Miami Heat: Is Zone defense to blame for the 3rd home loss of year?

Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics drives past Dion Waiters #11 and Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics drives past Dion Waiters #11 and Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat went up against the Boston Celtics in an Eastern Conference showdown on Tuesday Night. Could they conquer the clover and get a win?

The Miami Heat were set to face one of their tougher tasks of the season on Tuesday night. While the game would be in the friendly confines of a place where they are obviously extremely comfortable, American Airlines Arena, they would be playing on the second night of a back to back set. It is no secret that they haven’t been dynamos in that position this season.

In any event, the game started off on a 10-2 run from the Boston Celtics, which is obviously just great (your sarcasm meter should be exceeding capacity at this exact moment). The Heat were able to pull back close and actually keep it there for a good part of the game, including up to the half and throughout the third.

The Boston Celtics always managed to keep a decent-sized lead on the Miami Heat throughout the game, somewhere between 5-9 points predominantly, which ultimately led them to win the game by making the big plays when they counted and capitalizing on the Miami Heat’s huge mistakes in the biggest moments for themselves. A lot of this big play making and huge mistake making could have been deeper than just coincidence or fatigue though.

The Miami Heat have deployed a ton of zone defense this season and for many potential reasons that we will try to dive deeper into at a little later point in the future. The most basic things that I can come up with right now are the facts that Duncan Robinson really struggles in man defense and other players have slight penchants for fouling a lot (double negative intended). AUCH’s Rich Nurse (@followthepen) had a few thoughts on the situation as well, here’s what he had to say on the Heat’s zone defense.

"It has been getting broken because there is too much space to cover. These voids result in gaps on wings and in the corners, which give teams free rein at open three-point shots. This is also not to mention that the zone defense causes the team using it to be less efficient on the defensive boards, which has been a glaring deficiency for the Heat for a bulk of the season."

Wise words and all true. The Miami Heat give up a ton of easy, open, and non-contested looks from all over the court it seems, while also not being able to come up with the big rebound when they need it and especially of late.

Next. Those around the Miami Heat honor the memory of Kobe Bryant. dark

The Miami Heat will get a few days off before they are right back at it Saturday in the second slice of sandwich games with the Orlando Magic. After beating the Magic on Monday night, you can bet that this one won’t be easy, but we will be ready when it gets here.