Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you’re taller than 6’9” and can rebound with the best of them, it would definitely pay to call the Miami Heat right now. The Heat was abused again on the boards Tuesday night, this time in a loss to the Indiana Pacers, 87-77.
It’s become a common theme for the Heat as of late to lose the rebounding war. Tuesday night against Indiana, the Heat looked like Notre Dame’s defense with Alabama’s offensive line running at it.
The Heat was outrebounded by the Pacers by a 55-36 margin in the game. Only one Heat player had more than five rebounds, LeBron James, who had 10 in the game. On the flip side, Indiana had three players in double-figures in rebounds, led by center Roy Hibbert who had 14 in the game.
“At some point, enough will be enough for us,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “At some point, we’ll get pushed to the brink.”
Where that point is no one knows right now, but Tuesday’s loss was definitely a low point for the team. The Heat managed just 35 second half points and scored only 77 in the game. It didn’t help that outside of the Big Three for the Heat, no one else showed up to put the ball in the basket.
Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony, Shane Battier, and Ray Allen combined to put up the following stat line: 0 points on 0-11 shooting from the field including 0-7 from 3-point area, and 7 rebounds. All total, the Heat bench scored eight points in the game.
For comparison purposes, the Pacers’ bench gave the team 25 points against the Heat Tuesday night.
“Offensively, we did not have a very fluid game on that side of the court,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’ll have to take care of that tomorrow.”
The Heat doesn’t have a lot of options going forward to try and pick up the rebounding slack. The team has worked out Chris Anderson and recently signed Jarvis Varnado to a 10-day contract. Varnado is a rebounder and is 6’9”, 230 pounds and defense is his specialty.
Varnado might be what the Heat needs, but the team does need something going forward to solve the riddle of not losing the rebounding wars.
The Heat currently own the best record in the Eastern Conference and are three games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks in the Southeast Division, so it’s no time to panic. But, the Heat’s rebounding woes are something to watch going forward in the NBA season.