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Hold Up! Could Boston Really Beat the Heat?

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The Miami Heat were a wide open three pointer away from taking a dominating 3-1 series lead on the Boston Celtics. Instead, the Heat are headed home tied 2-2 and have lost all of their momentum. Could Boston really win this series? I think so. Here are a couple reasons to believe if you’re a Celtics fan:

Rajon Rondo is Magic Johnson – Not really, but he’s been amazing this series. Rondo, who led the league in assists this season, has continued his great passing and is the playoff leader in assists. But not even I, the Prediction Machine, could prophesy his rise in scoring. Rondo’s 44 points in Game 2 can’t be sustained, but it shows how great he can be if he develops more confidence in his jump shot. Miami has played 10 feet off of Rondo for most of this series. And if he keeps making his open shots, Boston will advance.



There’s also this, the greatest sideline interview in history. How has Boston exploited the Heat defense? By playing offense while they cry to the officials. #swag

The Celtics could be up 3-1 – Even the most passionate Celtics fan would admit that Boston was definitely the underdog heading into this series. After getting blown out in Game 1, a short series seemed inevitable.

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KG Knuckle Push Ups

Two overtime games later, Boston finds itself two games from the Finals behind Kevin Garnett’s HGH-aided rejuvenated play, and solid games from Keyon Dooling and Marquis Daniels. Besides that, Ray Allen remembered how to make jump shots. Honestly, I thought he was done after Game 1. He has already said he needs ankle surgery after the season. And he was so bad that Doc Rivers considered resting him for Game 2 (this is code for: “Ray Allen is old and broken, he pretty much sucks right now”). Instead, Ray Allen turned into Jesus Shuttlesworth. So yeah, there are a lot of “ifs” here, but the Celtics have gotten enough from these players to be up 3-1. With the series 2-2, why can’t they do it two more times and make the unlikely reality?

Before you label me a Heat Hater, here are a couple reasons not to panic if you’re a bandwagon Heat fan:

The Heat’s defense has been incredible…mostly – The Heat are built on lockdown defense. The problem is, they don’t play dominant D (lol) all the time. There are some strategic reasons why. For one, the Heat don’t have a big man that can contain KG down low or protect the paint like a Dwight Howard. Another reason is that defense is hard. You can’t expect a team to dominate defensively for 48 minutes and have high energy offense at the end of the game. When Miami’s defense is on, though, they make it almost impossible to score. The Heat have held Boston under 20 points in six quarters so far this series. If they play more of the defense that held Boston to 11 points in the first quarter of Game 1, they’ll move on to the Finals easily.

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On top of this, no one in this round has lost at home (in the East and West). All Miami has to do is win their home games. Winning the series in seven means they can lose three times. No reason to jump off the bandwagon panic yet.

The Heat have the two best players on the floor – No matter what happens, when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are on the floor, they have the best players on the court. Watching this series makes one thing clear:

When LBJ and DWade are locked in, there is no defense to stop them.

Wade has been awful in the first half of a couple games so far, but that’s why he recruited LeBron to Miami. He doesn’t have to be great all game to hang with Boston. As long as Battier is being (effective yet) annoying, Mike Miller is hitting threes, and Chalmers continues playing well, Miami has the edge. It doesn’t matter if LeBron sucks in the fourth (he doesn’t). He and Wade give Miami a chance because they can go off at any time.

No one knows how this will play out. It’s why we watch basketball instead of Basketball Wives. There are no producer-created storylines or pretend arguments. Instead, we wonder if the refs will blow a call (likely), or if LeBron will hit the game winner (well…).

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Game 5 tonight will most likely decide who represents the East in the Finals next week. You’ve read my analysis, and it comes down to one simple question…

Who you got?

Comment(33)

  1. #team CELTICS, all day errday!!!!! CELTICS STAND UPPPPPPPPPP!!!!

    I am a very emotional looser. Since their 1st loss to the heat, I've not watched a game. I can't stand to see them being beat!!!! My goodness, I remember that game had me hollering and screaming the whole hood down!!!! I didn't even finish the game…….I'm crossing my fingers!!! RAJON RONDO-can get iit, red light district style! That boy is hella SEGGGGGGGAZZY!!!!!

    leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeegoooooooooo CELLLLLLLLLTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. So are you going to watch tonight? The Celtics have played great in the games you didn't watch…do you think you'll jinx them?

      No comment on your Rondo analysis, hahahah.

      1. @ Joe,

        I can't watch it. The last time I watched they lost to the FAKERS and that was back in 2010. Dude, let me tell you, I was sooooooooooo emotional, like seriously I could not even muster the courage to talk about the game, see any green and white. That summer was all the way fugged up. I'm an ardent supporter, actually that is not accurate, I STAN for KG, PP, RA & Rondo., without them there is no Celtics.

