Lakers Tips: How Kobe Bryant Can Lead LA to Beat Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat

Where's the beef?

That's the question NBA fans have been asking when watching recent games of the free-falling Miami Heat.

Dwyane Wade and friends have now lost five games in a row and six of their last seven, including two heartbreaking losses to the Chicago Bulls, with their most recent defeat being at home at the hands of the Portland Trailblazers, currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

The most troubling aspect of these losses of the team lead by LeBron James is not a lack of talent on the squad.

It's certainly not a lack of offensive talent, at least when supplied by the Heat's "Big 2" of Wade and James, who scored 38 and 31 points respectively.

Having said that, alleged bawler Chris Bosh struggled offensively again, shooting just twenty-seven percent from the field for only seven points, the same amount that he scored against the Bulls on February 24 when he went 1-for-18 and shot just over five percent.

In that game, Bosh was simply shut down by Bulls center Joakim Noah, who kept him off-balance and forced him into difficult jump shots all night.  He terrorized Bosh so much mentally that even when he got open for easy lay-ins he would miss them.

Still, the main problem afflicting the Heat right now is not offense, but a total lack of shutdown defense late in the games.

Despite the posturing of coach Erik Spoelstra as a "defensive-minded coach", the Heat cannot play defense for the life of them.

At the end of both losses against the Bulls, starting point guard Derrick Rose was able to penetrate the Heat's defense at will, either scoring with driving lay-ups or attracting so much defensive attention that he could kick it out to an open teammate beyond the arc for an easy three-pointer.

Similarly, the Trailblazers exposed the Heat's defensive break-downs late in their game against Miami to win.


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