Commentary

Fixing Miami's fourth-quarter woes

The Heat's offense is failing in the final frame. Here's how they can adjust.

Updated: June 9, 2011, 11:58 AM ET
By Kevin Pelton | Basketball Prospectus
Dwyane WadeGregory Shamus/NBAE/Getty ImagesAdjustment 1: Get Dwyane Wade out of isolation plays and have him post up instead.

In the 48 hours between Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals, Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat coaching staff should be focusing on seven minutes. That's the period of time, as spotlighted by ESPN Insider's John Hollinger, that has tripped Miami up on offense throughout this series and allowed the Dallas Mavericks to steal a pair of come-from-behind victories. As the Heat look for answers, here are some suggestions inspired by rewatching and charting all of Miami's late-game possessions in the NBA Finals, thanks to MySynergy Sports:

Ditch the isos

In truth, clearouts for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have made up less of the Heat's end-game offense than you might think. Of the 52 half-court plays Miami has run in those situations in this series, just seven can truly be considered isolations -- four for Wade, three for James. They produced two key scores in Game 1 -- a Wade 3-pointer that was followed by James' powerful and-one dunk when he blew by Shawn Marion.


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