        It's not so much about jinxing, more so, getting my emotions hurt. iCANT! It's that damn serious. I'll only call the games great if Heat is knocked the eff out, otherwise, I'm very moderate with my superlatives in regards to their court game.

        Rondo is seggazzy and you know it, clap your hands!
        My recent post Empathy Bladder

        1. Wow…gotta respect that passion. Feel free to follow me on twitter (@iamjoesargent) for in-game updates and snark!

  2. I'm just hoping Heat doesn't win. I'm bad at predictions though, OKC has proved me wrong in the other series after I was all but ready to write them off when they were trailing 2-0, so no more predictions. I'm glad both series have stayed interesting though.

  3. I think the Celtics need to end this in 6…a Game 7 in Miami has the potential to be the worse officiated game in history. The Heat still cant run an offense, cant defend the post and unlike Indiana the Celtics arent going to live and die by the jumpshot.

  4. This was the one series I refused to pick a winner. This really could go either way. It's a best of three series now, we'll see who is the first one to two wins.

    Regarding the WCF: San Antonio is making me look bad.

  5. Team HEAT! My boys THE KING and D-WADE are the TRUTH! Hey KG, Ray Allen, Rando, and Paul Pierce are good…I esp. got mad love for KG and Ray Allen because of their SC ties, but KING JAMES and D-WADE are the best 1-2 punch out there….

  6. Both the Celtics and the Spurs have to realize that they can't keep the old school mentality of "We're not going to just call TOs just to call TOs." Older teams like to think that momentum doesn't play all that big of a role in the final score. Well… The Heat and Thunder rely so heavily on momentum that using that mentality doesn't work. The Celtics can beat Miami, but they've got to match intensity and control the pace of the game. They can't allow the Heat to get big runs and get hot. Once Wade and Lebron get turned up, it trickles to the rest of the team. If they can keep those guys working hard for every basket, it makes it hard for the other players to get in the flow of the game. I think the Celtics can pull this one out, but it's going to take some concentration and discipline on their part. However, i've seen what these guys can do… The Celtics just have to decide for themselves what they want.

  7. Heard this story before the last round when Indiana had the Heat down 2-1 with game 4 in Indiana. All of a sudden Dwyane Wade became Dwyane Wade again and the Heat more or less cruised the next 3 games.

    One of the more obvious keys for the Heat is the play of Dwyane Wade early in the game. As pointed out in the post it's no secret he's been fashionably late to the party on more than one occasion in this series. Obviously it's possible that the Celtics can win the series, however it's clear that the Heat are the better team and if Miami (see:Wade) can play up to their capabilities for 4 quarters then they should win. But, as Chris Berman would say, that's why they play the game!

    Also, I find it interesting that no one really wants to factor in the impact of Miami not having their 3rd best player on the floor this entire series. The very fact that Miami was favored to win this series WITHOUT Chris Bosh lets you know they are better overall and one can see the impact it's having in certain situations with him not out there.

    1. Your last point is a really good one. I chose to focus on the players on the court for this particular post. I think it'll be really interesting to see if the Heat stay intact if they lose without Bosh.

      It's much more fascinating if the Heat lose, but the really shouldn't.

        1. LOL, I'm a jounalist, I'm supposed to be neutral…right?

          Nah seriously, I'm rooting for the C's to win. But I THINK the Heat will. Part of it is rooting for the underdog since my team (Pistons) sucks. The other part is that stupid celebration they had before they played a game. You can't say "Not 4, Not 5, Not 6…" and have me root for you. We're on the same side on this one.

        2. Man, you must really hate Greg Oden, then. That dude said he wanted like 14 rings, lol. As an aside, I think that whole pep rally is being severely overstated and people are holding it over the Heat's head as a reason to hate them. It was a pep rally for their fans. Heat management thought it was a good idea I guess. LeBron, being LeBron, just played to the crowd and got caught up in the moment. I didn't see it as anything larger than that, honestly.

        3. I hear you, BUT they still did it. If Miami wins, I won't be heartbroken or anything…I just won't cheer for it. I think that comes mostly from rooting for the underdog when I don't have an allegiance.

          I heard Mickey Arison, the Heat owner, do an interview recently where he basically said the only thing he'd take back about that is including the cameras. I can see that because if it's really for the fans, they should have been the only ones to see it. Broadcasting it nationally was kinda like rubbing it in everyone's face. Of course that'll piss some people off.

  8. I'm rooting for Boston even though it really can go either way. At the end of the day Wade and Bron are TWO people..they can't beat a whole team by themselves. The Celtics have a good offense and an underdog mentality, if they can control the pace of the game and make some important stops on the Heats' power plays they can succeed.

