Boston vs. Miami: Celtics 106, Heat 77
Glen Davis – Big Baby (because Uno-Uno is the stupidest nickname ever and I refuse to ever use it in reference to him) came out of his shell fully tonight after peeping out in Game 1. He was incredibly active, especially in the first half where he posted 14 points, and managed to slow down from his constant motion to tally 23 points and 8 rebounds for the game. He made the suspension of Kevin Garnett a mere formality in grabbing a number of loose balls and rebounds to help lead the Celtics to a 16-point halftime lead.
Ray Allen – Yeah, yeah, I know. I said that he should retire soon in my last review of Jesus Shuttlesworth. I was just trying to motivate ol’ Ray-Ray, that’s all. Apparently it worked, since he responded with 25 points, including 7 made three-pointers. I like Reggie Miller’s idea of naming that particular corner of the Garden “Ray Allen Corner”. He certainly did plenty of damage from there in Game 2.
Dwyane Wade – The lone bright spot for Miami was their resident superstar…well, resident for now anyways. How long will he want to stay in a town where he is, as the TNT studio crew pointed out, the Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five. To give a more current pop culture reference, he’s Justin Timberlake and the rest of the Heat are N’Sync. In other words, he’s a superstar and they are beyond expendable at this point. He gave them 29 points (38% of the team’s total points) and 5 rebounds in a game where it seemed he was the only one truly trying to do anything. If he were to leave this offseason, the Heat would have to start over completely, as the remainder of their roster is a bunch of mediocre role players.
Also of note: Rajon Rondo (set up many of Allen’s open shots and did several things that won’t show up in the stat sheets), Flo Allen (Ray’s mama completed the Boston Marathon?!? Wow!), Boston’s overwhelming rebounding advantage
The Bad Jermain O’Neal – After tallying 5 blocks in the first quarter, it seemed like J.O. might be in for a big game. Then, he promptly disappeared for the remainder of the game. He was completely ineffective against Boston’s frontcourt and didn’t seem all that interested in imposing his will on them either. I’ve often said that he was a similar player to Pau Gasol when fans in Memphis called him a “plastic points player”, and tonight showed that I was justified in doing so.
Miami Heat (outside of Wade) – O’Neal was the most egregious offender tonight, but the entire team didn’t seem to be all that concerned about a maximum output in this must-win game. With Kevin Garnett out and the Celtics poised to rally around the suspension of their emotional leader, this game was going to go one of two ways: either Miami was going to win a hard-fought battle, or Boston was going to blow them out. Well, when Miami started playing Burger King defense (“have it your way”), it was obvious what the outcome would be. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Miami’s scoring drought – I’ll focus on the big one in the second quarter, rather than the smaller one that occurred in the third quarter. They were up 29 to 25 and then went scoreless for 8:03. By the time they scored again, they were down 31-46 and had the pulse of a medical school cadaver. They only managed 10 points in the second quarter as a whole, as they missed 16 of their 20 field goals attempted. With O’Neal, Michael Beasley, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, Carlos Arroyo and James Jones all on the floor at some point or another, you would think that they would have managed at least one measly point. The crux of their problem was quite simple. As soon as they crossed halfcourt, they made a minimal amount of passes before jacking up an ill-advised, contested shot. I think that Dwyane Wade only took one shot during this period, which is an offense worthy of a severe beating, if not some mandatory prison time. It almost seems like they are ushering him to the door as quickly as possible down in South Beach.