What. A. Game. There are so many but so few words that can describe the awesomeness that was game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. From the Heat working their way back from a 15-point deficit to Rajon Rondo going off for one of the greatest playoff performances you’ll ever see, this game made game 1 its bitch.
Thanks in part to LeBron James posting up the quietest 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists of his career, the Heat were able to come back from 15 points down in the second quarter and eventually push the game to overtime before coming away with a 115-111 victory.
It didn’t take an entire video session of watching 19 Miami Heat layups for the Boston Celtics to realize that they were pummeled mentally and physically in their 93-79 game 1 loss to the Heat.
Despite being older and having a roster composed of decrepit and injured players, the Celtics still like to talk a big game. Of course, the one Celtic who made his presence felt following the game was point guard Rajon Rondo, who made a rousing statement dealing with what his team must do to the Heat next game:
Rondo would later clarify the comments by stating that the Celtics had no intention of dishing out flagrant fouls and beating up on the Heat. Instead, he purely meant that whenever a Heat player drove–LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in specific–the Celtics need to make sure that it’s much more difficult for them to come by in game 2.
Notorious as one of the league’s toughest and nastiest players, Kevin Garnett has based a 17-year career on scaring the living daylight’s out of anyone that has crossed his path.
He has officially met his match:
LeBron James had 32 points on 22 shots, 13 rebounds, three assists and three blocks to lead the Miami Heat to a 93-79 win in game 1 of the Eastern conference finals. Dwyane Wade chipped in 22 points on 13 shots, while Shane Battier, Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers combined for 17 points.
Starting to remember that face, Heat faithful? That very same face that has haunted your nightmares for the past four years? It’s back and will be taking on the Miami Heat in the Eastern conference finals.
The face has a name to it, of course. Rajon Rondo is what most of the NBA world calls him, but to Heat fans he’s “SOMEBODY STOP LETTING THIS FUCKING GUY GET OPEN OFF THE PICK-AND-ROLL.” The Boston Celtics point guard has long been a thorn in the side of this Heat franchise. Mario Chalmers has become Rondo’s personal whipping boy and Norris Cole appears ready to become Chalmers’ unwilling apprentice in the field.
In one of the least surprising news stories of the year, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was fined $25,000 by the NBA for remarks he made directed towards the organization’s handling of the flagrant fouls and the suspensions that followed.
The Heat and Pacers had been involved in an insanely physical series, at least by today’s standards, and it spilled over in the Heat’s game 5 victory, where three flagrant fouls were given out.
The first occurred early on when Pacers stiff/forward Tyler Hansbrough threw a haymaker on a driving Dwyane Wade. Even though it can be argued that Hansbrough went for the ball, it’s tough to make an argument for that when Tyler is seen calmly walking off and giving a low-five to fellow stiff/forward Louis Amundson.
On the very next play, Heat forward/warrior Udonis Haslem decided to give Hansbrough some patented Carol City Justice:
Haslem was initially awarded a flagrant 2, which would have resulted in an automatic ejection, but was rescinded after the referees got together and lowered it to a flagrant 1.
Order was restored and the Heat went on to destroy the Indiana Pacers 115-83. It was a demoralizing loss for the Pacers, who also saw Danny Granger suffer a sprained ankle and David West hurt his knee. It would have been difficult to imagine the Pacers creating a 32-point swing in the span of two days and beating the Heat in game 6. Of course, that didn’t end up happening because that’s what happens when you lose by 32 points two days before.
playing without your third best player suddenly doesn’t seem as bad as you thought.
Not when you have Dwyane Wade pouring in 41 points on 24 shots and grabbing ten boards. Not when you have LeBron James chipping in a pedestrian 28 points, seven assists, six rebounds, three steals and only one turnover in 45 minutes. Not when you get 27 combined points and seven combined three-pointers between Mike Miller and Mario Chalmers.
In the end, it was the Heat winning game 6, and the series, 105-93 in front of a raucous Indiana Pacers crowd that started to lose its edge by the end of the third quarter, after a 9-0 Heat run in the final two minutes.
The run turned a one-point game into a ten-point lead going into the fourth following a Chalmers three-pointer at the buzzer.