MINNEAPOLIS -- After his team recorded 22 fewer rebounds than the Bulls on Thursday night, coach Erik Spoelstra emphasized to the Heat that each player is accountable in the paint.
The Heat’s apathetic approach to the boards in recent games compelled Spoelstra to meticulously review each rebounding scenario from Thursday’s game with the team.
The consensus: “We are a five-man rebounding team,” Spoelstra said.
Against the Bulls, the Heat had just 21 defensive rebounds. The Bulls had 36. The Heat was outrebounded 46-34 overall in Tuesday’s loss to Detroit and 33-21 on the defensive boards.
“When you have that much slippage for the last couple games, it is a little bit of everything,” Spoelstra said. “That’s why we spent [Friday] watching every single one of them, and the accountability starts with our commitment to it. We’re a five-man defensive rebounding team. It’s an effort/focus thing, and there are also some schematic things that we have to pay attention to.
“But all of it has to work together for us to rebound. We do not have a double-digit rebounder every single night. That doesn’t make it bad or wrong. That makes us who we are.”
Michael Beasley was a late scratch after waking up in Minneapolis on Saturday with a strained hamstring, according to the Heat. Beasley led the Heat in rebounding against the Bulls. He has been the Heat’s most active rebounder recently and is averaging 8.2 rebounds per 36 minutes.
“We want him to provide what everybody else does, help us win,” Spoelstra said. “That’s all the details of our defense, the effort, the rebounding, we know that he has a gift for scoring, but it has to happen within the context of what we do. He has been doing a good job.”
It might have been minus-8 degrees outside Saturday morning in Minneapolis, but that didn’t prevent Ray Allen from getting in his morning run. Allen’s name was the first on the sign-in sheet at Lifetime Fitness, which is connected to Target Center. The Heat’s shooting guard made his first start for the Heat on Thursday in the loss to the Bulls.
“For me personally, I liked being able to take a warm body into the game,” Allen said. “I didn’t have to work it. When you sit down for five minutes and then get your body warmed up, I was able to get right into it.”
Allen started after Dwyane Wade was held out of the game because of flu symptoms. In previous games, James Jones and Roger Mason Jr. have started for Wade. Recent reports have suggested the Heat might be in the market for more backcourt depth, but Allen believes the Heat’s bench is fine.
“I think we have great depth,” Allen said. “We just need to get in the game. We need to be used.”
Predictably, the Heat’s poor play recently has created mass panic among Miami fans. Chris Bosh put things in the proper perspective before Saturday’s game:
“That’s how it always is, run for the hills,” Bosh said. “We’re used to it. We have to stay controlled, but at the same time we also have to have an edge to us and make sure we get it back. We lost a game on our home court and we lost a game to the Bulls, who we hate to lose to, and I think that’s enough of a mix for us to get our attention and make sure we need to come out with the right energy and right focus and make sure we play good defense and put a whole game together [Saturday]. That would be awesome.”