SportVU Series Preview: Heat vs. Nets
The Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets tip off their Eastern Conference Semifinal series on Tuesday in Miami (7:00 ET, TNT) in a matchup of the No. 2 and No. 6 seeds in the East. The Nets swept the season series 4-0, but needed seven games to knock off No. 4 seed Toronto in the first round, while the Heat swept No. 7 seed Charlotte and have had a week off.
Using SportVU data from their four regular season games, we examine the top matchups in this series. Who was the Nets' best defender against Chris Bosh? How well did the Nets shoot the long ball against the Heat? Which Nets were able to keep LeBron James from driving to the basket? Check out the stats below to find the answers to those questions and more.
Top Matchups | Chris Bosh (Offense) | Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson 3PA's | LeBron James Drives | Deron Williams (Offense)
|P. Pierce||L. James||21:32||0||4-8||50%||2-4||50%||1||0-0||6||0||2||10|
|M. Chalmers||D. Williams||18:01||1||4-9||44%||2-4||50%||0||0-0||12||0||1||10|
|D. Williams||M. Chalmers||17:00||0||3-8||38%||1-2||50%||1||0-1||10||0||0||7|
|J. Johnson||L. James||16:00||0||7-16||44%||1-5||20%||0||1-2||4||0||2||16|
|S. Livingston||N. Cole||15:03||2||4-8||50%||0-0||0%||1||3-3||7||0||0||11|
Mason Plumlee and Kevin Garnett were the two Brooklyn defenders that spent the most time guarding Chris Bosh in the half-court, both guarding him for just under 12 minutes. While the amount of time they guarded Bosh was extremely similar, the Heat got Bosh many more touches in an attempt to exploit the matchup and as a result Plumlee got torched on 9-of-17 shooting while against Garnett he went just 0-of-3.
Pierce and Johnson took the most 3-pointers in the half-court in the season series, with 18 and 17, respectively. They combined to shoot an effective 15-of-35 (43%) on those attempts, experiencing the most success when Bosh was the primary defender on the shots.
LeBron James was 21st in the NBA in the regular season with 7.1 drives per game, but in his four games against the Nets he averaged 10.25 drives per game, which would have been good for second best in the NBA if extrapolated over the entire season. While Joe Johnson and Alan Anderson did a good job of keeping him out of the paint, James got to the basket often against all other Brooklyn defenders.
|Defense||Matchup Time||Drives||Drives/Min||Drive Pts||Points/Drive|
Deron Williams had success on offense when guarded by his two primary matchups in Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole, but on instances when he was being guarded by a different Heat defender he struggled to score. This was most prevalent from beyond the arc, where he shot just 1-of-7 when guarded by a player other than Chalmers or Cole.
|Defender||Chalmers/Cole||Rest of Team|