Sunday, December 05, 2010

Is Joel Anthony Really A Bad Offensive Player?

The Miami Heat have disappointed the "pundits" so far this season with a 13-8 record. Lots and lots is being written about them, and frankly I'm a little over it. I feel like they've done decently to this point. I want to talk about one Heat player in particular. Joel Anthony is a guy who's continually worked hard and done his job. His defense is his game, but why is his offense non-existent?

Anthony rarely, if ever, turns his head toward the rim. He only takes shots out of necessity, and largely wants to get out of the way. Yeah, he's not a scoring juggernaut, but have the Heat ever attempted to raise his confidence, let alone work with him on his offense?

The Heat need to inject confidence into this kid. If they made his mindset on offense positive, he could make a stronger impact. If stars like LeBron, Wade and Bosh truly want to lessen their comrades weaknesses, they should verbally give them confidence. After motivating them, they should give them looks they have a high likelihood of finishing.

In Anthony's case, the Heat need to set him up to dunk. Look for him as much as possible. Anthony would make more free throws if the Heat players told him they believed in him. Joel doesn't believe in his offense, neither do his teammates. A mind's waining confidence can rid you of almost all of your skill. That's part of Anthony's problem.

Also, does the Heat staff work with Anthony on his offense? I mean, look at Dwight Howard. Superman solely had athleticism on his side when he first entered the league. No definitive offense moves and counter moves. Granted, Howard is more talented that Anthony, but that doesn't mean Anthony can't put as much effort into his offensive development.

Hours in the "lab" filled with work on low post moves and footwork wouldn't only make Anthony better, but it would bring him confidence. When Dwight Howard worked with Hakeem Olajuwon this summer, his confidence was evident in the pre-season. He had an idea of what he was doing down low and of how to respond to the defense.

Some readers may think I'm crazy to theorize on how Joel Anthony could become a scoring threat. They'd say, "this guy's a role player, and only a defensive one at that!" If you're the Miami Heat though, building a dynasty requires this type of attention to detail.

Potential cannot be left on the table. While you could generalize this idea for all teams and players, the Heat's goals require an unmatched amount of comprehensiveness here. Each player must be the best he can be.

Looking at Anthony once more, I just wish the guy would attempt to be less one dimensional. If he could be somewhat serviceable on offense, that'd be refreshing. And help make the already stagnant Miami offense less of an eye sore.