Tag: Miami Boston

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five

Quote of the day: Wow, LeBron just does not get it


“We played good enough to give ourselves a chance to win. That’s all you can ask for.”

—LeBron James, following the Heat’s Game 5 loss to Boston. Via Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

That pretty much sums up the mental difference in this series — Kevin Garnett or Rajon Rondo or no other Celtic would ever say that. Because it’s not all you can ask for, it’s not all LeBron or Miami should ask for. Winning is all you can ask for. Execution at the end of games rather than standing on the perimeter as a decoy is another thing we can ask for.

As Wojnarowski notes in his article there still seems to be a sense around the Heat that they thought this would be easier, that their adversities would melt away and they could claim their rings. That’s not how it works. You have to become better, you have to reach new levels, you have to strive to overcome to reach your goals. Obstacles do not melt away. You have to overcome them.

You have to think that giving yourself a chance to win is not all you can ask for.

At least one kid thought Miami gave “good effort, good job”

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five

It’s good to know that while the rest of us will spend the day killing the Heat for their effort and the job they put forth Tuesday night there is one young fan that believes they did their best.

He was the lone voice of support as LeBron James, Shane Battier and DNP-CD Ronny Turiaf left the court following their devastating Game 5 loss at home. Watch the video.

“Good effort, good job. Good job, good effort.” All said with encouraging claps.

It’s heartening to know that the lessons of U8 soccer — that it’s about having fun, trying hard, and having orange slices and juice boxes after the game — have stuck with this kid.

He’s young, no need to tell him yet that this is a results-based world where losing at home when you are the team with more raw talent is seen as a failure. That the Heat’s collapse has the feel of doom through hubris that fueled many a Greek tragedy. That can all be for another day. He’s got a whole life ahead to learn those lessons. For now…

“Good effort, good job. Good job, good effort.”

Hat tip to Eye on Basketball for the video.

What was with Miami’s final play? A Wade isolation three? Ugh.

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade is shooting 29.2 percent from three in the playoffs. Which is better than he shot during the regular season. It is not what he does well.

So the fact Miami’s final play of overtime devolved into a Wade pull-up three to win it was poor. Bad design, not great execution, just not putting their best player in a position to play to his strengths. Of course, Wade missed the three, Boston won 93-91 and this series is knotted up 2-2 heading back to South Beach.

Look at that last play in detail.

Before it, Miami had made a good play. They knew Boston had a foul to give so Wade attacked hard a couple times to force the Celtics to use it. He drew a reach in foul and the result was Miami had 14 seconds to make something work — if you go early and not late you have time for an offensive rebound or to reset if needed (the risk is you score and your opponent gets the last shot, but I’d rather defend a last shot than try to make one).

Wade pops out off a down screen and gets the ball out high, and the first option was for Mario Chalmers, winding from the weak side off a couple picks, to try and pop free out by the arc on the right side, but Keyon Dooling read it well and cut the pass off. Friend of this blog Sebastian Pruiti points out at Grantland that Wade blew this by not coming back over hard to create the proper angle.

Then Wade waits for Shane Battier to set a pick, which switches Marquis Daniels on to him as a defender. Miami isolates Wade with shooters around the arc. Wade drives hard to his left, stops up and leans back right, watches Daniel go by on the fly-by block attempt, then takes the three that misses.

So many questions. First, should Wade shooting a three rather than attacking be in the script? It’s a clean look, but not what he does well. The Heat offense improved this season in part because Wade and LeBron James stopped shooing so many threes. (LeBron was fouled out at this point and couldn’t take, or pass off, the last shot).

Why doesn’t Wade just lean in on the Daniels fly-by and draw the foul? Well, trusting the officials in this game might have been a mistake. Why the three to win when he had to twist his body a little to get it off, leading to that awkward leg-kick shot?

It’s all moot. He got a look that the Heat will say they can live with. He missed it. Frankly, that was better than the disaster of a LeBron iso that they ran at the end of regulation, one that resulted into an ill-fated jump off to Haslem. But that doesn’t make it good.

But maybe Doc Rivers was right anyway, “Red wasn’t going to let that go in.”

LeBron, Pierce foul out of sadly whistle-happy game

LeBron James

The biggest problem for the NBA is that the day after every major game we are discussing the officiating.

And the officiating — particularly late in Game 4 of Miami and Boston — was a key part of the story Sunday. There were five offensive foul calls in the second half of the fourth quarter and overtime. Joey Crawford and crew were not shy with the borderline calls. Both LeBron James and Paul Pierce fouled out offensive fouls.

Every fan base is sure the officials are out to screw them, and like any good conspiracy theory there is just enough “evidence” fuel the speculation. Thing is, in this case there were just a series of bad calls.

Like the call that fouled LeBron out of the game. LeBron was trying to establish post position and Mickael Pietrus pulled the chair. Both men fell. ABC analyst Jeff Van Gundy said you have to make some kind of call there, I say he’s wrong. No you don’t. LeBron picked up his fifth foul on a cop-out “double foul” call and fouled out on this.

LeBron had not fouled out of any game since 2008, which considering he draws some tough defensive assignments is an impressive feat. He had never fouled out of a playoff game. But in this game the calls were tight and there was no “play on.”

Pierce has fouled out three times in the last two series, which seems a strange trend but he’s picking up a lot of offensive fouls.

And he fouled out on one — he was coming across the lane, Shane Battier ran in front of him, Pierce did bring his arm up and Battier went down. Could have, should have been a no call in my book, but the whistle blew.

All game long it was like this. Ray Allen stepped out of bounds then passed to Keyon Dooling for a key first half three. On one play Pierce was fouled by LeBron, but only after Pierce had traveled to get the shot. That somehow was a no call.

And there was no shortage of flopping by both teams all night.

So we end up with another game where the NBA’s officiating is at the heart of the post-game conversation. This time it’s not Boston fans whining about perceived injustice (they shouldn’t this game, they caught some real breaks), it was just uneven all night.

And the bigger problem for the NBA is there are no easy answers out there.

There is not some magical pool of better officials out there the NBA is ignoring. (If you think so, you forgot what the scab refs looked like last labor fight.) More replay all game is not the answer. The game is fast and filled with big men and whatever the officials do they are wrong. “Superstars get all the calls” but then they call some on LeBron and Pierce and we point out they were not good calls. All we can ask for is consistency.

There just wasn’t any Sunday night.

Video: Rondo, both coaches talk Celtics Game 4 victory

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Three
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Here is a slice of Erik Spoelstra’s post-game press conference from Sunday night. He is pretty composed. It would have been way more fun to make Pat Riley get up there and see if he could hold his tongue about LeBron James fouling out.

Also speaking here are Rajon Rondo, the guy that makes the Celtics go, and Doc Rivers.