The Lone Rangers lost to the Heat on the road, and in the last five games, the team suffered four defeats, and although the result was the same, the loss in this game was beyond the expectations of many fans. If the previous game was because the team's main player did not play well, like in the two games against the Hornets, Irving averaged only 18 points per game and shot less than 40% from the field. In the last game against the 76ers, core Doncic scored only 24 points, and the poor performance in key moments directly buried the game. This kind of losing because of the poor core of the team, although it makes fans angry, but it is a problem that every team encounters.
But in this game against the Heat, the three scoring cores of the Lone Ranger all played their due performance, Doncic shot 17 of 25, cutting down a quasi-triple-double of 42 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists; Irving shot 10-of-17 with 23 points and 8 assists; Hardaway Jr. shot 11 of 15, bombed 31 points, 7 assists, and the three combined 95 points, 19 rebounds and 23 assists of horror statistics, but the team is still difficult to win, and even once trailed the opponent by nearly 20 points, this way of losing is a big blow to the team's self-confidence, and after the game, the outside world also targeted head coach Kidd, and this is not the first time Kidd has been questioned by the outside world. Was the team's loss in this game, including the team's poor performance after the trade deadline, because of a hole in Kidd's style of play and tactical arrangement?
How did the Lone Ranger lose? - Offensive chapter
For the Lone Ranger, the team's offensive system is Doncic's own one-star shooting, and three-point shooting from the outside is the team's most important scoring means. The Heat's defensive strategy for this game is also very clear, that is, cutting off teammates from Doncic, and limiting Doncic's personal offense through a large number of joint defense tactics. First of all, in terms of cutting off its passes, the Heat's defensive strategy is that when Doncic and his teammates block and dismantle, the Heat immediately form a close circle with two or three people, except for the defender in front of him, the other two are standing on Doncic's passing route. Just like the picture below, Doncic broke through after using Powell's cover, and the Heat three closed it, in this case, Doncic could not distribute the ball to several teammates around him, and the only option was to pass to the teammate at the farthest end of the bottom right corner, but this would give the Heat enough time to make up for it, even if it was passed, it was difficult to form an open opportunity, and Doncic could only choose a difficult single to finish the attack.
In this defensive way, Doncic is difficult to find outside teammates, the Lone Ranger shot a total of 34 three-pointers in this game, and its Middle East Chec, Irving and Hardaway Jr. made a total of 20 shots, and other players only got 14 shots, like the team's core shooter Kléber only got 3 shots, which led to the one-star four-shot system that the Lone Ranger relies on to not play its due power, and the team's offense can only be forced to become a three-core individual single.
For the Lone Ranger's individual singles, the Heat used a lot of joint defense tactics to block its breakthrough route. Especially for Doncic's personal attack, the Heat's strategy is also to surround several people, which can slow down Doncic's breakthrough speed, at this time the Heat interfere with Doncic's dribbling and force him to stop the ball, and in this case, Doncic can only choose to shoot in time by throwing shots, otherwise he will be caught by the opponent, and there is no passing and shooting at all.
Just like the following offensive round, Doncic broke through the basket after using the block, when the Heat blocked his breakthrough route to force him to slow down, while the weak side defense Shiro reached out to interfere with Doncic's dribbling, at this time Doncic can only be forced to close the ball, with a long-range throw to end the attack, fortunately, Doncic feels hot and can score the ball. In this game, Doncic was forced to use this throwing method to finish offense.
It can be said that the Heat used these two ways to disassemble the Lone Ranger's offense to pieces, and the reason why the three masters will be able to cut high scores is on the one hand because the three are in good shape this game and hit a lot of difficult shots, especially Hardaway, many of the three points are completed defensively. Second, because the team's tactical system was limited by the opponent, the team could only rely on a large number of individual offense to score, but in the decisive stage of the fourth quarter, the three's offense was limited, and they were never able to narrow the point difference, and finally lost the game.
