Miami Heat 2-3 Zone Defense ▶ Why The Miami Heat Are Elite Defensively

What separated Miami’s zone from the rest of the league over the last couple of years is how much length – the Butlers, Jae Crowders, Andre Iguodalas and Derrick Jones Jr’s of the roster – they can put at the top of the floor. When others go zone, they’ll sometimes stick with traditional size-for-size assignments, putting their smaller players at the top of a 2-3 and bigger players at the back line. But that can often leave your defenders that most often get targeted in position to be targeted again. Not many teams are as comfortable attacking mismatches from the corner as they are from the top of the floor. Spoelstra puts his length up top – even Bam Adebayo has spent time at the top of the zone this season – where time in front of the ball is maximized. And when the offense puts pressure on the top line of defense, the smaller players in the corners are ready to step up and hinder the drive much in the same way they did in the previous round against Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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