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GAME 1: Heat 93, Celtics 79

For the Heat, the game plan was simple for Game 1: Outwork the Celtics.

Refreshed after a few days off, the Heat's players put their energy reserves to good use in the second half, outscoring Boston by 15 points in the final two quarters en route to a 93-79 victory.

"Our game plan was to use our energy and effort here at home, throughout the game," Dwyane Wade said. "We knew throughout this series there was going to be a lot of adjustments made. In Game 1, let's go out and play and use our energy and effort to get this win."

The Heat shot 50 percent from the field despite going 5 of 25 from three-point range. Wade scored 16 points in the second half and finished with 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting. LeBron James had a game-high 32 points, giving 130 points in the Heat's last four playoff games. Combined the Wade and James have scored 251 points since Game 4 against the Pacers.

The Heat dominated all the statistical categories that measure hustle. Miami had 15 more rebounds than the Celtics with Shane Battier pulling down 10 boards and James leading all players with 13 rebounds. Led by three blocks from James, the Heat had 11 blocks as a team to set a postseason high.

IT WAS OVER WHEN...
The Heat went up by 17 points early in the fourth quarter. An emphatic dunk by Joel Anthony gave the Heat a 76-61 lead and, after a timeout by Boston, James slashed his way to the basket for any easy layup to put the game away.

BATTIER'S BRILLIANCE
Playing in the first conference game of his career, Shane Battier recorded his first postseason double-double. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds and shut out Brandon Bass.

IN THE PAINT
The Heat had 42 points in the paint compared to 34 for the Celtics. James was 10 of 11 inside the paint for 20 points.

"We have to do a better job of protecting the paint," Celtics coach Doc River said. "There's no way any team should get that many lay-ups, that many point-blank shots against our defense."

FATIGUE FACTOR
Ray Allen is playing injured, so he gets a pass for going 1 of 7 for six points, but the Heat held Paul Pierce to 5 of 18 shooting for 12 points. The Celtics shot 39.5 percent from the field and was 11 of 21 from the free-throw line. The Celtics' free-throw percentage (52.4) was the second worst in Celtics postseason history. 

RONDO LOCKDOWN
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo averaged over 13 assists against the Heat during the regular season. In Game 1, he had seven and was 8 of 20 from the field for 16 points.

"We're human," Rondo said.

'NOTHING DIRTY BUT'
Expect things to get a little more physical in Game 2.

"We didn't shrink the floor," Rondo said. "We've got to make those guys (Wade and James) play outside the paint...Nothing dirty but they have to hit the deck, too."

PLAY OF THE NIGHT
Wade's balance in the air inside the paint was extraordinary. His left-handed, double-pump layup in traffic was the play of the night for me, but Wade's full-court pass to James in transition was a close second.

Comments

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"He had 10 points and 10 rebounds and shut out Brandon Bass from three-point range. Bass didn't attempt a three-pointer and finished with eight points."

Helloooo~ Brandon Bass is a FC... He had only attempted a total 13 3s in his career.

Great team effort. Spo pushed the right buttons again. Celts won't roll over. Need next game.

I agree game 1 set the tone. Battier had the best night of his playoff career and only got 10 pts & 10 rebs. Don't expect that every night. Brandon Bass is a Soft PF(Bosh-lite) that can't rebound. Allen is Finished. I hate to see it happen, he's was the best shooter they have, he's even missing FT's.

The Ref's will not call game 2 the same way. It was to down the middle for the National Media. Notice, how every time van gundy cried foul something happens. They take(Shave) PT's away, Only call flopping(Charging) on Miami, and teams should be allowed to hit Bron and Wade Before, During, and After the play without a foul. They are to good is not a reason JVG.

The Heat are a very dangerous team when the whole team plays minutes. They can play Heat Basketball, Everybody has energy to run around and make some plays. Lebron and Wade are at there best when they play under 40 mins each, not just Wade. JJ and Milk can get into a groove and make some shots, I trust them both more than Shane to drop 10 or more a night consistently. Trust ur team Spo. We have the players.

Game 2 is about "Consistency". Also, Don't mind getting nasty if they want to get dirty.

Like that Fake thug KG will say "Let's Do it"

Here comes that dirty play. 'Nothing dirty but they have to hit the deck' - if Miami plays that way they are considered dirty. Other teams are considered physical. Its a double standard. Watch Celts get away with it and Miami get flagrant fouls.

