TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Secondary assists important to Heat

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 8:38 p.m.
 

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

Most-Read Stories

  1. Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
  2. Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
  3. Dunbar Twp. man held for trial in DUI fatality
  4. New Kensington-Arnold principals given new duties to reflect realignment
  5. A fair, and fitting, tribute
  6. Apollo Borough embarks on rental reform with notices to landlords
  7. North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
  8. Connellsville man held for court in robbery of pizza delivery man
  9. Family to rebuild Manor home destroyed by fire
  10. Kittanning firefighters set to muster up a good time in 125th year
  11. South Buffalo Township woman accused of stealing nearly $13K from employer
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.