Secondary assists important to Heat
TribLIVE Sports Videos
MIAMI — There's nary a pair of skates visible in the Miami Heat locker room, no bucket of pucks in the practice facility and no Zamboni following the team around, either.
Still, there's at least one hockey principle that's in the mind of the reigning NBA champions so far this season.
With emphasis on ball movement, the Heat are currently into what's known as “hockey assists” — essentially, the pass that sets up the pass that sets up the score.
In hockey, it's typical for two players to be credited with having passes to set up a goal, and while it's hardly an NBA statistic, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is working it into his team's repertoire as well.
“If anything, it's a compliment to the game of hockey,” Heat center Joel Anthony said. “We're recognizing the different types of ways they reward players for making the extra pass. Hockey acknowledges it a lot more. There's no stat for it in basketball but we still acknowledge that. Spo recognizes that and wants to make sure we know it's extremely important.”
Anthony would seem to be the resident Miami expert in this field.
After all, he's the Heat player who hails from Canada — hockey's epicenter.
“That extra pass, it means a lot for us,” Anthony said.
Miami's ball movement this season is beyond statistically impressive. In their four wins so far, the Heat have 109 assists against only 43 turnovers. Even with their lone loss taken into account, the Heat assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.98-to-1 led the NBA entering Thursday's games.
“Our team assist-to-turnover ratio is important,” Spoelstra said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Unexected snow squalls bring icy conditions, accidents in West Mifflin
- Hunting creates strong bonds, traditions
- Sentencing delayed for Operation Pork Chop mastermind
- Elizabeth council honors actions of 2 emergency responders
- Trib real estate writer Spatter ‘worked right to the end’
- For some Pennsylvania candidates, 2015 is already here
- McKeesport’s Minerva’s Bakery to be featured on Sebak’s documentary
- Salvation Army in W.Pa. uses social media campaign
- In Steelers-Saints game, all eyes on Brown-Lewis matchup
- Steelers notebook: Defense has a retro feel
- Sloppy Penguins fall to Hurricanes