Miami Heat Seeking a Return To Defensive Identity in Game 4 Against the Boston Celtics

Shandel Richardson

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra knows the team's defense is struggling against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.

Now, it's up to him fix it.

The Heat have three days off to correct the issues before Game 4 Wednesday in Orlando. After winning the first two games, they still lead 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that ain't going to work," Spoelstra said of the previous defensive scheme. "Again, it's competition. They [the Celtics] had something to say about that. They came out with great force off the dribble. They were driving and attacking in a lot of different situations and we did not handle that well. We have to do a better job with that."

The Celtics are averaging 108.3 and shooting 45 percent in the series. They scored 60 points in the paint in Saturday's victory. Heat center Bam Adebayo blamed the struggles on a lack of communication.

"This is a series where you've got to guard your yard," Adebayo said. "Sixty points in the paint is not guarding our yard. We're going to get back in the gym and figure this out."

The Heat have never lost a series after leading 2-0 but are only a few plays from trailing. It makes Game 4 even more pivotal if they are going to advance to the NBA Finals for the sixth time in franchise history. 

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Comments (2)
No. 1-1

I think they should shorten the NBA season. The difference in the defense in the regular season and the playoffs is pretty ridiculous. Lower ticket prices, pay owners a little less, and incentivize the players to play playoff defense more in the regular season.

1 Reply

Shandel Richardson
Shandel Richardson


I wouldn't mind seeing a 50-game season but then we'd likely see an increase in ticket prices, etc.