Scouting report: Heat vs. Mavs Game 4

Originally Published: June 12, 2006
By John Carroll | Scouts Inc.

Heat Offense: The Heat brought both energy and aggressiveness to Game 3, but turnovers and missed free throws almost did them in. It is remarkable that they won a critical playoff game with 20 turnovers. Shaq was the biggest culprit (with seven).

The Heat must demonstrate better offensive execution in Game 4 to tie this series. Miami missed 14 free throws, shooting 59 percent for the game, even with Shaq going 4-for-6 from the line. The other Heat players must step up and make free throws for Miami to have any chance of winning the next two games at home.

Wade was the offensive catalyst for the Heat in Game 3. He attacked the rim at will. The Mavericks have no one who can guard him. Wade made Josh Howard, who is a pretty good defensive player, look silly down the stretch, blowing by him over and over. The Mavericks refuse to come off Shaq on drives to the basket; therefore, once Wade beats his man there is no one to block or distract his shots.

Shaq did a better job offensively in Game 3, and the Heat did a better job trying to get him the ball. They seemed to understand how to get him the ball deeper in the paint right in front of the rim. They need to get him the ball immediately when he is open and not have too many possessions when they forget to go to him.

Here are three ways the Heat attempted to utilize Shaq better in Game 3:

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John Carroll

Scouts, Basketball Recruiting
John Carroll joined Scouts Inc. after nine years as an NBA coach, including a seven-year tenure with the Boston Celtics that concluded with a four-month stint as interim head coach in 2003-04. Before joining the NBA, Carroll spent six years as head coach at Duquesne University and seven years at Seton Hall as an assistant to head coach P.J. Carlesimo.