Bass has been shut down from 3 exactly 423 times in his career (Reg. Season AND playoffs), only in 13 games has he attempted a 3, while he never actually hit one.

That's exactly how Battier helps his team, by not letting a man who's never hit a three-pointer in HIS CAREER not shoot three-pointers.

Spot-on analysis. Great reporting. Give this man a raise!

wow i cant believe Battier shut Bass down like that from 3 that's awesome! huge news for a guy who has attempted 14 threes in seven seasons, while making zero. Really good intel and "Brilliance"....

Great analysis.... Miami with such basketball intelligence... What bunch of schmucks... Shut out bass from three... Wow

Shane should not be guarding these PFs as good as he has in thrse playoffs. Bass....8pts and 2 RBs . Give Joe a break. SB defends the perimeter while shutting down his man. Only LBJ does it better. Boston shot 28% from down town. I give Joe the benefit of doubt.

"Bass didn't attempt a three-pointer"

Amazing analysis

Bass avg 10 pts 5 rebs a game in the playoffs. and that includes a couple 20 pt games. Bass is Soft. Boston has no big men on the bench anymore. They are done.

"Bass didn't attempt a three-pointer"
Amazing analysis

Posted by: Maarten | Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM
_____________________________________________________

My mistake, my mistake! All apologies.

I was just about to write Joe must be smoking the same stuff the Miami Zombie had if he thinks Brandon Bass is a 3 pt shooter. Bout time you corrected yourself.

We love you here Joe Joe...

Good win... Now game 2...

It's probably a Tale of Two Brandons. The blogger was in a Rush (953 career 3PAs) to meet his deadline & simply slipped on the dead Bass (13 career 3PAs) Battier hooked and cooked.

It was lame but I tried Joe.

OK, edited out the Brandon Bass goof. Long day yesterday. At 2 a.m. after working since shootaround, my mind was obviously somewhere else. These things happen. Sometimes, you know, you forget a cover sheet for your TPS report.

A mistake. Mistakes happen...but how tired you were is such a lame excuse. I mean the c'mon the guy even played in the same division as the team you cover prior to this season!

Riley knows how to build a team

SPO know how to coach

JA is one of the best defensive centers in the league

Mike Miller gives you 100% and, when healthy, is worth his salary

LBJ, or Lechoke, is playing at an amazing level, there are no holes in his game

Wade, or Ladiva, is one tough SOB, and is playing like the best shooting guard in the league, (both ends of the court)

UD is the heart of this team

Battier - see my first point

Chalmers is a REAL point guard, and with his outside shot, can be better than Rondo.

Turiaf is energy, and with a preseason camp, can earn a starting role next year

....of course, ALL of this changes if we lose ONE game to the Celtics.

Can we officially put that old tired a$$ argument about Wade and Lebron playing the same position, so this will never work in the freakin' coffin now? I understand, two Kobe's would never work, two mjs would never work, but these guys, yep, they are getting it done, in supreme fashion!

Energy on defense is unbelievable. The way we rotate to contest shots on the perimeter, and recover to the weak side when the ball is reversed, it is truly beautiful to watch!

Keep doing it Heat! Let's give CB another week to heal.

Nah, But if We lose the series, "FIRE SPO!!"

If we lose the Finals, Fire SPO. Title or else in my book. We Gave him a break last year (No Bench). They are way better NBA coaches without a job right now (D'anotoni, Sloan, Mo Cheeks, Etc.)

Heat in 5. They can lose 1 not 2. Boston is ripe for the picking.

Let's go heat, blow them out again in game 2. Don't give Boston any hope to win. This should not be a series. It should be a warm-up to the Finals. That is going to be a series.

Get well quick Bosh. It will be nice to have U ready to play for game 4 and 5.

"Nah, But if We lose the series, 'FIRE SPO!!'"

And if we win and win again (O'Brien), do you checkin at the Hazelden Center for Fire Spo recidivists?

Posted by: KG | Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 02:08 PM

---

Gee. The guy mans up and you still wanna rip his sac and stab his stones?

Plus, when you're the starting 4 & everyone but Ray Allen averages 2+ boards than you in the playoffs -- including Rondo & Pierce -- should ANYONE remember your name? Much less your game?

