The first edition of the “how to beat Miami” book is out around the league — and there is a whole chapter on “pushing them around.” Being physical.
“You have to anticipate that teams are going to be physical with us … are going to try to make the game ugly,” (Chris) Bosh said. “We have to be ready for that. Sometimes you get hard fouls. I’m not saying play dirty and get flagrant fouls and lose your money. But you can foul hard. You can have a no-layup mentality sometimes. Nothing wrong with that. We can look for more opportunities to get that done.”
“Teams are being a little chippy with us,” (LeBron) James said. “We have to see how the game is being played and maybe do the same. We know what our identity is. Mentally prepared is how we are.”
“I think we get the message,” (Coach Erik) Spoelstra said. “They’re aware of that right now. That’s the way we’re being played and we welcome that. We’re a physical team as well. Our guys understand what it takes.”
Smart money has Udonis Haslem leading the Heat’s newfound physical focus. He is their enforcer and emotional leader.
There are “books” on how to beat every team, a sort of consensus of scouts and coaches around the league that have watched to see what works against a team. Against the Heat thus far the losses have come to teams that banged inside and had a very good point guard (Boston brings that mix into tonight’s game). Not every team has the requisite personnel to pull off these game plans.
But the physical play part — every team thinks it can do that. Every team will put in its big guys and push and bang. That’s why Terrance Williams of he Nets is trying to knock LeBron James around.
Until Miami proves that doesn’t work. Then the chapter will be rewritten. But for now the Heat will have to prove they can stand up to the play.