MIN - 25p, 10r
CHI - 28p, 10r
TOR - 20p, 8r
MIA - 31p, 7r pic.twitter.com/PCADWCm6k6
The Heat defense allowed LaMarcus Aldridge to score at will versus a single defender all night long. In isolation plays Aldridge is too skilled of an athlete for any one player to successfully guard him.
Compare this versus an active help and recover defense where the Cleveland Cavaliers constantly close out a Chicago Bulls player with the ball and then sprint to defend an open player elsewhere on the court. The defenders do not stand by and watch a player operate in the post, but double team him and recover when he passes out of the post.
In the first Miami video clip there isn't any aggressive close-out help in the post: only a few tentative jab steps. The Heat defense stands around close to their assigned player, while watching Aldridge destroy his lone defender. Recovering on defense after helping out on a trap is exhausting work.
The Cavaliers defense versus the Bulls moves around the court very quickly to close out any open threats. The Heat players on defense this season seem to have lead shoes on the court watching the action unfold before their eyes.
What the help defender for the Cavaliers did after the ball was passed out of the post to an open man, was to leave the post and recover to close out somebody else. For the Heat there was practically no help defense in the post versus the Spurs, who were allowed to go one-on-one against a defender practically the entire game.
The Spurs scored only 87 points against the Charlotte Hornets last night on 33.7% shooting and 4 of 24 from downtown. Aldridge went 9 of 14 for 24 points, but the rest of his team didn't contribute: Rudy Gay 2 points, Danny Green 3 points, Kyle Anderson 4 points, Manu Ginobili 6 points. Granted back-to-back games, but the same team scored 30 points less from one game to the next?