Tag: Boston Miami game 2

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game One

NBA Playoffs: Can Boston flex its muscle in Game 2?

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Sunday Miami knocked the expected story lines of this series on its head — they were more physical than Boston.

For all the talk about composure and the referees James Jones from three, the biggest surprise out of Game 1 was that Miami pushed Boston around.

And that’s where things need to start to change for the Celtics in Game 2.

Boston needs to establish its physicality without just sending LeBron James and Dwyane Wade on a parade to the free throw line. Boston is not going to change much of what it does on defense — they’ve won a title with it and were one of the best defenses this season overloading the strong side — but look for them to bump more and foul hard when they do.

Does this mean Dwyane Wade will go off again (38 points in the first game)? Depends. Can he keep hitting from the midrange, or does he start to wear down a little from a second game of chasing Ray Allen off screens? Last game his shot was just on and that was key.

What Boston wants to do with their defense is to own the paint, take away penetration and turn you into jump shooters. That actually worked pretty well against the Heat, save for the part where the Heat kept hitting their shots. Miami also did a good job with guys flashing from the weakside near the basket to get buckets, that is what Boston will have to adjust for.

The other big key for the Celtics is Rajon Rondo. He was not good in Game 1. Unless you think Mike Bibby is a good defender and just stopped him. In which case you need to go back on your meds. Rondo turned the ball over and did not exploit the Heat’s guards, but he is going to have to if Boston is going to win this series. More pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop with Garnett.

Miami would like someone on their bench to step up again from three, and they need to get more out of Chris Bosh. Kevin Garnett made Bosh uncomfortable all game and the result was Bosh was almost a non-factor. How does Miami change that? There’s no good way, KG is a great defender, but Bosh needs to move more quickly and be more decisive when he catches the ball.

The tone for this game will be set early — will Miami get some easy buckets, maybe in transition after their defense forces turnovers? Or will Boston take away those easy buckets, control the tempo and let Rondo start picking apart the Heat via the pick-and-roll. A lot is riding on Rondo, he has the weakest Heat defender on him.

Look for this game to be physical and intense, and how the referees let them play also will matter.

Expect Boston to bounce back their best game of the playoffs, one where they are the most physical team. Will that be enough is another question.

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Boston had no Shaq in Game 1, but will by Game 3

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There are a number a number of things Boston is going to have to change if they plan to win this series against the Heat. Game 1 went very poorly for Boston. Changes have to start with execution issues, particularly on the defensive end, but there is a laundry list.

Something they could use is to get Shaquille O’Neal back on the floor. And it appears they will.

According to our man A. Sherrod Blakely at CSN New England, Doc Rivers said that Shaq couldn’t go in Game 1 but will soon.

“He’s getting very close,” Rivers said. “We actually had to make a decision (on whether he would play) today. So that’s better than what we’ve had to do in the past.”

Rivers added that O’Neal might play in Game 2 on Tuesday, and “for sure in Game 3.”

Shaq alone does not swing the series, but he does change some things.

Game 1 followed a regular pattern for the Heat this playoffs, Mike Bibby and Zydrunas Ilgauskas start and the game stays close (against Philly the Heat usually fell behind) then Joel Anthony and Mario Chalmers enter midway through the quarter and the Heat go on a run. While single-game +/- stats can be deceiving (and Anthony played a lot with James Jones to skew them in Game 1), the fact Anthony was a Heat-best +15 in Game 1 follows a playoffs trend.

One Shaq may well change. While Anthony brings energy and shot blocking, he is undersized at 6’9”. Shaq can push him around and score inside. Even now, even hobbled. Shaq can change the Anthony dynamic. It’s a tool Rivers can use.

And from the looks of Game 1, he’s going to need to use a lot of tools if the Celtics are to advance.

Miami Heat are more than just one superstar away

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Wade_Playoffs.jpgDwyane Wade has said he knows what this team needs: another superstar to come there to play, and he is going to help recruit that player this summer.

It’s going to take more than that to make this team good, something exposed by Tuesday night’s blowout loss to a Kevin Garnettless Celtics squad. Wade had 29 points on 61 percent shooting, every other Heat starter combined had 24 points on 27 percent shooting. As you might imagine, Wade was frustrated, as Yahoo reports.

“One player can’t win it,” Wade said. “We need everyone who comes in to be positive and have a positive input. We’ve got a couple guys who are struggling right now. As we always do as a team we’re going to stick together. That’s the only reason we’re here now, the only reason we have success.”

“The first game I felt we gave it away,” Wade said. “The second game, they took it. They wanted it more than us. They came out and took it. They were in control from the second quarter on. Give them credit.”

“I’m tired of answering questions about [Michael Beasley] not doing it,” Wade said. “He has to continue to play. It’s going to click one day. Hopefully, it’s Game 3. He has the ability to really make us a tough team to play. It’s on Michael.”

A player like Amare Stoudemire or Chris Bosh (rumored summer targets for the Heat) would certainly make a difference, would certainly help. But last night the Heat were beat by a Team (yes, with a capital “T”), an unselfish group of players where the sum is greater than the individual numbers. The Heat are more than one more All-Star from that point.