Miami Heat Index: ESPN Stats & Info

Bosh, James lead Heat in blowout of Suns

November, 17, 2010
By ESPN Stats & Info

Entering Wednesday’s game between the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns, one of the prevailing questions surrounding the Heat was the lack of production from Chris Bosh. While it was known before the season that Bosh was almost certain to be the Heat's third option, the drop in production has been more than most anticipated.

Entering Wednesday, Bosh's usage rate stood at 20.1, the 81st-highest mark in the NBA and his lowest since his rookie season. In fact, it was down from 28.7 in 2009-10, which ranked ninth in the NBA. In other words, Bosh has been much less involved in the offense and has had the ball in his hands fewer times per game.

Wednesday was a different story. The Heat came out with a clear agenda: getting Bosh involved early. He scored 14 points in the first quarter alone, taking the first five shots the Heat attempted and draining four of them. Bosh’s 35 points easily represented a season high, and marked a significant uptick from his 2010-11 production to that point.

While Bosh’s breakout game was certainly the story, the play of teammate LeBron James should not be overshadowed. Since getting off to a relatively sluggish start through his first three games with the Heat, James has taken on the type of facilitator role that many envisioned for him. Over his past eight games, James is averaging 22.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 10.1 APG compared to just 20.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 5.7 APG through those first three games. In fact, those numbers -- 22/6/10 -- have been maintained by just two players over the course of a full season: Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson.

But perhaps the most telling part of James’ effectiveness as a distributor can be seen from the play of the aforementioned Bosh. Bosh has been demonstrably better this season while James is on the court, including Wednesday night.

So while the start of the season has not been without issues for James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade, Bosh’s breakout game Wednesday seems directly tied to James’ effectiveness as a distributor. The fact that Bosh is playing his best when another one of the "Big 3" is on the court suggests that the Heat are learning to play with each other.

Heat good against bad teams

November, 14, 2010
By Stats & Info
It's only a 10-game sample, but it's the first 10 games of the season.

Thus far, the Miami Heat have proven they can beat bad teams, but still struggle with good clubs.

With their win over the now 2-8 Toronto Raptors, the Heat's six wins this season have come against teams (76ers, Magic, Nets twice, Timberwolves and Raptors) that are a combined 16-32.

The only team Miami has defeated that currently has a winning record is the Magic, who are 6-3.

Their four losses are against three teams (Boston twice, New Orleans and Utah) that are a combined 22-5.
One new look on Saturday was inserting center Zydrunas Ilgauskas into the starting lineup in place of Joel Anthony. With the starting lineup of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Carlos Arroyo and Zydrunas Ilgauskas on the floor, the Heat were +9 against the Raptors and shot 61.9 percent in 11 minutes, 34 seconds.

In the 31 minutes this season these five players have been on the court, the Heat are shooting 57.1 percent from the floor and averaging 108.4 points per 48 minutes. When any other lineup is on the court, Miami is shooting 46.5 percent and averaging 101.2 points per 48 minutes.

Wade is averaging 26.5 points per game in the Heat's wins this season, shooting 56.6 percent from the field. In their four losses, Wade is still averaging 22.0 PPG, but has shot just 37.3 percent from the field (25-67).

James had a game-high 11 assists. His main beneficiaries were the Heat's outside shooting big men, Ilgauskas and Udonis Haslem. James assisted on all four of Haslem's field goals and four of Ilgauskas' six.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Heat have outscored opponents by 5.2 points per game thus far when the Big 3 are on the floor.

Heat hot in third quarter this season

November, 2, 2010
By ESPN Stats & Info
A second straight game for the Miami Heat where the outcome was all but determined after the third quarter.

But it’s the 12 minutes after halftime where the Heat have blown games open. Miami has outscored its five opponents in the third quarter by an average of 13 points, 28.4 to 15.4. In fact, the Heat have held all five opponents under 20 points in the third.

The Heat have allowed less than 100 points in all five games this season. In the last three games, the Magic, Nets and Timberwolves have shot a combined 34.4 percent from the floor.

This was only the second time since the 1994-95 season that Miami scored at least 129 points in a non-overtime game.

