Link to articleAs Iíve written before, Miami plays an ultra-aggressive style of defense designed to protect the paint and rim at all costs. It is their way of making up for a lack of size and shot-blocking. They trap ball handlers far from the hoop to shut off penetration before it starts, and their help defenders are generally in the paint early to bump big men rolling to the hoop and swarm whatever drives get through. Playing that way will naturally yield some open 3s to teams that swing the ball around quickly and with precision, ahead of Miamiís rotations.
Here's a nice article by Zach Lowe describing the Heat's defense so far this season. I can't help but see similarities in late rotations and over jumpy-ness bet. MIA and NOH players. MIA also allows a lot of 3 PT shots because they readily pack the paint and prevent penetrations. They do this by
1.) Quick doubles in the post that come from the weakside (to force a *hopefully* long, cross court pass to the other side)
2.) Trapping on ball screens to prevent penetration even before it begins. Hornets don't do this as much, instead opting for a hedge strategy - similar intent but less aggressiveness.
3.) Help Defenders collapse to the paint.
MIA was able to do this effectively the past 2 years (and NOH back in the Paul/Ariza days) because they lane thieves and ball hawks between Mario Chalmers, Wade and James - that's good for 5~7 steals per game. Which usually means 7 easy scoring opportunities AND a 0 point possession from the opponent. Hornets were able to do this back in 2010/11 using Paul and Ariza -- both are INCREDIBLE lane thieves and on-ball stealers.
Problem is, now, the Hornets don't have that and 2 of MIA's trifecta of "steal generators" are injured or hobbled (Chalmers, Wade). They also haven't incorporated Allen well into their lineup (see article).
Just a good read overall..