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Just The Sports: Eastern Conference Playoff Breakdown (Miami vs. New Jersey)

Just The Sports

Monday, May 08, 2006

Eastern Conference Playoff Breakdown (Miami vs. New Jersey)

Miami (2) vs. New Jersey (3)

Despite the uproar among sports journalists after Miami dropped two games in its playoff series against Chicago, the truth is Miami is not that great a team and was not much better than the Chicago Bulls. What should provide some consolation to the Miami Heat is knowing the New Jersey Nets are not a great team either. But the Nets were a good enough team to beat Miami three out of four times this season.

Miami Offense: 109 points per 100 possessions
New Jersey Defense: 102 points per 100 possessions

New Jersey Offense: 104 points per 100 possessions
Miami Defense: 105 points per 100 possessions

Miami is a marginally more efficient team than is New Jersey, but that is still a marginal advantage in Miami's favor.

Miami Jump Shot Offense: 40.9 pts
New Jersey Jump Shot Defense: 43.2 pts

Miami Close Offense: 25.9 pts
New Jersey Close Defense: 22.3 pts

Miami Dunk Offense: 12.2 pts
New Jersey Dunk Defense: 5.8 pts

Miami Tips Offense: 1.3 pts
New Jersey Tips Defense: 1.0 pts

Miami has a clear advantage over New Jersey's defense in terms of scoring in the interior, whether from lay-ups or dunks or tip-ins. For New Jersey to win the game, they will have to find a way to bottle up Miami's impressive interior offense, stopping both Shaq and Dwyane Wade's drives.

New Jersey Jump Shot Offense: 44.6 pts
Miami Jump Shot Defense: 47.4 pts

New Jersey Close Offense: 20.4 pts
Miami Close Defense: 20.2 pts

New Jersey Dunk Offense: 7.1 pts
Miami Dunk Defense: 7.3 pts

New Jersey Tips Offense: 1.4 pts
Miami Tips Defense: 1.1 pts

It is no well-kept secret how poorly Miami plays perimeter defense. Chicago was able to exploit this common knowledge for two games before its shots stopped going into the basket. How long New Jersey is able to consistently make jump shots will go a long way into determining how many games the team wins. As far as scoring on the inside, New Jersey should be able to score at the same clip as averaged during the season.

There is still the net PER to look at to see which teams gets more production from its players. Usually, this is the tiebreaker for who will win the series.

Point Guard: New Jersey wins the point guard battle, but it bears repeating that Jason Kidd is barely better than the opponents' point guards he faces. Still, he will be better than Miami's point guards (+0.7 to -2.4). Advantage: New Jersey

Shooting Guard: Having Dwyane Wade really helps make your team's shooting guards look better. Having Vince Carter helps, too, but not as much. +7.7 to +3.5. Advantage: Miami

Small Forward: New Jersey has a decided advantage in the small forward department, thanks to Richard Jefferson (+3.7 to -5.0). Advantage: New Jersey

Power Forward: New Jersey's power forwards are less worse than Miami's power forwards (-0.6 to -2.0). Advantage: New Jersey

Center: New Jersey gets absolutely nothing from the center position. Miami has Shaquille O'Neal and that helps. Not as much as it used to, but it still helps. +9.0 to -4.7. Advantage: Miami

Prediction: The advantage Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal give Miami trumps the advantage Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson give New Jersey. Miami wins in seven games.


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