The Miami Heat's 124-99 victory against the Phoenix Suns on Monday elicited much negative fan reaction. The Suns are bad, the Heat are good. Phoenix's season will be a long one, and Miami's additions of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis make them much more deadly than last year's championship team.
But it wasn't the mere dissection of Phoenix's defense that was the thing to watch. It was how they did it.
Seth Pollack at Bright Side of the Sun thought the Miami pick-and-roll game look similar to Phoenix's own when Steve Nash was around.
They now look an awful like the Suns with their highly efficient, fast-paced pick and roll game. Utilizing a variety of ball handlers and roll men they force the defense to collapse quickly or get beat for a quick bucket in the lane. Even if the rotations are on point, Ray Allen is alone in the corner to drain a three after the ball swings quickly from inside to the perimeter to the open man.
Miami had 65 points by halftime, and it wasn't even very dependent on LeBron James, who cruised to 23 points and hardly needed to take over the game. James put up 23 points and had 10 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
Meanwhile, the Heat torched Phoenix with wide open three-pointers thanks to the pick-and-roll game, hitting 15-of-26 from long range. Mario Chalmers hit all three of his attempts and Allen netted 3-of-4.