Miami Heat: Breaking Down the Heat's Rebounding Issues

Joshua J VannucciniSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 17, 2013

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 04: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat and Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls fight for a jump ball during a game  at AmericanAirlines Arena on January 4, 2013 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Miami Heat's rebounding struggles have been well documented. Their frequent and recent losses against bigger teams, such as Chicago and Utah, has led to an uproar by fans and the media to repair these lapses. However, one could seemingly point to the Heat's poor shooting as of late as directly related to being out-rebounded night after night.

Miami does have trouble boxing out on the offensive end, which should not be cast aside as meaningless. It currently ranks a miserable 24th in opponent's offensive rebounding per game, allowing 11.9 a contest. This form of hustle should not be the Heat's downfall though. Theoretically, it points to their supreme defense, as they allow a sixth-best 43.4 percent from the floor. This ranks just below other dominant defensive teams such as Chicago and Oklahoma City. 

It is therefore possible that the reason the Heat are constantly being out-rebounded is due to their poor shooting this month. Aside from the Big Three, none of their supporting cast is shooting an accurate percentage. Ray Allen ranks the highest, just grazing the 46th percentile. Mario Chalmers comes in next at 45.3 percent, followed by Rashard Lewis' 44.4. Aside from Norris Cole's borderline 40-percent shooting, the rest of the regular supporting cast's performances are less than stellar. 

Headlined by Shane Battier's disastrous 13.6 percent, it is evident Miami is not receiving the necessary and needed production from the bench. Logically, a team that shoots poorly will always be out-rebounded by its opponents. When one considers that Miami's most brutal shellacking on the boards came against Chicago (48-28), one of the best defensive teams in the league, it is obvious the Heat's issues are not entirely attributed on the glass, but shooting the basketball as well.

In that very loss to the Bulls, the Heat shot an ordinary 46.2 percent. With the bench shooting just 31.5 percent, it hardly seems surprising Miami couldn't keep up on the glass. However, as aforementioned, the Heat are an excellent defensive team. They held Chicago to just 45 percent, and thereby allowed an awful 19 offensive rebounds.

Either way, the Heat remain in desperate need for an interior presence to not only limit the offensive rebounding of opponents, but also to improve their own work on the offensive boards, should their shooters fall into another abysmal slump.