2011 NBA Playoffs Round 2
Celtics at Heat Game 1 Live Notes:
First of all, congrats to former Celtic Tony Allen for helping the Griz upset the Western Conference #1 seed San Antonio Spurs on Friday night and then steal the home court advantage from the OKC Thunder by winning game one on the road today.
Prior to tipoff Mark Jackson is calling for Kevin Garnett to dominate offensively to give Boston a chance. I’m with him though I don’t actually expect him to do that. KG doesn’t have that mindset anymore. Even at his best he wasn’t a score first player.
Rondo gets the first defensive rebound of the series off a LeBron missed fadeaway. Good sign. KG chases Bosh out of the paint after a great entry pass by Wade. Bosh plays good man to man at the other end. Wade makes something out of nothing twice in a row. That’s the real fear in this series. Wade and LeBron can turn bad possessions into points.
James powers Garnett out for a rebound. Very impressive. Rondo pushes the ball in transition and draws a foul on James. No foul shots. Score is 6 to 6 at the 6 minute mark. Good defense actually more than just poor offense.
ABC is showing LeBron’s personal struggles against the Celtics in the playoffs. Reminds me of MJ vs. Detroit. Not a good omen. Ray has four points for Boston. James just drew a third foul, this one on Pierce. 1-2 at the line. Pierce also has 3 turnovers in the first quarter. James dominating him early.
Boston goes second unit and misses 4 shots in one possession. They are rebounding with Green, Baby, and Kristic though, which is a good sign. Davis hits a long two to bring Boston within 2. Wade draws the shooting foul on Baby again. Chalmers comes in for Bibby. Allen drives around more than he has since he was a Buck and gets foul 2 on LeBron. Miller comes in for James.
Wade is taking it right past Allen then gets a steal on a bad Baby drive and hits Chalmers for a buzzer beating layup and a 6 point lead going into quarter 2. Miami’s speed and athleticism is controlling the game so far, and Boston has only 14 points.
Miami lead goes from 2 to 12 in about 55 seconds. The Boston bench died sometime in late March, and their zombie corpses have had very little success within the confines of the NBA rules. I’m sure if the Miami bench would agree to a brain eating contest, the Celts would be right in it.
West picked up a technical for dropping the ball on Chalmers. Lead is 13 with James AND Wade on the bench. I have a bad feeling this game is completely over. Touch foul on Garnett stepping out to defend a screen and roll. Oh yeah. Game over. I may have to go watch something else for a while and come back when it’s a 27 point lead in the 4th.
Celts make a 3 point run on one made 3 pointer, and Spoelstra immediately takes a time out. Here comes one of his MVP candidates. I’m starting to think David Thorpe’s prediction of a sweep or a 4-1 Heat victory might not be so far fetched. The Heat have just gotten better in the last four or five weeks, and with those two super-athletes over there, they have such an advantage in one on one play.
James Jones is locked in today. Boston is collapsing on the penetration, and Jones is crushing them. Miami does a great job getting back against runouts but gets cross matched and Boston moves the ball beautifully for a KG dunk. James Jones draws a charge on Pierce. Great rotation. LeBron hits a ridiculous 3 at the other end. Lead is 7. Allen misses a wide open three. Jones hits ANOTHER one. 4 on the game. Lead is 10.
Boston whistled for a defensive 3 seconds. I have a real problem with this rule because it could be called about 20 to 30 times a game and instead is called maybe 2 to 3 times. They just handed Miami a “ref option” point. No special reason. Could easily have called Bosh or Anthony for the same thing on multiple possessions but didn’t. It’s something I meant to mention earlier in the playoffs actually. And it’s true at both ends. Watch Bynum or Marc Gasol. The officials could literally call an offensive 3 seconds on them in at least half of their trips down the floor. It would make the game awful to watch, but it would be the right call. So why do they even have the rule? They CAN’T call it consistently, and it could have a seriously adverse and uneven impact on the game.
After the free point, Wade blows by Allen and drives baseline behind Baby’s back for the three point play – not sure where the foul happened. Might have actually been on Baby who was facing the other way but flailed an arm backwards. 12 point lead. James fouls Baby. No whistle because James hasn’t had a foul called on a blocked shot attempt in 3 seasons. Wade with a layup. 14 point lead with 2 minutes left in the half. Wade has 18 points. Jeff Green hits a 3 and hounds LeBron off the post, but James hits a long 2. West comes back and knocks down a corner three off good ball rotation.
