We're taking about running plays!?
Who needs plays when you have Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh on your team?
Uh......did you see the end of game 2 of the finals?
There was almost a repeat performance in game 3.
Luckily for Miami, Dwayne Wade carried the Miami Heat in the 4th quarter last night - making big shot after big shot as Dallas was busy trying to make another comeback.
But as every good team does, Dallas made an adjustment and decided to double Wade on every possession to get the ball out of his hands down the stretch. Jeff Van Gundy was in full agreement, going so far to say "get the ball out of Wade's hands, even if that means LeBron gets it." Pretty strong words.
Well, the question was: how would Miami adjust to the adjustment?
With the ball and under a minute to go in a tie game, what sort of play would they run - knowing there was no way Dallas would let Wade operate one on one.
What makes certain plays great, is their ability to get an open/high percentage shot regardless of how the defense plays it. These types of plays have primary, secondary, and even tertiary options. If a play is run correctly and all the way through, one of your options is bound to become available.
Let's break down this play.
Primary option: Dwayne Wade.
But the double is coming.
So, let's put Wade in a pick and pop with LeBron.
If the defender guarding LeBron (Shawn Marion) doesn't Hedge out, Wade can turn the corner and get to the basket. If the strong side help defense (Jason Terry) comes over - put Mario Chalmers in the strong side corner, who made 4 three pointers in the game.
Still, more than likely Marion will hedge out on the screen and double:
Secondary option: LeBron James.
As Wade is doubled he will pass it back to LeBron who is set up at the foul line.
But unless you want LeBron to have an open lane to the basket - Dallas now has to send over help from the weak side - in this case it's Tyson Chandler.
Still, chances are Miami would like a one on one between LeBron and Chandler, so Marion is going to race back from Wade and double LeBron with Chandler.
Here is the beauty of the play.
Since Chandler came over from the weak side to protect the middle, Dirk is now left to guard two people on the weak side:
Udonis Haslem and Chris Bosh.
Realizing this, Haslem makes a great play by setting a screen on Dirk, thus freeing up Chris bosh for a wide open mid-range jumper.
LeBron immediately recognizes (almost as if they drew it up) and makes an amazing pass to Bosh (really it was, his body was facing the opposite direction).
The ball has now been reversed from one side of the floor to the other with Bosh primed to knockdown the eventual game winning basket.
And that my friends is your tertiary option.
And that my friends is a big 3 options to have.
Wade to LeBron to Bosh.
Let me say this. For all the talk of the super stars Miami has, coach Eric Spoelstra has turned into one of the Heat's strengths this post-season. This play is a great example. As I've said previously, one of the most important attributes that a coach needs to be successful is the ability to make adjustments on the fly during a game.
First, think about the adjustment that Spoelstra made from the end of game 2 (no plan) to the end of game 3 (plan). Now think about drawing up this play in a pivotal game 3, on the road, with under a minute to go, during a 20 second time out. Trust me, the players aren't the only ones that are under pressure. And trust me, the ability of a coach to lead and make confident decisions in pressure situations filters down to their players.
Ultimately the job of a coach is to put his players in a position to be successful, utilize their strengths, and win the game. It doesn't matter if it's three role players or three stars. Ultimately, this play accomplished all of that.