The Miami Heat and
The Big Three were doubted early in the season. Time has passed by, they're
playing their best basketball of the season, and they're looking to go in for
the kill against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, leading 3-1 and playing in
Miami. Game time is set for 7:00 pm ET on TNT.
In their last
meeting, Miami defeated Boston 98-90 in overtime. Boston had their chances in a
low scoring second half. The game was going back and forth until Delonte West
and Ray Allen canned back to back 3 pointers with over 2 minutes to go to take
a 3 point lead.
Lebron James seemed to come up with the answers, hitting a 3
pointer shortly after and then scoring an easy lay in with 48 seconds to
give the Miami Heat the lead. Boston eventually tied it up and took the game into
overtime with possibly their season on the line.
The Boston Celtics shot just 1 for 6 in overtime and committed 4 turnovers while also
scoring just 4 points. When Lebron James drew an offensive foul from Paul
Pierce, it looked like the game was going stay in Miami's favor and it did.
Miami outscored Boston 12-4 in the overtime session.
It's game 5 and the Celtics have their backs against the wall. They need to win
3 consecutive games (2 in Miami). It seems like an impossible task. They have to
first focus on Wednesday and try to take the series back to Boston. The Big
Three will have something to say about that. They've played top notch
basketball and have basically been the entire offense for their team. Can
Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh collectively outplay the entire
Celtics team? They've managed to do it thus far.
Beast of the East
In game 4, the Big Three accounted for almost all of Miami's offense. Aside
from the trio, no other player had more than 4 points and the bench accrued a
grand total of 7 points. I've always preached that basketball is a team game
but Lebron James and Dwayne Wade especially, are proving that a top 5 superstar
can outplay an entire team.
Whenever an essential basket is needed, they come
up with it. They weren't doing this for a portion of the season but big time
players come up large in big games. Rajon Rondo's injury hasn't helped but
Boston doesn't have anyone on their squad that can matchup with Bosh or Wade.
The Celtics are older and filled with a bunch of very good team oriented
basketball players. The Heat are just reaching their prime and are filled with
elite players. That's why they're leading this series 3 games to 1.
Bosh, bench, whichever one is working
It's apparent that when Chris Bosh has a good game, the bench isn't really
needed. In game 4, they were used sparingly and that's being generous. There
are times where Chris Bosh is ineffective and Miami needs their bench to play a
role in the game. An example of this is when James Jones scored 25 points previously
and had the game of his life.
In game 4, Bosh was a difference maker, with 20
points and 12 rebounds. Overall, the Heat seem to be unstoppable when Chris
Bosh is running on all cylinders more than the bench working as an effective
unit. Bosh has been inconsistent overall but looked sharp in the last matchup.
Thus far for the series, Dwayne Wade is averaging 29.2 points, 6 rebounds, and
4.7 assists per game. The Celtics have a great defensive and Wade has shot
under 50% from the field ,but he's managed to make many appearances at the free
Lebron James is averaging 26.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
When James is in the zone, the Celtics simply can't stop him and he can win the
game by himself. Boston will have to play tight defense and double team
Lebron. They don't have any other alternative.
"Put up or go home"
That's what Boston's season has finally come down to. They're 48 minutes away
from possibly being eliminated from the rest of the NBA Playoffs. There's an urgency
because they're a veteran team and they won't get many more cracks at the NBA
Title. I liked the Celtics depth and experience over Miami but I'm starting to
see some tired players out there in green and white jerseys.
Injuries have also
been a huge factor. Rajon Rondo runs the show. He's not the most offensively
talented but he just might be the most important player on the team. It's
become evident (even though most people assumed that) since his injury. He
can't go full force and that might be the determining factor when this series
Delonte West has been a capable backup, hitting some big shots but in
order to win, it's mandatory that Rajon Rondo quarterback the team. In his last
game, Rondo had 10 points but only 5 assists. For the series, Rondo is
averaging 11 points and 8.7 assists per game. He's going to need to come up big
in a tough spot in game 5.
Close the lanes
In order for the Celtics to stay in this series, they'll need to tighten up
their defense. They're known for having the best defense in the league but
Lebron James and Dwayne Wade have managed to slip through the cracks and have
had an easy time driving the ball to the hoop. Miami has scored 98 points or
more in 3 out of the 4 games. Wade and James can't be stopped but the Celtics
need to focus on stopping Bosh.
They'll be more successful if the other 9 Heat
players have to try to beat them than Chris Bosh. Bosh can be flustered. He had
one of the worst shooting performances in NBA history against the Chicago Bulls
earlier this season. He's looking confident and Miami is being rewarded for his
Shaq and Jermaine O'Neal seem to just not have it anymore. Kevin
Garnett is a warrior. He once told a reporter that "anything is
possible" after winning a championship. Now is his time to shine. Look for
KG to come strong in game 5.
What to expect?
According to NBA odds boards the line is much more than I expected, favoring Miami by
7.5. Yes, Miami has controlled this series but they haven't dominated. The
Celtics are looking to keep their season alive. It's a must win situation for
them. I've ridden the Celtics throughout this series and it hasn't come out the
way that I expected.
I also didn't expect Rajon Rondo to get injured in such a
gruesome manner. The Celtics moneyline is tempting and for those of you that
are bold, I'm sure that you might go that way. I've learned a lot from this
series. This game could go either way with a slight advantage to Miami. The 7.5
points is an easy option. Take the points. The Celtics won't throw in the
Pick: Celtics +7.5