NBA Betting: Top Point Guards Causing Trouble for Miami Heat
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 11/16/2010
The Miami Heat are not going to finish the NBA season 82-0. They have lost four of their first 10 games and the so-called Miami ‘dream team’ is in third place in the Southeast Division.
How can this be happening with all that talent down there in South Beach? Dwyane Wade was joined by Chris Bosh and LeBron James this offseason to form arguably the most formidable starting lineup in the NBA in the past 20 years.
But a few weeks into the season and there are noticeable weak links and holes in the Miami grand plan.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban took to the airwaves recently to gloat in Miami’s despair. He cited the Heat’s lack of a presence in the paint for the reason of their struggles.
Miami ranks last in the NBA in points per game in the paint, averaging just 32.4 points per game inside. Cuban was quoted as saying, “Any team with a strong, big guy that can score, they’re getting abused by. They just don’t have size to battle.”
Cuban was right in regards to Miami’s struggles inside the paint, but he was wrong in citing that as the main reason the Heat are 6-4. It does not take a big man to beat Miami, but rather a gifted small man, at point guard.
The consensus in the league is that Boston’s Rajon Rondo, Utah’s Deron Williams and New Orleans’ Chris Paul are the top three point guards in the league. The three, along with Jason Kidd of Dallas, are the only point guards in the league averaging more than 10 minutes per game.
Another thing Rondo, Williams and Paul have in common is that they have all beaten the Heat.
Miami has tremendous issues at the point guard position, where no true point guard exists. James leads the Heat with 8.9 assists per game, but he is also turning it over 4.2 times a game. Wade is a far cry from a point guard; he has more turnovers per game (3.4) than assists (3.2). Against teams with elite point guards Miami is 0-4 SU and 0-4 ATS.
If Miami wants to reach the top of the division and try to even come near their preseason expectations, it will have to address point guard play.
The lack of inside scoring is a concern, too, but points in the paint can be an overrated stat. The Los Angeles Clippers are fifth in the league in scoring in the paint, but they are 1-10. Of the top five teams in points per game in the paint, three have losing records.
Guard play continues to be the determining factor in success in the NBA.
That is bad news for Miami in the coming weeks. Wednesday night the Heat host Steve Nash and Phoenix. Other bad matchups loom for Miami, including a trip to face Kidd and the Mavericks in Dallas on Nov. 27. Two nights later Miami hosts John Wall and the Wizards Nov. 29. And on Dec. 8 Miami visits Utah and Williams again in a rematch.
The season is still young, but Miami’s struggles against top point guards are evident and this is certainly a trend for bettors to keep an eye on.
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