Tag: Celtics Heat Game 1

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra watches Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference second round basketball playoff series against the Miami Heat in Indianapolis

Video: Coaches Spoelstra, Rivers talk about Game 1

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Boston has some changes to make after getting handled easily in Game 1. Doc Rivers talks above about taking away the layups Miami got — the Celtics players talked about being more physical. What Rivers really needs to do is find a way to get more points on the board because this isn’t Philadelphia and 79 points will not have you in the game now.

Erik Spoelstra plays it safely right down the middle of the fairway with an iron off the tee — we respect them, we haven’t proven anything yet, they are a championship team that will be hard to beat.

Video: Dwyane Wade’s touchdown pass (plus other highlights)

Miami Heat's Wade gestures to the crowd before the start of play against the Boston Celtics during Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball playoff series in Miami
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It’s always a highlight show when the Miami Heat take the court. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals was no different, including Dwyane Wade’s touchdown pass to LeBron James.

Which is trouble for Boston — they aren’t scoring a lot of points in this series and when the Heat are racking up easy baskets like pinball points the Celtics can’t keep up. See the second half of Monday night.

Here are some of the Heat’s other showtime plays from Game 1. Enjoy responsibly.

Doc Rivers, Celtics teed off about technical fouls

Celtics Heat Basketball

Let’s just get this out of the way up front — Boston did not lose this game because they got five technical fouls. Their problems in this series are much larger than that and it only amounted to three Heat points anyway.

But still — five technicals. It was enough to get referees names (Ed Malloy and Danny Crawford) trending on twitter.

Doc Rivers, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo each got one, plus there was one for defensive three seconds and one for delay of game when Kevin Garnett tapped the ball after a made basket.

Were they legit? Doc Rivers says no (from A. Sherrod Blakely at CSNNE.com)

“I know mine wasn’t. I can tell you that much. I don’t know how long I’ve been in the league, but that has to rank as the worst I’ve ever had. I would have loved to earn it.”

That will be a $25,000 fine for Rivers, no doubt. The league does not take kindly to you saying the referees blew it. But video of the call showed Rivers only saying “Come on, Eddie” to Malloy. It wasn’t technical worthy from what we saw (we don’t know what happened prior to that moment).

Allen had a bad call go against him then had the technical because of his reaction (one that was not playoff tech worthy). The delay of game came after a previous warning, but Garnett tapped the ball after it came through the net gently. It was technically a violation, but worse has gone unpunished.

In a rough game for them Boston came off as the frustrated team, and that focus was easily placed on the calls and not the team’s poor shooting from the outside or the host of other things that cost the Celtics the game.

Still, the Celtics should be frustrated. It was a little tight for an emotional playoff game. You got to let the guys play.

Miami’s athletic defense is biggest hurdle for Boston to clear

Boston Celtics' Pierce is defended by Miami Heat's Wade and James in Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball playoff series in Miami

It wasn’t the technical fouls. It wasn’t the officiating period (Miami shot 23 free throws, Boston 21). It’s not about fatigue. It’s not something being more physical can solve. It is not something zone defense is going to solve. The core problem the Boston Celtics have to overcome against the Miami Heat is something very basic.

Miami is by far the more athletic team.

That’s a problem when Boston tries to defend LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, however Game 1 showed it is the other end of the floor that is the bigger issue — Boston scored just 33 points in the second half and that’s why Miami won handily 93-79.

Boston has to find a way to score against the Heat. Consistently. This is not Philadelphia — 79 points won’t have you in the game. But this is like playing a better version of the Sixers defense, something the Celtics couldn’t solve effectively last round.

And the Celtics need to solve it fast. They need ball movement to negate the wing shot blocking LeBron and Wade bring, they need to knock down threes. Because if Boston loses Game 2 Wednesday night and has to win four out of the following five against the Heat, they are in serious trouble.

Boston scored less than 20 points in three of the four quarters of Game 1. Boston shot 25 percent in the first quarter, 27 percent in the third quarter. The problems were inside and out — they had eight shots blocked within three feet of the rim, but they also were 4-14 from three (and you want to say that’s an off night from deep remember Boston shot just 27.8 percent from three in the playoffs coming into this game).

Boston did have the second quarter, where they put up 35 points and shot 59 percent. Boston’s offense found its groove as Rajon Rondo started to drive the lane, kicking out to open guys who knocked down the open look, including a Paul Pierce corner three, a kickout to Kevin Garnett for a 19 footer and even Rondo himself knocking down a midrange jumper. The second quarter even saw Ray Allen hitting a three.

“In the second quarter I thought (Rondo) was attacking, attacking,” Rivers said in his televised press conference. “(The rest of the game) I thought he was reading a lot instead of just playing by instinct. I think sometimes his IQ hurts him, he’s trying to read the defense. And you can’t read and play at speed.”

In the third quarter Miami ratcheted up the pressure on Rondo — who Wade called “the head of the snake” with the Celtics — going with long defenders. That included Wade and LeBron at points trying to cut him off and take away his looks. The end result was Boston scoring at a 77 points per 100 possessions performance in the second half (for some comparison, the Bobcats had the worst offense in the league and averaged

Rondo finished with 16 points but on 20 shots and seven assists. Most of his shots came in the paint (16 of the 20) but he hit just seven of those because of the athletic and aggressive defense challenging everything.

“It’s going to be tough, because he’s probably the number one unpredictable guy we have in our league, in terms of how he forces his action,” LeBron said of Rondo. “A lot of his points come in transition where you want to load him and he sprays out for threes.”

Boston did some things they wanted to do in this game — they slowed the pace way down and made the Heat grind it out for the most part. They also got to the line and certainly can pick up some easy points by shooting beter than 11-21 from the stripe.

But the bottom line is this is the Heat, not Philadelphia — 79 points is not going to have you close to winning. Boston needs Ray Allen to find his groove and knock down open looks. It’s going to be tough with LeBron James on him but Paul Pierce can’t go 5-18 shooting. As a team the Celtics can’t shoot just 39.5 percent.

Boston did establish Garnett (23 points on 16 shots) but they have to get Rondo going setting up other guys – he had 2 assists in the second half. Part of that is him, part of that is guys need to move better off the ball to create good looks, then they need to knock down the shots when they get the looks.

Boston is going to come out in Game 2 more physical. They may play some zone. But all of that will be moot if they don’t put the ball in the basket a whole lot more.

And if not, this series will be over very quickly.

Wade says Celtics, Heat matchup “inevitable.” Really?

Miami Heat's Wade moves past Boston Celtics' Garnett during their NBA basketball game in Miami

There is something fitting about the aging powerhouse Celtics taking on the new team on the block, the Heat, for the right to go to the NBA finals. Sure, the Heat were there last year but this feels like a “passing the torch” moment.

Which Wade gets but then says something odd about it. From the Boston Globe.

“Inevitable. It’s the matchup the game of basketball wants,” Wade said Sunday afternoon….

Added Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “Was there any doubt that it’d be us and Boston?”

Inevitable? Derrick Rose and the Bulls would beg to disagree. Which Wade added quickly.

“Obviously, with the Chicago Bulls being out, this is the biggest matchup the Eastern Conference can have. So we accept the challenge and we look forward to the series.”

The Bulls were a legitimate threat to the Heat, but when Rose made a jump stop and his ACL didn’t stop as fast, that threat was over. From there you could see a path for the Celtics to make it to the Eastern Conference finals.

But inevitable?