And coach Kidd needs to take a lot of responsibility, one is not able to see the move in time, after the opponent used joint defense tactics, failed to make adjustments in time, only hoped for the outside three-point projection to crack the joint defense, but in the case of Doncic being strictly defended, it was difficult for outside shooters to get open shooting opportunities, Kidd did not find a way to crack until the fourth quarter, and the on-the-field adaptability was poor, resulting in the team's offense completely falling into the rhythm of the opponent and playing very struggling.
Second, Kidd only gave Wood 11 minutes of playing time, even if he shot 3 of 5 on the court and 2 of 3 three-pointers, he still did not get a chance to play, especially Wood has a good mid-range shooting ability, can also have a good shooting percentage near the free throw line, which is also one of the most effective ways to crack the joint defense, and his height advantage teammates are difficult to interfere with him, but Kidd still presses it on the bench. But for Wood, he is a very high-quality scorer, with excellent off-ball scoring and secondary offensive ability, very suitable for playing next to Doncic, and during the Rockets period, Wood averaged 21 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, which is a well-deserved scoring king on the team and the object of many teams. But in Kidd's hands, Wood has even fallen to the brink of rotation, especially in the last four games, where Wood has averaged less than 15 minutes per game, which can be said to be a big problem for Kidd.
How did the Lone Ranger lose the game? - Defense
In addition to being limited offense, defense is the main reason why the Lone Ranger loses. Since the team sent away several defenders on trade deadline, the Lone Ranger's defense has slipped significantly. This game is even more vividly embodied. Just like the defensive round below, the Heat executed the blocking tactic, and after the cover was completed, there was no Lone Ranger defender in front of Zeller, and there was a big problem with the team's defensive task distribution, and the other three players were standing in place, seemingly waiting for the other party to make up for it. And the unguarded Zeller easily went down to complete the dunk.
And this is also the epitome of the Lone Ranger's defense in this game, Zeller relied on constantly eating 9 of 13 and cut 20 points, and he averaged only 5.8 points per game this season, a huge contrast enough to see the Lone Ranger's defensive holes. And this has a lot to do with coach Kidd, who has not explained clearly in terms of defensive strategy and the distribution of defensive tasks, regardless of the team's defensive resources and strength. Supplementing defense and assisting defense are the most basic factors in the defensive system. But head coach Kidd didn't handle those details well, allowing an opponent with an obscure role player to kill at the basket.
In addition to coach Kidd, the core of the team's Doncic's defense also has a big problem, like the defensive round below, the opponent two in the weak test bottom corner of the ball cover, at this time the teammate chose to follow one of them, but Doncic always stood in place, giving the opponent the opportunity to open three points, until the opponent was ready to shoot, Doncic chose to defend, but it was too late, the opponent hit an open three-pointer.
Doncic's defensive ability has been criticized by the outside world, which has a lot to do with his physical condition, and this talent gap is an inevitable problem due to his slow movement speed and easy to target opponents. But from the defensive round pictured above, it can be seen that Doncic's defensive awareness or defensive attitude also has certain problems, which is not the defensive attitude that a team's core should have.
The core reason why the Lone Rangers lost to the Heat in this game was that in terms of the head coach's game, Kidd lost. In the face of the opponent's joint defense strategy, Kidd failed to make timely adjustments, resulting in the team's offensive system being completely dismembered, and if it were not for the excellent personal form of the main player, it may be another big defeat. On the defensive end, Kidd's defensive system also has certain problems, especially some details are not in place, giving opponents the opportunity to score easily, which is the responsibility of the head coach. At the same time, Kidd's approach to Wood's use is also very controversial, and there are even more fans who cheered for Wood after this game, and as the most important signing of the offseason Lone Ranger, Kidd failed to fully play Wood's role. Arguably, the Lone Ranger's drop out of the play-offs has a lot to do with head coach Kidd.
For Doncic, his defense also has big problems, this season Doncic's defensive efficiency is only 116.3, ranking 258th in the league, as an MVP candidate, the future face of the league, such data is indeed not satisfactory. Therefore, Doncic also needs to focus part of his energy on the defensive end and improve his defensive awareness and attitude, only in this way can he really drive his teammates on the court. At present, the Lone Rangers are still outside the play-off zone, and the team must make adjustments as soon as possible, otherwise it will really miss the playoffs.