Al Horford said that, as of Thursday, he isn’t planning on playing Saturday. Said Horford, "It’s not really getting any better." Horford tried to shoot at Thursday’s practice, but was still sore. He’ll give it another try Friday.Larry Drew began the process of backing off his mildly provocative comments from yesterday:
Horford’s injury will preclude coach Larry Drew from implementing any lineup changes that he has talked about since the 34-point loss to Philadelphia Tuesday. “It is definitely still weighing on my mind,” Drew said. “The decision has not been made yet.” The team scrimmaged but didn’t have any out-of-the-ordinary lineups, Mo Evans said.and:
Drew said the team is not actively pursuing a trade but is in a stance of keeping its ears open. Said Drew, “We’ll continue to talk about different things, look if there’s something that could potentially make us even a better ballclub.”Just a reminder of what Drew said yesterday:
"We have, in my opinion, fallen into a bit of a comfort zone with everything. It may be time to do something just to rattle the cage a little bit.I joked yesterday that "comfort zone" might be code for "allowing Josh Smith to take horrible shots in great quantity on a nightly basis." At The Heat Index, Tom Haberstroh describes how Erik Spoelstra addressed Chris Bosh's shot selection:
I am not one to react on emotions but I have had this feeling for a little while. I have been in situations where it has been like this, where a team has had to do something just to shake the cage a little bit. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. Will I do it? I have a couple days to practice and make a decision.
I don’t think at this stage . . . at least I don’t feel comfortable, totally comfortable with where we are after 52 games. We have had some bad losses here at home. That may be a sign, I don’t know. I never want to throw out the possibility of making our team better.
At the end of the day, regardless of what happens [with trades], we still are going to have to go out there and improve our club. After last night’s loss, I do believe we do have to look at our situation very seriously and possibly look at a lineup change, possibly doing something that will jolt this team. Because I don’t want this team to get into a comfort zone. The minute we get into a comfort zone, what happened last night, that is the end result."
While doing his homework on Bosh, his new $110 million power forward, Spoelstra noticed something in the data: Bosh was more effective on the right side than on the left. It was a simple observation but one that would eventually send ripple effects through the team. Spoelstra knew Bosh could play on the left block, but the third-year coach also understood the value of Bosh's anchoring the Heat’s offensive sets on the right side, where he could play to his strengths.A far cry from:
But how would Spoelstra persuade his five-time All-Star to essentially give up one side of the court?
He set a meeting and showed him the hard evidence.
“Stats are stats, man,” Bosh laughed. “I couldn’t say anything. I was like, 'I can post up over there [on the left side].' They said, 'Well, this says you can, but it's not the same [as the right side].'"
“I didn’t fight it. I like getting the ball in the post, so to keep that going, I just said ‘Coach, that’s fine.’”
Spoelstra says this isn’t the first time he’s used advanced stats to organize his offense. He did it last season with Jermaine O’Neal, sending the big man to the left side of the floor after seeing the numbers.
What numbers does Spoelstra use?
“We use a little bit of Synergy and then we charted it out on our own,” Spoelstra said. “I have these moles in the dungeon -- video guys -- all they do is chart.”
"Someone read a stat about his percentage on stand-still shooting, he ranks high in the league."or:
"I do feel very comfortable with Josh Smith taking the jump shot, it’s when he takes it that I have a problem with, but he and I, we’re going to battle that all year long, but we’re on the same page. We’re on the same page with it."