This is my first time posting here, so please be kind to a noob.
I think that unless Coach Woodson makes certain adjustments, I 'm going to hold him largely responsible for why we lose the series to the Heat.
Not that we had a great chance to win in the first place, but I can't help but point out some things that seem glaringly obvious to me, that he could change.
Why are we not using ZONE DEFENSE against the Heat?
ZONE DEFENSE is the Heat's kryptonite. Why? Because it's an effective way of shoring up the defense against Lebron and Wade (nobody can ever shut them down completely, but slowing them down is enough).
Here are the Heat's stats vs. Transition, Man-to-Man, and Zone:
Miami Heat's offense in 2011-12
vs. Transition 125
vs. Man 567
vs. ZONE 50
vs. Transition 152
vs. Man 441
vs. ZONE 37
vs. Transition 121.6
vs. Man 94.4
vs. ZONE 74
vs. Transition 69.7
vs. Man 48.0
vs. ZONE 38.1
vs. Transition 15.2
vs. Man 15.0
vs. ZONE 12.0
vs. Transition 14.4
vs. Man 12.8
vs. ZONE 4.0
Source: Synergy Sports
Miami's biggest strength is their two superstars. If you employ the zone to nullify their athletic advantage and force them to perimeter shooting they are not nearly as effective. After the Mavs used it effectively to defeat them last year, many other teams have copy-catted the strategy and had relatively good success using it. Every team that scored a win against the Heat this year employed the ZONE.
We don't have anyone that go man-man with Lebron or Wade. So why try? Also the ZONE saves our guys from gassing themselves. This means Melo won't be exhausted trying to cover Lebron or Wade and will have the extra juice needed to shoot the lights out.
The entire reason why ZONE defense exists is to help teams that have to play vs more athletic teams. It's worked over and over and over. History and stats have proven this to be true.
The biggest thing that everyone overlooks and Alan Hahn pointed this out in a few interviews: Without Lebron James, the Heat go from being the bestest to an above average team. Why? Because their bench is pretty weak. They don't have major depth.
If forced to perimeter shooting, then the advantages that Lebron, Wade, and Bosh provide are reduced SIGNIFICANTLY. The numbers don't lie.
The biggest things to worry about is that Lebron and Wade are excellent cutting, slashing players. But guess who we have that's excellent at stopping that? Tyson Chandler.
Tyson Chandler was in the middle of that same Zone that the Mavs used to stop the Heat last year. So not only do we have the need because of depleted man-power, but we even have someone that's experienced and an expert with the same Zone used to defeat the Heat. Hell, if anyone could command a Zone on the floor it would be Tyson.
We don't even have use ZONE exclusively! We could switch it up easily between Man and ZONE. If we make the shot, Zone, if not, Man. Not that hard, it's not rocket science.
Why are we so slow to react to runs?
After any team runs more than 8 unanswered points on your team, you need to call a time-out! Not wait until they run 12-14 points.
Do we have an offensive strategy other than Melo ball?
Do we have a plan B other than "Find more ways to get the ball to Melo?"
Don't get me wrong. I totally appreciate everything that Woodson has done on a character, heart, work ethic stance. I love what he's done. But he's really lacking in offensive and defensive creativity, and shows a lack of flexibility to react and adjust in-game.
We need RICK CARLISLE as head coach next year.
-He's got a ring.
-He knows how to run a team with ONE STAR.
-He shows flexibility, creativity, and vision during a game (his decision to insert Barea during the finals vs. the Heat is inspired, and it worked)
-He's worked with Chandler and used a Zone to shut down the Heat
-He's available! His contract just expired.
-He can beat the HEAT
If we stick with Woodson, I'll grant you that he'll give us warm fuzzy feelings and be earnest, and a great cheerleader... but it's going to Ewing vs Jordan years all over again for the next 3 years while we still have Melo and at his prime.