Sunday, April 18, 2010
Lucky Leprechauns 85 Miami 76
I am tired, I know I have to get some sleep, but instead I am re-watching the Celtics-Heat game 1 to give this blog the kind of playoff effort it deserves.
Tony Allen was a bull-dozer, recklessly running over Carlos Arroyo on his way to a transition slam dunk on one play and then bowling Udonis Haslem over on a sweet dish to Big Baby Davis who proceeded to get swatted at the rim by Joel Anthony. Their energy man off the bench should have been in early foul trouble...
Mario Chalmers was too aggressive trying to steal the ball from Tony Allen, which resulted in him getting beat off of the dribble more than once. Mario creates some turnovers, but after watching Ray Allen beat him off the dribble, drawing two fouls, I have accepted the reality that his quick hands are not enough. I can't help but miss Rafer Alston... I think he could have helped this team have better possessions on both ends of the court. Raise your hand if you think Orlando makes the NBA Finals last year with Mario at the point.
Kevin Garnett's long arms created many turnovers from Heat players who got themselves into tough situations... whether they were up in the air looking to pass, stuck on a corner or under the basket, Garnett was a disruptive force. I hope he is suspended for game 2, he really is a catalyst for their defense. Hypothetically, Rasheed Wallace should be able to step in and do a lot of the same things, but his own coach, Doc Rivers, only trusted him enough to play him 13 minutes today, so it could mean more minutes for Big Baby Davis... this should neutralize their advantage in the front court enough to increase our chances to steal one in Boston. I think I now know why Doc keeps Rasheed on the bench - he's the only Celtic that the refs can't stand. Only 9 non-Rasheed fouls were called on the Celtics all game long.
Wade was fantastic in pushing the Heat to a 59-45 lead with 7 1/2 to go in the 3rd quarter. You could feel self doubt creeping into the building, but give credit to that crowd and their team because they responded by turning up the volume and intensity. The energy was undeniable... a definite 6th man effect as the Celtics all of the sudden started playing like champions and closed the quarter down only two.
Dwyane was then held without a field goal in the following 16 minutes after he helped Miami build that 14 point lead. This time span saw Miami's fourteen point lead become an eight point deficit with just 3 minutes to go. When I complained about this to a fellow blogger, he assured me that he was being double and triple teamed and that he had no choice. However, in the last three minutes he was able to hoist up four shots, connecting on two of them.
The team clearly let their star player down, with only Quentin Richardson breaking double digits, scoring all of his 15 points in the first three quarters. However, Dwyane Wade needs to channel his inner Allen Iverson and take over the shooting responsibilities when the going gets tough and nobody's got it going. You cannot take 16 minutes to decide that you have to do something about it, after a 22 point swing already occurred.
Overall, I have to give the team an A for effort. All they could do was keep the game close and hope to steal it at the end. Tonight they could only muster 10 fourth quarter points and obviously that wasn't going to cut it. One can only hope that the proper adjustments can be made, because the team that carries the lead at the half and at the end of three should usually come out victorious.