Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NBA Update: Heat v. Celtics

Now the Celtics were blown out in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals, but the veteran Celtics realize that game didn't really matter. If they can win game two in Miami, they will head to Boston for games 3 and 4 with home court advantage. So tonight, they will go all out.

With 1:42 left in the first quarter, Boston leads 20-15. The Celtics are playing the real Eastern Conference Defense tonight, and the game has very much the feel of a Big East or Big 10 rock fight. The LeBrons have shot 5-19 from the field so far. One of Boston's big men, Greg Stiemsa, already has four fouls. (Stiemsa played college ball at Wisconsin, and I think Wisconsin should be called for two or three fouls on every possession, so I'm glad those fouls are being called in the NBA).

I still think the LeBrons are just too much for the Celtics, who were washed up last year and are really washed up this year. But I know how a canny defensive team can frustrate a team with better athletes, and that's what's happening so far.


  1. I just want to point out that Jack Ramsay, who is doing the color commentary of this game for ESPN Radio, is 87 years old. He's doing a great job.

    87 years old!

    He coached in the Final Four in 1961!

  2. Miami 18 - 24 Boston (end of 1st Quarter)

    The Heat are shooting 27 percent from the field so far.

    Rondo has 6 points and 4 assists.

  3. By the way, the Celtics are wearing their green uniforms with black trim, as opposed to their usual green uniforms with white trim. I do not think the whole green and black combination works.

  4. Miami 18 - 30 Boston (10:27 left in 2d Quarter)

    The Heat call time.

    All the hosts on ESPN radio are getting excited about the chance to spend all day tomorrow trading LeBron.

  5. Miami 28 - 39 Boston (6:43 left in 2d quarter)

    At one point the Celtics made 11 shots in a row; they are shooting 64 percent from the field. The Heat are shooting 31 percent. I don't think Boston will stay that hot, and I don't think Miami will stay that cold.

    Rondo has 16 points and 5 assists; he's been spectacular so far.

  6. Miami 36 - 47 Boston (2:40 left in 2d quarter)

    Miami has stopped the bleeding, but they haven't yet seriously cut into Boston's lead. The Celts are shooting 61 percent from the field, while the Heat are still at 31 percent.

    Together, James and Wade have 8 points.

    Rondo has 18 points and 7 assists.

  7. Miami 43 - 49 Boston (1:25 left in 2d quarter)

    Now the Heat are starting to come back. LeBron just made a beautiful pass in the open floor to set up Mario Chalmers for his third three-pointer of the half.

    Celtics call time.

  8. Miami 70 - 71 Boston (3:23 left in 3d quarter)

    The Heat have almost got this game. They were down 15 at one point, but they are rolling now. The Heat's shooting percentage is up to 45 percent. Lebron has 20 points and 5 assists. Wade has 10 points.

    Rondo has 26 points and 7 assists for the Bostons. But his aged teammates are starting to fade.

  9. Miami 81 - 75 Boston (end of 3d quarter)

    The Heat put up 18 points in the first quarter, 28 in the second, and 35 in the third. LeBron had 24 points, while Wade has 14. The Heat look much better on offense than they did last year.

    If they do play the Spurs, I think the Heat's best bet is to push the pace and try to outscore them.

  10. Before the game, by the way, the cameras showed LeBron in the locker room, reading "Catching Fire" (the second volume in the Hunger Games trilogy). That just killed me.

  11. Miami 85 - 81 Boston (8:34 left in 4th quarter)

    Now we're at the part of the game where both teams are struggling to score. LeBron had a breakaway that should have ended in an easy dunk, but Boston committed an intentional foul. But with a chance to build a pretty big lead, LeBron missed both free throws, and then Miami missed a wide-open three-pointer, so the Heat got no points there.

  12. The Heat are 9-21 from three-point range.

    The Celtics are only 1-6 from three-point range.

  13. Miami 85 - 88 Boston (6:58 left in the 4th quarter)

    Everything has gone wrong for Miami since that intentional foul. After scoring 35 points in the 3d quarter, they have been outscored 13-4 so far in this quarter.

    Rondo, who has played the whole game, has 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists. He just had a huge steal and layup to put the Celtics in the lead.

    Now things are going to get desperate. Guys are really throwing themselves all over the floor.

  14. Boston is 22-25 from the line.

    Miami is only 18-29 from the line.

  15. Miami 87 - 88 Boston (5:55 left in 4th quarter)

    See, this happens all the time to LeBron. He has the ball toward the top of the key. When he drives to the basket, three Celtics confer to block him. He passes out to Mario Chalmers, who is wide open for a three-pointer.

    But Chalmers misses the shot.

    Now that's not LeBron's fault -- he made exactly the right play. And yet he takes all the blame.

  16. Miami 87 - 90 Boston (4:40 left in 4th quarter)

    I spoke too soon about Miami's half-court offense. They have scored only 6 points in this quarter.

  17. Miami 87 - 92 Boston (4:03 left in 4th quarter)

    Rondo steals the ball, and in the subsequent possession Rondo hits a jump shot to put the Celts up 5. He now has 32 points.

  18. Miami 89 - 92 Boston (4 minutes left in 4th quarter)

    Lebron comes back with two FT's.

  19. Miami 89 - 94 Boston (3:45 left in 4th quarter)

    Paul Pierce hits a jump shot to put Boston up 5.

  20. Miami 89 - 94 Boston (2:55 left in 4th quarter)

    Ray Allen had a three-point shot that would have put Boston up 8, but he missed it. LeBron comes back and draws a fifth personal foul on Paul Pierce. He will go to the line after this timeout.

