- Injury report released for Miami Heat’s Friday night game vs. Toronto Raptors
- Report: Miami Heat to use dogs to screen for COVID-19 as they begin welcoming fans back into arena
- Erik Spoelstra insinuates NBA forcing Miami Heat to play short-handed may have worsened Tyler Herro’s injury
- Andre Iguodala claims Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro have work ethics ‘just like’ Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson
- Kendrick Nunn discloses why he still thinks he deserved Rookie of the Year over Ja Morant
- Report: Miami Heat ‘really want’ Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal
- Dwyane Wade celebrates Kamala Harris making history as first female vice president
- Katya Elise Henry shares adorable pictures to celebrate Tyler Herro’s birthday
- Report: Multiple players remain out for Miami Heat’s Wednesday game vs. Toronto Raptors
- Video: Udonis Haslem says Miami Heat trading for James Harden would’ve aged him ’15 years’
Miami Heat, Xbox Basketball
- Updated: October 4, 2012
Phil Jackson, former head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, once said, “Their basketball is very much in standing with Xbox games,” in reference to the style of basketball that the Miami Heat brought to the table in their 2010-2011 campaign. When Jackson discussed the Miami Heat and their “Xbox” style of basketball back in 2011, he wasn’t referring to the 90-foot alley-oop passes, the surreal jaw-dropping tomahawk slams, or the strong cohesion of the defensive unit that was near AI like. In an almost negative connotation, what he was really referring to was their “one-on-one” style of play (which completely disappeared after the Heat learned to utilize each other effectively) and their lack of getting “everybody involved.” As you may or may not remember, Phil was referring to the game that took place on March 10, 2011, where LeBron James made a mockery of the Lakers defense, took only 17 shots and therein got everybody involved. Four Miami Heat players finished in double figures and a 5th Miami player, Mario Chalmers, added 9 points. So what was this Xbox style of basketball that Phil was talking about? Surely it wasn’t the “one-on-one” and not getting everybody involved style of play he spoke of. Perhaps he was angry, jealous that Erik Spoelstra had team, a family that was more than willing to coexist, while Jackson was left with a me-first Kobe Bryant and a three-point shooting Andrew Bynum who were not willing to buy into his system. After all, it was Jackson who claimed that he wished Bryant was more like James, a team player that didn’t have such a narrow mind set on scoring but instead was willing to share the basketball to make the team better.
Not too long ago, I thought I would pick up my own Xbox controller and give NBA 2K12 a whirl with the new updated rosters. We all know those video games that when a person picks a certain team or character they have a clear-cut advantage no matter if they know how to play the game or not. I remember playing with the Miami Heat on this particular video game, NBA 2k12, and most certainly could tell that the Heat were, for lack of a better word, rigged. James and Wade were just simply too fast and it seemed more likely than not if they were within five feet of the rim, the shot was going in, someway, or somehow. This would actually make sense considering that Wade and James are two of the best finishers in the league. And on the fastbreak? You could forget about it. As far as the defensive aspect of the video game, I don’t remember getting more steals/blocks with any other team. But I mean let’s be honest with ourselves, there is no better shot-blocking 2-guard in the NBA than Mr. Dwyane Wade himself and there is no one person that players fear more on the fast break than a rampaging LeBron James behind them.
With all that being said, if Phil thought that Miami played Xbox style basketball in 2010, wait till he sees what the Heat have to offer in 2012. In their magnificent run in 2011-2012, Miami’s x-factors and one of the underlying reasons why the Heat took home the hardware that year were their role players. Players like Shane Battier, Mike Miller, and Mario Chalmers simply had one objective, if LeBron passed out of a double team, shoot the rock and keep shooting no matter how many times you miss. It was a formula that worked to perfection. As a result, from 2010-2012, Chalmers’ points per game jumped from 6.4 to 9.8 and his three-point field goal percentage boosted from 35.9% to 38.8%. Similarly, Miller’s points per game rose from 5.6 to 6.1 and his three-point percentage skyrocketed from 36.4% to 45.3%.
After finally getting the big monkey off his back, James and the Miami Heat as a whole appeared to have had it all figured out. Everyone bought into their roles and the spot-up shooters in Battier, Miller, and Chalmers seemed more than happy to comply. Just last year, announcers, journalists, and commentators were all saying that when facing the Heat you had to pick your poison. Double team James or leave either Chalmers, Battier, or Miller open on the wing. However, in the playoffs, it didn’t really seem like a pick- your-poison type scenario because of how almost every team chose to double team James and sag off the shooters, as if they were daring Miami’s role players to hoist up threes.
Ironically, now that Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis have entered the equation, it really is a pick-your-poison, do-or-die type of situation. Would you rather leave 265 freak-of-nature athlete LeBron James alone on the block or a picture-perfect, arguably best three-point shooter to ever play the game Ray Allen open in the corner for a wide-open three. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to make a decision if someone put a gun to my head. Chalmers, Battier, and Miller have each made a total of 373, 1,041, and 1,351 three pointers respectively for his regular season career. None of these come close to the 1,690 threes that Lewis has made in his regular season career. And what about Ray Ray you ask? Allen has made 2,718 three pointers for his regular season career. Allen, himself, has made just about as many three pointers as Battier, Miller, and Chalmers combined and that’s not even including playoffs. On a finishing note, words of wisdom to Phil Jackson and the rest of those who have criticized Miami’s style of play in the past, be careful what you wish for because this “Xbox” style of basketball may soon become a daunting reality.