We’ve already covered the Western Conference with very little variation
The Boston Celtics handed the Miami Heat it’s 4th loss in 9 games last night with a devastating 112-107 victory. I say devastating because the Heat were never in the game and trailed by as much as 20. Ray Allen connected on 7 treys to lead the Celtics with 35 points.
Dwyane Wade was held to just 8 points and was stifled on every attempt to shine.
The post game quote that I found the most interesting was made by Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
“Everybody just stepped in and did their job,” Rivers said. “Tonight was the first night I thought we had complete trust in the next pass.”
Well, that seems to be exactly what the Heat are having trouble with. There appears to be little to no reversing of the ball, no creativity and a sense of reluctance by anyone to “take over” a game. Dwyane Wade has grabbed the game by the balls once in 9 games and LeBron James is “quietly” racking up near-triple doubles. Sure, the stats look great but there’s an Orlando-esque lack of killer instinct.
As I’ve already mentioned, this team has gone to Eddie House on two game-winner opportunities and neither has landed. One has to wonder why Bosh, James and most importantly Wade haven’t been given this task yet. To employ this strategy the first time I understand, the surprise play, I get it. But to go to it again says more about a lack of leadership or organisation than it does about strategy.
People were talking about a 70 win season for Miami, and now that just seems laughable. So much so, that even Lakers coach Phil Jackson and his dry sense of humour have gotten involved.
Needless to say, the Heat have got a lot of work to do before they can even pencil in some home court advantage, let alone the number 1 seed.
Which brings us back to Boston, the team that will never quit. I’m partial to the Lakers although I don’t claim them as my team, and through that partiality I have stuck it to the Celtics on numerous occasions. I’ve treated the Celtics very much like the Spurs, who I cannot stand but deeply respect. The Celtics are definitely in that Spurs “respect” category for me these days simply because I love the way they play.
Rajon Rondo is probably the most influential player on an NBA court right now, and his ability to find the “right person” on most plays is a joy to watch. Sure, he’s not a great shooter but he doesn’t need to be when he can find Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett or any other Celtic in their respective favorite scoring position. Teams seem to back off Rondo in fear of his driving ability which is fine by Rondo, he just has more time to find a friend. Rondo can create on the move or standing still, the League better wake up to this.
The culture of belief in the Celtic locker room must be amazing to be around. Even a seemingly “me first” player like Nate Robinson seems to have shed the ego and is playing his role. Glen Davis looks to me as though he takes one step forward, two back and then four forward. It’s a real roller coaster of improvement but I like the way he plays.
Paul Pierce is a cry baby and always will be. Every time I start to warm to him he does something that annoys me. Unfortunately for Paul, (not that he cares) he will never live down the wheelchair incident in my eyes. That display of insanity and pure BS was an absolute disgrace.
The Boston faithful will be feeling pretty good about their team right now and with good reason. While some would say the Heat will have payback on their minds, I actually doubt it. I won’t be at all surprised if the Celtics take all 4 games off Miami this season.
The next one is on February 13th, which gives the Heat plenty of time to prepare.