  21. Rondo has still played the whole game. No one has played all 48 minutes of a playoff game this season.

  22. Miami 91 - 94 Boston (2:51 left in 4th quarter)

    LeBron makes both FT's.

  23. Miami 94 - 94 Boston (2:07 left in 4th quarter)

    Garnett misses for Boston; Shane Battier hits a three for Miami -- we're all tied.

  24. Miami 96 - 94 Boston (1:52 left in 4th quarter)

    Ray Allen misses another shot. LeBron is fouled and makes both FT's.

  25. Miami 96 - 94 Boston (1:36 left in 4th quarter)

    With 8 seconds left on the shot clock and the Celts going nowhere on offense, Doc Rivers calls time for the Bostons.

  26. Miami 96 - 94 Boston (1:20 left in 4th quarter)

    Boston can't get anything going out of the TO, and Pierce misses a long 3-pointer.

  27. Miami 98 - 94 Boston (1:08 left in 4th quarter)

    Udonis Haslem makes a jump shot to put the Heat up four. They are on a 9-0 run.

  28. Miami 98 - 96 Boston (1:01 left in 4th quarter)

    This time, Boston comes out of the timeout with a quick lob to Garnett for a slam dunk.

  29. Miami 99 - 96 Boston (47.7 seconds left in 4th quarter)

    Wade drives the lane and is fouled by Paul Pierce. That's six on Pierce and he is gone. He had 21 points tonight.

    Wade misses the first FT, but makes the second.

  30. Boston calls its last timeout trailing by three.

    The Celts are only 2-11 from three-point range in this game.

  31. Miami 99 - 99 Boston (34.3 seconds left in 4th quarter)

    Ray Allen, who is about 90 years old, HITS A WIDE-OPEN THREE TO TIE THE GAME.

    Great play by Boston to find Allen, who was totally undefended.

    Miami calls time.

  32. Miami 99 - 99 Boston (end of regulation)

    It looked as though Wade was going to shoot, but he hit LeBron driving down the lane. He missed the layup -- but got his own rebound with 17 seconds left.

    The Heat did not call time or set up a play. Instead, LeBron dribbled for 16 seconds, and then tried a step-back jumper from about 19 feet. He missed -- not surprising, as its an almost impossible shot -- and we are going to overtime.

    As a college fan, I am really mystified about what these pro guys do at the end of games.

  33. Rondo is now going to have to play at least 53 minutes.

  34. Miami 99 - 99 Boston (4:25 left in OT)

    LeBron is fouled but misses two FT's. He is 16-22 from the line in this game.

  35. Miami 99 - 101 Boston (3:48 left in OT)

    Rondo slices down the lane for a layup to put Boston on top.

    Battier misses a three-pointer at the other end.

    Boston ball.

  36. Miami 101 - 101 Boston (3:33 left in OT)

    Garnett misses a shot, James gets the rebound, throws the ball ahead to Wade, who dunks AND IS FOULED.

    But Wade misses the FT. So we're all tied.

  37. Miami 101 - 104 Boston (2:58 left in OT)

    With almost no time on the shot clock, RONDO HITS A THREE-POINTER. He has 37 points.

  38. Miami 103 - 103 Boston (2:16 left in OT)

    Haslem hits a baseline jumper for Miami. On further review, it turns out that Rondo's foot was on the line for his last shot, so it was a 2-pointer. He now has 36 points.

  39. Miami 103 - 105 Boston (2:11 left in OT)

    Rondo is fouled and makes both FT's. Now he has 38 points.

  40. Miami 103 - 105 Boston (2 minutes left in OT)

    LeBron drives on Rondo, but Rondo creates a jump ball!

    Not surprisingly, LeBron wins the tip.

  41. Miami 107 - 105 Boston (1:27 left in OT)

    LeBron taps in a missed shot to tie the game.

    Rondo misses a shot in the lane.

    Miami immediately attacks going the other way and Haslem gets a slam dunk to put Miami on top.

    Boston calls time.

  42. Jack Ramsay says that Rondo's performance is the best individual performance by any player in the playoffs this year.

  43. Miami 110 - 105 Boston (1:08 left in OT)

    Garnett makes a bad pass and Miami steals the ball.

    On the ensuing possession, Wade drives the lane, scores, AND IS FOULED.

    He makes the FT. Miami is now on a 7-0 run.

  44. Wade's shot was just unbelievable. He drove the lane, jumped, crashed into Garnett, and actually flipped the ball up as he was falling. His shot was good and then he made the FT.

  45. Miami 110 - 105 Boson (18 seconds left)

    Miami's not messing around now. They have LeBron guarding Rondo. Rondo sets up Garnett for a wide-open three, but he misses.

    Miami shoots, misses, gets the rebound, and is going to the line. Now the game is finally over.

    In retrospect, without Paul Pierce the Celtics did not have enough offense to hang with Miami.

  46. Miami 115 - 111 Boston (Final)

    In the last few seconds of the game, Rondo made two three pointers. But it was not enough.

    Rondo finishes with 44 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. He played all 53 minutes, and he scored all 12 of Boston's points in OT. What an amazing, amazing game. He was like Jerry West tonight.

    LeBron finishes with 34 points and 10 rebounds. Wade finishes with 23 points and 6 rebounds.

    What a great, great game. Congrats to the Heat and to Rondo.

  47. Wow. Great report.

    UK quarterback Morgan Newton (@monewt12): "Everyone is talking about Rondo and well-deserved, he balled! Cant forget that Lebron had 34-10-7 while guarding 1 through 5. #mvp."