Kenyon Martin, solution to Heatís defensive struggles
The Brooklyn Nets pounded the Miami Heat on the glass, keying on their rivals’ lack of size for 11-rebounds in the first half. They Miami Heat also seemed to struggle against the Brooklyn Nets’ drives at the basket. By the second-half, the Miami Heat responded by bolstering their defenses for a remarkable comeback with a 102-89 win. Sadly for the Miami Heat, their defensive struggles form that first half have largely pertained over the last two losses.
There are two aspects to a struggling defense: competing against an elite team with size or elite team with elite size. There aren’t a lot of elite big men around the Eastern Conference which should put the Miami Heat easily back into the finals even if they small ball. But that isn’t going to work against Western Conference teams that have at least one elite big man on the roster.
However, the Miami Heat only need to draw their hand into free agency to acquire Kenyon Martin in a solution to their defensive struggles.
Kenyon Martin has a solid game at utilizing his athleticism for remarkable blocks and dunks. The 34-year-old Kenyon Martin has career averages of 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks in key departments where the Miami Heat rank 29th in defense, 29 in rebounding and 23rd in blocks this season. A little help from Kenyon Martin could bump-up those rankings.
Kenyon Martin could easily relieve LeBron James from his the stressful task of running the offense and simultaneously slipping into several different defensive positions on the court, given the 6'9, 240 pounds free agent’s similarity in speed and athleticism with the reigning Miami Heat MVP.
Sure, the Miami Heat have Shane Battier covering guys like Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce who do more damage from the perimeter, but Battier has struggled against guys like Zach Randolph or David West who have a strong game inside the paint. Such scenarios can and often have ended with Shane Battier getting injured, which is worse for the Miami Heat’s defense.
Here’s where Kenyon Martin comes in. The offensive end will thrive under Kenyon Martin’s above-the-rim game as it allows the Miami Heat to play small ball at an up-tempo pace.