This is what an NBA playoff game should look like. Maybe a tighter and closer running would have been better, but atmosphere and intensity-wise, this was perfect.
The defense was there, the killer instinct on offense was there. LeBron James led his Miami Heat over the ailing Boston Celtics who are 14-10 since sending Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma. Their physicality wasn’t there. Rajon Rondo and the others don’t look that great on defense without big bodies behind them blocking the paint.
That’s how you block. But seriously. I don’t know if the Celtics are in a pre-playoff hibernation period like last season. I don’t think they are, but I wouldn’t be THAT surprised if they suddenly find their inner beasts mid way through the first round of the post season. Right now, nothing seems to be working. Especially Rajon Rondo, who’s going through quite a rough stretch. He and Ray Allen were just suffocated, couldn’t get anything going. Paul Pierce and Garnett like playing against LeBron (24 for Pierce, 21 for Garnett) but with their bench scoring just 12 points you can’t win these types of games.
LeBron James was exceptional, continuing his fantastic form. He scored 27 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, dished out 7 assists and came up with 4 steals. He was everywhere, on defense and on offense. That rubbed off on his teammates, especially the bench guys. Miami just didn’t let Boston grab offensive rebounds (only 3), pretty much killing off their second chance scoring.
Bosh and Wade didn’t have to be brilliant this time round, settling for 13 and 14 point respectively. Wade had 8 assists, Bosh had 8 rebounds. Their defense was on par with the overall performance by the Heat. Miami now have the edge for the two spot with hardly any time or games remaining, meaning Boston will have to go through them in the Semi Final. If last night was any indication and just the Celtics fooling us, they’re going to regret losing home advantage.
Before we go – a few words on Derrick Rose. He dropped 39 on the Magic last night, probably making his last confirmation for the MVP title. Not just that. The Bulls reached magic number 60 – They’ve won the NBA title each time they reached the 60 Win mark. They beat Orlando, probably their second round foes. They did it with Noah limited to only 14 minutes. It took some time getting my head around, but this team looks as ready and equipped as any other to win the title this year. Bulls – Lakers 20 year anniversary? finger licking good. Oh right, they have to get passed the Heat/Celtics first. Probably even better.