Sometimes home cooking is all it takes to get it right. The Celtic’s cold chowder was too much for the HEAT Friday night, winning 101-91 and bringing the series to 2-1 with game 4 in Boston Sunday.
In a game that started with so much promise for the HEAT, ended with a dull thud. LeBron James made his statement early, scoring 16 in the first quarter but finished with 34 and only 4 points in the final period. Middle game scoring ultimately killed the HEAT’s chances, allowing the C’s to outscore them 55-35 in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and post a lead by as many as 24.
At the end of the night, it was too many runs by the C’s and too late of efforts by the HEAT to recover. Mike Miller put on a 3 point fireworks display in the 4th quarter, bringing the Celtics fans to their knees and knocking the lead down to 8. However, he was the high point from the bench all night, everyone else did not have an answer to the Celtics rotation. Players like Battier, Haslem, and Anthony that were anchors in games 1-2 were shells of themselves Friday night, defensively and offensively. End result was a 10 point loss and another home game for the HEAT on Tuesday.
One statistic that stands out when examining the HEAT’s performance is Wade’s 0-0 free throw attempts in 42 minutes. I don’t think there’s an answer to that, it’s not Wade’s game and is such an anomaly that there is hardly any basis to say, “yeah, Wade needs to get to the line more.” Really? He shot 11 the night before, consistently his game revolves around drives to the basket resulting in free throws. Calls not going his way? Ech-not going there, the Celtics pulled that out after game 2, which in my opinion is the last gripe of a desperate team/fan base. “Waahhh, we don’t get foul calls…” Please. Bottom line, the dynamic duo it wasn’t last night, they were in a totally different area code last night, no doubt fighting crime and bringing justice to the world but in the wrong bleeping city. In fairness, it’s hard to expect that level of play from them night-in, night-out, especially given some knocks Wade is fighting through at this time. There is a void left by Chris Bosh’s absence due to injury, and it was games like this that really bring it to the forefront. The team hurts, bleeds, and at times dies without him in the lineup, the play as of late acts as a dressing to the wound but can’t hide the injury altogether. It was a tough game, they ran out of weapons and have to figure it out for game 4 Sunday.
No crazy stats for this wrap-up, no analysis or insight as to what the HEAT have to do in order to beat the Celtics and get to the Finals. Definitely no tears or anger, but perhaps some disappointment. Truthfully though, the HEAT disappointed me 20 times this season and 4 times now in the playoffs. I expect them to win every game they play, but that’s just the irrational fan talking as it does to everyone no matter what colors they wear. The reality is, there will be losses now and probably a few more in the next series, just have to deal with the fact and remember that perfection was not the goal. 66-0 wasn’t the goal, getting the 1 seed in the East was far from it as well. The goal was jewelry, a mouthpiece with XVI on it, a promise to fans almost two years ago on a stage at the AAA. This team was assembled for championships, and I’ll take that one ring in exchange for 11more games of heartburn if thats’ where it ends up. No HEAT fan would argue that-the team just has to brush themselves off and get back on the horse, game 4 is another opportunity to get closer to the goal of the NBA Championship.