Miami Heat's defense showing signs of improvement after three games in Orlando

Shandel Richardson

The Miami Heat's defense has been shaky at best during the NBA restart.

On Tuesday, coach Erik Spoelstra at least saw some improvement. The Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 112-106 in Orlando, improving to 43-25.

"Coming out of training camp in October, for about six weeks our defense was pretty solid," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And then that's where we started to find some inconsistency from that point on."

The Heat rank 11th in the league in scoring defense, allowing 108.8 points a game. Spoelstra said there has been an adjustment getting acclimated after a midseason six-player trade that exchanged Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson for Jae Crowder, Andre Iguodala and Solomon Hill.

"So we're just kind of honing on the details and the habits and the guys have been a little bit more locked in in these games," Spoelstra said. "We were able to drill on a little bit more. I don't want to understate the fact that we added some new guys."

What made the Celtics victory so impressive is the Heat did it without Jimmy Butler, who did not play because of ankle soreness. In his absence, Bam Adebayo led the way with 21 points and 12 rebounds. It was their first win against Boston this season.

"They beat us two times in the regular season," Adebayo said. "It's important to just stand your ground instead of getting beat 3-0. We've got to make a stand. We've got to make a point. I feel like this team can battle with anybody and that's shown without Jimmy. Who knows how the game could've been if we had Jimmy."

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Comments (1)
No. 1-1

Solid win over Boston but their defensive rebounds were horrible.