You have to be kidding me with D'antoni is a better coach than Spo, you weren't actually thinking when you typed that or your hate for Spo blinded you...I'll give you Sloan but Riley would never hire him.

Mo Cheeks??? eh?? Please bro, you of the coaching expertise can come up with someone better than that can't you?

Thank you Heatup.

What is D'antoni's highlight on his resume? Good regular season record? His team's PPG average?

Sloan is a very good coach. Mo Cheeks is a great guy, not sure about his coaching though.

I think Riles is good with who he choose to coach this team.

I am a Nate McMillian fan, though, I don't think he's an upgrade over SPO right now.

taheati,

I see your point...I could have been a lot more harsh though. Bottom line is it is his job to know and excuses rarely fly in the workplace.

Like you said Bass sucks on the boards. So if the writer's mistake was more along the lines of how Shane Battier killed a good rebounder on the boards, which he did and like you said Bass is not a good rebounder...then it would be an understandable mistake. Shut him down from 3 point land is just ridiculous though. The guy is not a bench player. He is a starter. It just screams of lack of prep/understanding on the writers part.

I'm going with a list of "average" coaches. I've already gave my real list of "good" coaches. All those guys never had the talent we have, maybe Sloan.
I was talking out my Cheeks when i mention Mo'. I meant Nate, thanks greg. I forgot who was Portland's coach recently

So the heat won't benefit from PPG. The Guy who made steve nash a MVP, Made Jeremy Lin look like he belongs in the NBA. He has achieved more as a player or coach than Spo has or ever will accomplish. The Heat will avg 120 per game. what defense. tell boston to put 100 on the board right now.

Nate is a good coach, but his pace is way to slow for the heat. Great X's and O's guy.

My point is everybody thinks coaching doesn't matter in the NBA. Again, i don't hate Spo he's a good guy. I just love the heat to much to see this go on.

I said it all along U only need to win 2 NBA titles to be in the "Hall-of-Fame". So if Spo was on his job. He will be "hall-of-fame" worthy after this season. Only 5 coaches in "NBA history" have more than 3 titles.

But U guys are right "Spo" deserves to be in that elite company. Next Year will be his 3-peat if he did his job right.

Or i'm lying?

We have top of the line players. I just don't want to see this team break-up after the year, if it doesn't workout. Without at least another coach getting a shot at it.

With Experience

Jerry Sloan, Van Gundy Bros., Nate Mcmillan, Sam Mitchell, Mike D'antoni

Up n Coming

Brian Shaw, MIKE BUDENHOLZER, Sam Cassell, Mike Malone, Etc.

I just wish u guys were as critical of "SPO" as u are of Joe.
The man does his job. He writes a couple articles and makes a post at 2 in the morning for us.

Yet, we still nitpick every little thing he does. Why not criticize the coach with the same passion when he screws up? The post was more than just Bass. He made 7 good points. It was his recap of game 1.

Great game, but we need to come out and do a better job for game 2. Break Boston's will in game 2. Make them quit. Make Boston big 3 want to retire.

The 11 blocks are huge. Battier looks great getting the extended minutes.

Dashi, I usually tell it like it is. I'm not especially a super Spo fan, but he's been doing a good job lately. So has Joe

So is 3 a crowd?
Is Bosh too much for heat? Should we have gotten a rebounder/post guy at a cheaper price like Boozer? Amare would have needed too many touches so he's not the way to go, plus his knees aren't insurable.

Maybe Bosh proves his worth when the Heat hit finals. San Antonio is looking scarey right. We may need him.

Definitely need Bosh in the next series. No we are not better without CB. A post scorer and a very good spot up shooter to 18'.

Boozer? Heck, he may be one of the biggest max contract busts of all time. Not that he's a scrub, but definitely has NOT been earning that max contract that helped his GM acquire half of the GM of the Year award last year with Riles.

Amare, head case, re: left hand

Bosh rebounds OK, not great. But we have one of the league's top rebounders off the bench in UD helping him out.

Again, if you think the Heat will automatically win the championship every year because they got rid of dead weight like Beasley and did a massive talent overhaul 2 years ago, you've set the bar too high. Great teams like the 80's Lakers and Celtics didn't win every year. Riley didn't get fired just because he went his team's went to the championship and lost.

