The 2013 NBA Playoff start this Saturday. Miami’s championship defense begins against Milwaukee.
1. Can Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings string together efficient shooting games together?
Probably not. But, Milwaukee’s luck rests on Jennings and Ellis’ shoulders to get hot from deep where the Heat can(keyword is can) be susceptible to defending. Ellis and Jennings have jacked over 750 threes combined, so you can expect a healthy amount of bricks being layed.
2. Interesting matchup between Wade/James vs. Larry Sanders
Larry Sanders has been in the conversation for most improved and defensive player of the year. Sanders was an elite basket defender this past regular season, who’s second in the league in blocks. Milwaukee had no press this season and the mainstream will get to see what he’s really made of. This is a good test on national t.v. to see how he can play against the best team in the NBA.
3. Will Sanders even get a chance to challenge Wade/James at the rim?
Sanders will be tasked to defend Bosh who will be out 16-20 feet from the rim. Being that far away from the basket makes it hard to rotate on James and Wade drives. That leaves Ilyasova(yuck!), Dunleavy, and Mbah a Moute to protect the rim. When the Heat go extra small with Battier and Allen, help defenders have to choose whether drop to the paint and commit a foul or leave a wide open Battier, Allen, Chalmers, or Miller. Tough choice.
4. Who will crack Miami’s rotation?
A playoff team usually cuts their rotation to eight or nine guys. Miami is deep, and full of long range threats off the bench. Mike Miller and Rashard Lewis are making late campaigns for playoff minutes but, I’m not sure if Spo will have either of them in for long periods of time. Here’s my “expert” analysis on the rotation…. James, Wade, Bosh, Chalmers, Haslem (he really stinks this year), Battier, Allen, Anderson, Cole. Miller who is healthier as ever, is the next to crack the lineup.
5. Who’s going to be assigned to guard LeBron and Wade?
This is always fun to ask.
Juwan Howard reaches double digit minutes in game 1. Larry Sanders gets pissed and is ejected in game 3. Monta and B Jen shoot a combined 19% from 3. The Bucks are ass and the Heat will keep it moving.
Heat in 4 Games