Wade hits a ridiculous step back 3 with Delonte directly in his face. Damn. That was a hell of a shot. Delonte just took a hard drive to the rim went up for a dunk got contact from 3 Heat, and it turns out he’s a Celtics bench zombie. No whistle. At the other end Wade scores again. He’s destroying us with quick hits and incredibly tough shots – 23 points. News for Ray Allen: Defending Wade is tougher than defending Kobe these days. Halftime stats show that Wade single-handedly outscored the Boston starters. Heat up 15 at the half. I will now get out a jug of something with XXXs it.
Heat begin the second half with a tremendous defensive stand. LeBron once again shuts down Pierce for a 24 second violation. Then comes back a nails another extremely difficult stepback J over Pierce. Bosh gets an uncontested offensive board on the possession and then nails a J from the elbow. 19 point lead. Garnett hits JO with a great big to big pass on another play where the refs could have called any number of 3 second violations on either team (Jermaine would have probably been correct). Wade finally misses a shot when he tries to duplicate LBJs stepback baseline insanity.
Rondo isn’t making eye-contact with Rivers on the sideline. That’s worrisome. KG and Pierce combine on an incredible closeout of a LeBron drive. Bosh breaks up a KG lob beautifully. Pierce finally finds the range from 3. Lead is still 11. Z with a moving screen leads to a Rondo floater off multiple passes. Boston doing well with commitment to ball movement. Lead down to 9. Shows what a problem it is to get down big. So much time and energy are spent digging out of the hole, actually taking control of the game is seriously difficult.
Miami, out of the timeout, runs an odd perimeter weave that falls apart when Wade slips. KG helps to stifle his desperation heave. Pierce misses a 3 in transition. LBJ turns it over and Rondo and Pierce run a textbook 2 on 1. Miami has 5 quick turnovers to start the 3rd, allowing Boston to make a run. The lead is 7. James powers a drive into the paint and lofts up a nice shot for 2. KG and Jermaine both miss open jumpers. James comes down and hits a foul line pull up. Lead is up to 11. LeBron does a great job with the Scottie Pippen palm on top of the ball carry. Refs can’t possibly call it, but he has a great advantage on the dribble by actually grabbing the ball when he wants to change direction.
Here’s an odd one. Jermaine bumps James Jones, I mean, like with a forearm, the kind of bump that happens on pretty much every play of the game. Jones falls down because Jermaine is actually Shaq wearing a skinny suit. They call a flagrant and give the Heat two free throws and the ball on what was really a questionable foul at all and certainly not a flagrant. 5 point play after Bibby hits the three. Loose ball foul on Jermaine at the other end.
It’s turned into a Heat + 3 refs versus the Celtics game now, which is why you don’t give up homecourt advantage by tanking the end of the season. Lead is back to 16. James gets another block where he knocks down the driver with body contact. Never a foul. Ever. It’s like LeBron plays defense with 2001 rules while everyone has to play with 2011 rules. Doc should sit the starters and try to win the next game. I’m going to turn away now. Napoleon Dynamite is on, and I think I can catch the dance scene. I want my fan(s) to know that I haven’t yelled at the screen once today.
Tuned back in with 7:45 left in the game in time to see Pierce get a technical for rubbing faces with Jones after Jones hit him the head (isn’t that supposed to be an automatic flagrant? When did Pierce stop being important enough to get normal calls?). Thank the spirits of David Stern that Jordan didn’t get called for the same thing when he did that to Xavier McDaniel, or one of the great moments in NBA history would have been a dark blotch on NBA prissiness instead of an indelible mark of toughness on one of the great players and great rivalries of all time. Oh, and the next play down Wade threw a ludicrous lob behind LeBron James who used his mutant powers to make the catch and dunk in the air. Better watch more independent alterna-comedy.
I’m back with 1:11 in the game. Celts down 10. KG with a block and a rebound. Rondo hits a layup. 8 point game. 55 seconds left. Rondo knocks it out of bounds with 49 seconds left. KG looks totally worn out, which is scary after having a week off. All-in-all I guess losing game 1 on the road by less than a dozen is no big deal, but it sure was hard to watch. If Wade and LeBron make fewer ridicu-shots next games, James Jones does worse than 5 of 7 from the three point line, and Boston doesn’t get reffed out of contention too early, I could see the series getting evened up. Or not, since IF’s don’t happen too often.