We'll get back to the championship again this year, but if you think that the Spurs aren't expecting to win it all, especially the way they've played the last month, you are missing the point.

Plenty of years Pop didn't win, and we didn't see him get replaced with Avery Johnson or Mike 'Antonino (no D in his name or game).

The reason some of us don't nick-pick SPO is because we are smart enough to know that there are hundreds of variables that go into each decision, many of which have to be made in a split second. The after-the-fact analysis is easy, in game adjustments, not-so-much.

As far as Joe, dude, let him do his job. If you don't like his work, go somewhere else and whine. I don't think he owes us anything more than what he gives us. It's a forum, spout off at will. He's just another guy who follows the Heat like we do, with access that we wish we had. Remember, he has to play nice to get inside information, why would he get on this blog and start destroying the guys that provide him the info?

Well said Greg...i always enjoy your level headed posts.

Spurs are the borg of the NBA, resistance is futile. They haven't lost a game yet, but i see some advantages we would have...to start with, no way in hell Hawaii Leonard can guard Lebron.

Don't want to get ahead of myself, we still have to fend off the old guy Celts...but that clinic the spurs put on in the 3rd was a display if perfect basketball. Greg i know a bball dude like you had to be amazed.

Boozer is a Loozer. CB does his job, he just isn't as good as the other 2. So we think he underachieves all the time, but a big man that can avg 20 & 10 is hard to find. Bosh will play better alongside a good big rebounding Center, that can play a little D. Someone bigger (doesn't have to be taller) than him that takes up space and controls the paint for the heat. Let Bosh play the 4. It creates more mismatches. Bosh is too soft and light to play the 5 right now.

Lebron should have got "half" the mvp trophy last year. Yes, I expect them to win it all every year(not 1 not 2 not 3 but 4 or 5). We are beating a Old Boston team that did it in their 1st year, We forgot. What makes Boston better than us, now? They did the exact same thing and won with older players. We reached the finals last year and will reach it again this year cause of "Talent".

Pop's never got replaced because he coaches his teams Up to their Potential not down. There is no D in Greg Popabitch's name either. Again, if we lose against SA is it because they have more Talent than we do? Or is it a lot Better Coaching? Did Phil or Pat ever lose 2 Finals in a row? Doubt it

"The reason I don't nick-pick SPO is because there are hundreds of variables that go into each decision(BB is not Chess or FB, 5 against 5 = 25 possible match-ups each play), many of which have to be made in a split second. The after-the-fact analysis is easy, in game adjustments, not-so-much."- That's what SPO gets "Paid" to do at a "Pro/Elite" level is to adjust in-game. His job is "Basketball".

Even if Slo' makes adjustments after the game not during, the Heat aren't implementing them the next game. U dictate the pace and rotations of ur team as a Coach. He usually waits until the other team makes some changes, so he can adjust to them. That's not coaching. He is never the one to set the tone consistently.

U adjust when u have to, but u try and keep the other team guessing also. Heat are to Predictable on Offense. 9 out of 10 plays, start with Bron or Wade at the top with a screen set by JA.

Also, if Spo isn't calling his 10 plays then what decisions is he wasting his time on? Not the rotation, only 2 guys come off the bench for the heat.

"Consistency"- he did a great job in the 1st Qtr of game 1, then fell asleep in the 2nd Qtr. I like how Spo closed out the pacers series, once he put his big boy pants on the team played hard for him.

I don't want to hear the excuse if we face SA and lose? we should bring him back. WHY(give a good reason)? No. Hell No, if we get Swept or beat in 5.

Being a Mediocre team with great talent, should not be allowed. Hire someone who can at least lead the team to #1 spot in the league during the regular season (D'antoni in PHX). Because Home-court in the finals would've looked real good right about now, right.

Again my Homer pick for coach is Zo or Brian Shaw he played for the Heat back in the day.

Before u guys go on a tangent about how u don't have to be a NBA player to be a NBA coach. 22 out of 30 coaches are former NBA players. Pat and Phil played back in the day. On my experience list 4 of 5 played. the Van gundy's are the only 1's who didn't play, but their dad was a basketball coach.

I agree that certain coaches can coach players up and make them overachieve. Phil Jackson, Sloan, Pop are just to name a few.

Boozer does not have a MAX contract. He's a pretty good rebounder. Boozer gets a bad rap in the NBA. I think its because what he did in Cleveland. It made him look stupid for committing and then breaking his promise because honestly, Boozer is not that bad.