    1. " The Celtics have a good offense and an underdog mentality"

      Sorry, but this is blatantly false. Now the C's execute plays well in the half-court, but consistently? Hardly. They were 26th in the league in scoring and shot a tad under 44% from the field in the regular season. They go on monumental droughts throughout games where they look horrible. They mainly rely on their still stingy defense and controlling the tempo of the game to their liking while getting Rondo to create on the break where opportunity presents itself.

      As far as Wade and Bron not being able to beat a whole team by themselves, feel free to ask Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert and those boys what they think, lol. Nah, but for the Heat to win they will need other players to step up, naturally, and they have gotten that, albeit inconsistently.

      1. I love those stats. I really do. However I clearly stated a good offense, not great, not stellar, not epic or awesome..simply good. Sometimes good is good enough. And despite their lackluster percentages and stats (as you pointed out) they are still in the ECF. Must mean they did something right, so thanks so much for proving my point of their underdog status/mentality.

        At the end of the day if the Heat are hungrier, they will get it. With this series it really is a wait and see. Fortunately for the Celtics win or lose, they already have a ring to comfort them for their efforts. Wade and Bron can't say the same.

        1. I was just focusing on the offensive part of the statement. Obviously they're the underdogs considering they're the 4th seed and Miami is the 2nd (even w/o Bosh Miami was still favored to win the series). And I don't know what you consider "good", but 26th out of 30 teams in offense and dead last in offensive rebounding doesn't quite make my definition.

          Now all that being said, if offense was the only thing that won games then the Phoenix Suns of a few years back and the Don Nelson led Golden State Warriors would have won multiple titles, lol. The Celts win by still playing cohesive stingy defense and controlling game tempo, while letting Rondo create in the open court for easier shots in transistion. No secret there.
          If the C's can shoot like they did in games 2 and 3 (even though they lost game 2) then they have a shot. But as far as offense goes there's a lot to be desired there overall. Not saying they can't turn it around…just judging from what I've seen throughout the season and thus far in the playoffs.

  9. Don't think anything will be definite until we see if Bosh can produce. Heat have been really unclear as to the state of the injury, but we'll get a good gauge on it when we see him move around the floor. Even if he doesn't put up that many points (I don't foresee more than 12), his presence in the post just on a size perspective will make a difference. KG's not gonna be able to just barrel up to the rim with as much aplomb as he's become used to. Spo just needs Dwade to kick it into high gear and him and Bron need to go for 60+. I don't think Boston really has a handle on this series. The barely eked out that win last night and it was mostly because the Heat beat themselves at the end.
    My recent post inomallday: @heyprofbow haha I can't believe that was only the penultimate episode. How in the world can Weiner top that?

    1. I like your analysis. I think if Bosh comes back, the biggest thing he can do is space the floor for LBJ and Wade. There are some crazy stats out there about how much better they are when KG is off the floor.

      Adding Bosh basically does the same thing since you have to respect his jumper. If he misses a few jumpers and KG can still hang in the lane, I don't think it'll change the outcome much.

  10. "biggest thing he can do is space the floor for LBJ and Wade"

    Actually, I think it'll more so help Mike Miller, Chalmers, Battier and those boys. When the Heat run their pick and pop action with Bosh typically the help defender will come from the perimeter. If he doesnt fully commit then Bosh is there for a dead on 17 footer. If they rotate then it's one or two passes for a wide open three. Wade and James will attack the paint regardless. But Bosh will help them with that immensely ,too, as you mentioned.

      1. Thanks for that link….that link pretty much validates and proves what I mentioned above, lol. Three-point percentage goes up when he is on the floor because his presence creates more open and easier looks from behind the arc. And I dont think anyone needed the plus/minus to figure out the Heat thrive when there is a lack of a big body in the middle. The numbers are still extraordinary to look at, however. We'll see if Bosh gets more minutes…the difference in these games a lot is just 2 or 3 possessions. Very marginal.

    1. Dang, didn't realize the series was a best of 5, lol.

      Nah, it does appear that with Boston going back home they have a good chance of closing out. We'll see what happens, though. Should be interesting.

  11. Hey Joe,
    I noticed you tagged me on this blog the other day. LOL… Sorry I'm so late but it's not like the Celtics and their fans are too busy to read my response (unless their out on a fishing expedition right now). Look, I'll agree that there are a lot of Bandwagon Heat Fans (I AM NOT ONE!), but for every one of those BHF there are 3 more people who cheer for any team that the Heat are playing. Do they hate my team? Maybe. Does it really matter in the long run? Obviously not. I could get into the X's and O's of the games against the C's but it's OBVIOUSLY IRRELEVANT at this point. LOL.. Now OKC is a really good team. Even though we are up 3 to 1 I'm still worried about the outstanding talent of there big 2. This season has been packed with action and drama and I hope it reaches its zenith tonight in the Triple A. I'll be at the game tonight so I'll take some pics and video for you and maybe you'd be so kind to post them on your blog. LMAO… Who am I kidding, you won't do that. LOL..

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