Crowd erupting in jubilation, television announcers cutting to a commercial, one could find Dwyane Wade streaking across the court and balling up his fist before unloading a hay maker of a punch.
In essence it signified the defining knockout blow in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Miami didn’t just beat Boston on Sunday afternoon, they embarrassed the defending conference champions. Mind you the final score was 99-90 which is respectable but this game was never that close.
It wasn’t a bad effort by the Celtics, they came out ready to go, they played hard and tried to intimidate the Heat, as they had so many countless opponents before them.
Instead they saw a smile and a come get some gesture staring back at them, The Heat managed to bully the big thug on the block. By doing so they served notice that there was a new top dog that people would have to answer to.
Mind you this is just one game in what is sure to be a hotly contested series, but what Miami did was reassert the same form of dominance that they showcased the last time the two teams met.
One has to tip their hat when considering what Miami is really doing. They have taken game one from a stacked Celtics team while getting zero production from what was supposed to be their top two subs. They out rebounded Boston despite everyone saying they had no big men. Their bench outscored Bostons even though everyone says they have no depth.
Miami turned the ball over more than Boston and committed just as many fouls. This was far from a perfect performance and still the Heat seemingly held the Celtics at arms distance the whole time. Kind of like a dad playing tackle football with his 10 year old son.
If the Heat can get any sort of help for the Big Three from their subs the way they did today then they may be practically unbeatable. James Jones adding 25 surprise points off the bench was huge in assisting Dwyane Wade’s game high 38 and LeBron James’ 22.
James said it best yesterday when stating that this series would be personal. No one likes being knocked out by the same team time and time again. If you’re fine with that as an athlete then you have no competitive spirit. No fire burning inside telling you that you will not be an annual stepping stone for anyone.
If Boston couldn’t win a game that they had three more days of rest and preparation than Miami for what makes you think they’re going to fare any better on Tuesday night?
This series won’t go past five games unless Boston makes some major adjustments in the next few days. All that is certain for now is that the Miami Heat are now starting to show why it is that Vegas made them favorites to make the Finals. They are unbeaten at home in the playoffs and figure to get a weaker and more fatigued Boston team from here on out.
The challenge now falls on Heat Head Coach Eric Spoelstra to keep his team focused on every minute of every quarter. The worst thing Miami can do now is to spend the next two days watching ESPN or reading all the press clippings that will come out tomorrow. This isn’t about winning one game, it’s about setting the tone for what will be a shockingly one-sided series.