I like how smooth Chris Bosh is on the court and doesn't let the Big 2 bother him. Its more like - Serpentor, Cobra Commander (two top guys) and Chris Bosh is Destro, the hired gun who doesn't follow the two leaders, but they come to him when they need help.
Bosh is his own entity and the Big two is another. He plays how he plays and doesn't let anyone else affect him.

San Antonio vs. Heat - If this is the set up, look for Miami to make San Antonio look really slow footed. But San Antonio has such a well thought out offense. OKC is fast, but speed isn't helping vs. a strategic team. I'm still undecided on this game. Miami either makes San Antonio look old and show they are head and feet above everyone else (i.e. run San Antonio out of town) or Miami wins only one game and are out coached.

Well, we've certainly framed SPO in a no-win situation. Either it's his athletes that win it, or it's his coaching that loses it. Don't you think if the Heat are running the Spurs out of town that there may have been some strategy employed?

We may never know how versatile Phil Jack--- is as a coach, because he never took the challenge to build a team. He has always coached with one or two of the most marketable (arguably, best) players in the league. Talk about set up for success from the word go. He could have the Knick job, but he would probably demand D Howard and D Rose get on board with him.

Well put energy. I feel we got our boozer though with UD. UD has a mid-game, Can play better defense, rebounds better, Plus he demands respect on the court no punk in UD. If boozer didn't have Noah he would be exposed. Noah does the rebounding and occupy's the paint well for them.

Not to get ahead of myself, but that San Antonio match-up is scary. When we beat them in the finals, SPO will get my unconditional respect and admiration. Til then I am going to have to be critical cause we got the talent. San Antonio is proving U don't need Defense to win just drop 120 on them. I thought OKC was going to whoop SA in 5. Boy was i wrong.

P.S- If things happen to go wrong this seaon(no Title). Mike Budenholzer has been an Asst. to Pops for 18 years, and he is only in his 40's. He helps Coach SA Offense and has been Pop's #1 Ass't the last 5 years.

Careful now, I don't remember Mike Budenholzer in the NBA. Are you sure he is qualified? Of course we could trust that Pop knows what he's doing when puts a staff together, but that would fly in the face of Riley knowing what he was doing when he hired SPO.

Damn, why did I paint myself into this corner?

If the Spurs are ran out of town then of course Spo did his job. Going against the Spurs will be a series of adjustments and counter tactics.

Its funny that Manu and Tony have the greatest endurance. I don't think even Derek Rose or Lebron can keep up with them when it comes to stamina. Manu looks like a litte bald man who gets winded quickly but is playing quite physical and never gets tired. That scares me. Do you realize what type of condition you must be in to constantly score 115-120s? Miami is barely scoring 90 ppg. If they get winded scoring so little imagine if they have to score 120 ppg over a 7 game series.

We are in trouble. And Spoelstra doesn't know how to adjust against a great coach!
Celtics. Are a old a s s team. And it's not that the Celtics are physically better or more athletic. It's just better coached!!! Hands down. Next year Pat needs to bring in a great coach that knows how to teach zone defense and a great motivator!!! WE LOSE THIS GAME WE LOSE THIS SERIES. I LOVE MY HEAT TEAM BUT SPOELSTRA IS NOT A GREAT COACH HE IS NOT!!

What is saving the game is the benching of JA in the 2nd Half. Turiaf only played the first 4 minutes. JA is going to cost SPO his job.

I enjoyed this game very much. Bad ftree throw shooting almost cost the Heat. Dooling,Haslem and JJ represented S Fla well in the 1st 2 games. SPo was wise to play JJ and Haslem together. S. Fla backs down from no 1. Rio backs down from no 1. He was BIG 2nite. Boston nation will cry hard about the foul on Rondo that wasnt called. Just like I cryed out on the play before that. RONDO FOULED LBJ and got a jump ball. Guess the refs were letting them play. 5/8 of the way to a ship.

Damn that Rondo. Whew is right. Better lucky than good? Heat players will deny it. How else to explain Heat F/T choking-err-shooting aside from bad luck? Missed call on Rondo? Let'em cry. Like "the media" cried over a dozen (or dozens) of uncalled headshots to Wade/James v. Indiana? Karma is a ditch.

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