The Rock wrote:
Phils last year with the Lakers came down to exhaustion..... both of the roster and it's coach. That in combination to a hungrier team with less mileage on it that got hot..... it's not like anyone slowed them down.... they roared thru the West and took it to a very athletic and talented heat team.
Phil is not a defensive minded coach........ his approach is to control pace and allow his stars to have a bigger factor on a slower paced game while trying to squeeze out what he can by spot bench players with a system that helps mask their overall basketball pedigree. That philosophy masks his deficiencies on the defensive end by controlling and slowing the pace majority of the time. That is essentially playoff basketball once it gets down to it..... if you are not good at more half court slowed down pace someone is going to beat you before the planned parade.
MDAs system amplifies defensive issues by increasing the pace IMO........ you have to have quick footed players that pride themselves on that end of the floor for MDA to match the type of play that will be needed to go where they want to go which is the finals. If they run that offense at a good to great efficiency they will mask their speed issues...... if they don't it's going to get really ugly because with the increased pace it will compound our defensive issues which is mostly because of foot speed and hustle.
we were never a defensive minded team under Phil. We just buckled down and got the stops at the end when we needed to. I dont think we're gonna be like the Suns where we push the pace up and down like crazy, the bench might. Mike's system is mostly the Pick & Roll and creating shots off that.
Mikes teams in Phoenix never had great defensive players (outside of Marion and Bell), he had one in Tyson Chandler last year and they were a top 10 defensive team last year (Even before he got fired). This is a shot making league, if you make shots you'll survive....Heat gave up 98 points per game last year in the Finals and they still won it all
I disagree Rock...and here's why. Miami had the athletes and youth to be an uptempo team. If you hold the opposing team to 98 points while you outscore them by nearly 10 (107), then for an uptempo offense, that's good defense. Miami was ranked 4th in the regular season and 5th in the playoffs in defensive efficiency last season. Outside of his 1st year as coach, Spoels has actually led Miami to being top 5 in defense both in regular season and playoffs. But you do need the right players.
D'Antoni started the 2011/12 campaign 18-24 and was ranked 11th in defensive efficiency (compared to Mike Brown's 13th ranking). Under Woodson, they went 18-6 and were 5th in defensive efficiency. So having the right personnel does contribute to good D, but look at the difference a defensive coach makes.
Lastly, Phil was known for the triangle, yet his defensive ratings were top 10. Like mentioned before, personnel changes that, but with guys like Parker, McKie, Slava, and Mihm, PJ earned 15th in defensive efficiency. Of course, when you replace them with guys like Fish, Ariza and Pau (2007/8 season) their defense improved:
2007/8: 9th (regular) 5th (playoffs) --> lost to "those guys" in Finals
2008/9: 5th (regular) 2nd (playoffs) --> won championship against Supes
2009/10: 5th (regular) 7th (playoffs) --> won championship and avenged ourselves against "those guys"
2010/11: 6th (regular) 12th (playoffs) --> disappointing flameout (Kobe played on one leg and this team was gassed coming off 3 straight Finals appearances)
If you consider that Bynum was either a rookie, injured or not 100% during our playoff runs, PJ and his coaching staff produced some really good defensive numbers. Also compare it to Brown last year who had an All-Star Bynum in the lineup and we were ranked 13th in both the regular season and playoffs.
I would say that Phil doesn't get enough credit on D, being that he's known as an offensive coach.