The faint whimpering sound you're hearing tonight is not the neighbor's dog. No, it's Chris Bosh all the way down in South Florida, after realizing that his team has yet to figure out how to solve the zone defense.
Watching the Heat-Hawks game tonight, it looks like the zone is still the Heat's kryptonite. Several people in the Around the NBA thread were wondering whether we should go that route, and I'm curious what the consensus is.
Not only was the zone effective, but the Hawks were consciously trying to slow the game down, and execute more of a half court game to keep the Heat from running them out of the gym, and it worked. Seems pretty smart to me.
Obviously the Hawks aren't breaking new ground here. Everyone knows that Rick Carlisle and the Mavs did the same thing (well, the zone at least), and won a title because of it. So should the Bulls try to do something similar when they take on the Heat this season, or in the Playoffs?
There seems to be a few issues here that I see regarding whether the Bulls would employ a similar strategy:
1) One of the main storylines coming out of training camp, and something we've seen plenty of since the season started, is that the Bulls are really looking to run this year. I believe I read that the Bulls are currently second in the league in pace (too lazy to look it up, sorry). So while other teams want to slow down (at least against the Heat), it looks like we're trying speed up. And while I like this strategy against 28 other teams in the league, I'm not so sure we want to try and out-run those assholes in South Beach.
2) Thibs is VERY proud of his defense. I just can't see Thibs essentially giving up, and telling his team to play a zone after drilling his defensive principles in their heads for 2 years. Since he's been coach, I don't think they've played a zone defense one time. Yet we expect him to do it for the majority of a playoff series? I don't see it.
Personally, I think they need to do whatever they can to beat that team (or any team for that matter). If the Heat are that weak against that particular defense (which is kinda remarkable, really), then you HAVE TO use it. At least during certain stretches of games, here and there.
Part of being a great coach is exploiting the other team's weaknesses, and while Thibs may not like it, it's something that may need to be done. Anyway, I'm just curious what everyone else thinks. Should the Bulls use a zone against the Heat? Would they?
"You silly bastards, I do what I want"