MIAMI — The Heat’s offense has taken a big step forward over the past 10 games.
Entering Friday’s home matchup against the Nets, the Heat have posted the league’s 10th best offensive rating (scoring 107.4 points per 100 possessions) over the past 10 games. Before this stretch, Miami’s offensive rating ranking 27th out of 30 teams (101.3 points per 100 possessions) over its first 24 games of the season.
The Heat are 7-3 over this 10-game surge.
“We’re just trying to get better. We’re trying to see if we can move the needle with our improvement,” coach Erik Spoelstra said in advance of Friday’s game against Brooklyn. “We’re seeing some progress. There’s no question about it. It will never be enough. But we’re starting to see some progress. We’ve probably had the most progress offensively in the last few weeks. Guys feeling a lot more comfortable, the ball has been moving better and our numbers have reflected all of that.”
A big part of Miami’s offensive improvement has been due to quality screening from Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk with starting center Hassan Whiteside out due to injury. Both Adebayo (4.4 screen assists per game) and Olynyk (4.2 screen assists per game) rank in the top 10 in screen assists in December.
“That’s been one of the major components,” Spoelstra said when asked about Adebayo and Olynyk’s screening. “Look, you don’t have to necessarily be a basketball rocket scientist to figure things out. You start paying attention and being more disciplined to the details of your offense, things will start to change and guys will start to make shots. Every shooter in this league is a better shooter when they get an open shot.
“So you have to work the offense through screening, details of timing, details of coming off screens harder, building a connection with your teammate of where they like the ball and how they like to get open. All these things take time, but you have to work at it. It doesn’t happen just naturally. Our guys have been very diligent about working at it. Bam and K.O., regardless of how they score in a particular game, our offense is always better with them because of their attention to detail.”