LeBron James was held without a rebound for only the third time in his career. The other two instances happened in his rookie season.

James did have nine of his 12 assists in the first half. In the third quarter, James assisted on or scored nine of the Heat’s 13 field goals. Both he and Chris Bosh did not play in the third quarter.

Dwyane Wade was the only one of the Big 3 on the court in the fourth quarter. When Wade, James and Bosh were on the court, the Heat were 20-of-31 from the floor, and outscored the Timberwolves by 19 points.

Chemistry starting to show with Heat

October, 31, 2010
By ESPN Stats & Info
The Miami Heat struggled with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the floor in their first two games against the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

In the last two games, Miami is beginning to find some chemistry. The Heat have outscored the Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets, by 17 and 15 points, respectively, with the "Big 3" on the floor.

The Heat entered Sunday shooting 38.7 percent in the half-court, ranked 27th in the NBA. Against the Nets, they shot better than 50 percent in the half-court (51.6) for the first time this season, outscoring New Jersey, 92-75.

Bosh, James and Wade were a combined 12-of-15 from the floor within six feet of the basket. Forty-four of their 55 points came from within six feet of the basket or at the foul line.

While it’s just four games, the Heat are showing a propensity to run more. Last season Miami had an NBA-low 721 plays in transition, which equated to 8.8 per game. In four games this season, Miami is averaging 13.0 transition plays and 14.8 points per game.

Celtics, Heat reverse course Wednesday

October, 27, 2010
By ESPN Stats & Info
One night after the Boston Celtics handed the Miami Heat and LeBron James their first loss, Boston falls to James’ old team 95-87 in Cleveland. The Celtics' Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for just 34 points on 12-for-33 (36.4 percent) shooting, as they are unable to match their 49-point, 15-for-31 (48.4 percent) performance from last night.

The Heat traveled down to Philadelphia for their second game of the season and beat the 76ers 97-87 to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2007-08. Only six teams had started a season with two consecutive losses before going on to win the championship, and none since the Bulls in the 1990-91 season.

The trio of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh was much more effective Wednesday night, combining for 61 points and outscoring the 76ers on the floor by five points in the 25 minutes they played together.

Tuesday night the Heat had trouble finding consistency on catch-and-shoot jump-shots, connecting on just 27 percent of their attempts when spotting up against the Celtics. On Wednesday, Miami was able to capitalize when the 76ers' defense collapsed on the interior, going 11-for-21 (54 percent) on spot-up jumpers, including 7-for-13 on contested shots.

Miami ice: Celtics cool off Heat's Big 3

October, 27, 2010
By ESPN Stats & Info
The Boston Celtics raced out to a 45-30 halftime lead and held off a late Miami Heat rally to win their fourth straight season opener, the longest active win streak in season-opening games.

Miami scored just nine points in the first quarter, its fewest in any quarter since March 15, 2009 at Philadelphia and their fewest in the first quarter since March 23, 2007 at Indiana. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade committed all six of the Heat’s turnovers in the opening quarter as the duo shot a combined 2-for-11 (18.2 percent) from the floor.

James finished with a game-high 31 points and eight turnovers. LeBron was responsible for 49 percent of the Heat’s output (39 of 80 points), and had one more field goal (10) than the four other starters combined (9).

What does this loss mean for the Heat? Over the last 20 years, only three teams have gone on to win the NBA title after losing their first game. The last NBA Champion to lose the first game of the season in which they won a title was the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons.

Ray Allen led the Celtics with 20 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, while Paul Pierce finished with 19 points, snapping his streak of 11 straight season-openers with at least 20 points, which was the second-longest all-time. Rajon Rondo scored only four points but chipped in with 17 assists, tying Oscar Robertson for the third-most in NBA history in a season opener.

The Heat’s Big Three were on the floor together for 29 minutes but the trio was actually outscored by eight points and turned the ball over 10 times when playing at the same time. In the 19 minutes Wade, Bosh and James were not all on the floor together, the Heat performed better, with a higher field goal percentage while matching the Celtics on the scoreboard.