I thought Spoelstra made a very nice adjustment in the second half of this game by choosing to go big instead of using a back-up PG when Chalmers sat. Rondo is really the only driving threat that Boston has, and both James and Wade can cover him. Pierce is still not able to change directions, so his driving ability is limited. Ray Allen is worse than Pierce. He can’t go side to side or jump in the lane. Battier, Miller, and James Jones are able to cover the two HoF perimeter Celtics adequately. With Bosh out, Miami doesn’t have anyone remotely capable of matching up with KG, but Garnett’s not going to net Boston 40 points, so it hardly matters. The extra size on the perimeter gave the Heat the ability to switch on cross screens and to contest Rondo on the boards better. And putting Wade at the point guard position got him involved in playmaking, a part of his game that hadn’t really been utilized against Indiana.
The Heat also did a great job of getting movement away from the ball from LeBron. He has a tendency to drift to the corner when the shot isn’t there immediately, and he didn’t do that tonight. He caught the ball on the move at the elbows and just off the blocks, and he took advantage with quick hits. Beyond strategy, the Heat were quicker to loose balls, dominated the backboard, and Wade and James hit some remarkable shots.
Other than KG, nobody in Green did anything worth mentioning. Pundits predicted that whether Boston or Philadelphia advanced after game 7, the winner would be too worn out to compete against the Heat in this game. That seems about right. That or LeBron and Wade are still way too athletic for the ground-bound Celtics to handle when they play at their best, just like last year.
I’m not going to complain about tonight’s officiating, but on a general note relating to what a great defender LeBron is: At some point I’m going to be watching when LeBron James gets whistled for fouling a shooter with his body when he blocks the shot up high. Some ref is going to be officiating a game, and he won’t know that the rule about body-contact doesn’t apply to LeBron, and he’ll call it. That will be a great day for America and a great day for mankind.
The game felt completely over 2 minutes into the 4th quarter, so I started to switch back and forth between the game and a South Park marathon. On that note, I’d like to ask the ASPCA to tone it down some with the commercials on Comedy Central. I’m happy to donate, but I can’t watch your ads. They’re more depressing than watching Schindler’s List and The Green Lantern back to back.
In brightest day,in blackest night,
no hurt dogs shall disturb my sight.
Let those who pander heartwrenching plight
beware my power, channel recall’s delight.
Stat note: Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had a combined 2 points in the second half of this game.