Heat is on the Heat

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

The Miami Heat better figure out a way to defend without flopping.

OK, so that's not entirely fair to a defensive team schooled in the principles of Pat Riley. Erik Spoelstra is a terrific defensive coach and certainly can instruct his players to adjust to the league's new anti-flopping policy.

But Dwyane Wade better read the fine print closely. So should Shane Battier, who is too good a defender to resort to such tactics. LeBron James is too busy disrupting passing lanes and angling for chase-down blocked shots to spend much time flopping.

The Heat certainly will have to change their ways. If they can't, maybe they should see what Vlade Divac is doing these days.


Better have shot blockers

Ira Winderman

Sun Sentinel

Teams without shot blockers, who instead attempt to defend the paint with their feet. So the Lakers (with Dwight Howard), Knicks (with Tyson Chandler) and Thunder (with Serge Ibaka) should be fine.

In fact, tighter flopping inspection likely will be more of an individual concern than a team concern. For players such as Manu Ginobili and Shane Battier, taking the charge, and embellishing the charge, has become a way of NBA life. With Ginobili and Tony Parker, it could prove to be a double-whammy for the Spurs.

And yet, stars also are among the best to adjust to rules changes. It is the second-tier defenders, the likes of Reggie Evans, who likely will find themselves hit hardest in the pocket book.


Underdogs lose teeth

Josh Robbins

Orlando Sentinel

If the initiative does have teeth, the teams hurt the most will be teams hoping to cobble together postseason upsets.

The Pacers and 76ers, for example, are solid playoff teams, but they're not on the Heat's level. Flopping can give overmatched teams one more weapon in their arsenals that could swing a close game in their favor.