Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at 9:00 am  |  84 responses

Post Up: South Beach Panic

Boston comes away with a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Finals after stealing Game 5 in Miami.

Celtics 94, Heat 90 (BOS leads 3-2)

Certain moments in sports history never go forgotten. Every season, people look back and remember certain moments like landmarks in major cities. Kevin Garnett continued to keep the fans happy with his post game remarks, and if the Celtics win the 2012 NBA Championship, fans will remember his words forever. When asked about what fuels him and keeps him going during games, Garnett responded, “Competition. The naysayers, the owners who talk to much. You know, the people who don’t think a 36, 35-year-old could do what I do. I take a lot of pride on my craft; I work hard on my craft every day. I’m a true professional.”

Garnett’s approach to basketball is fascinating. Appalling sometimes, but always intriguing. He exemplifies hustle, toughness, and fortitude. He played a huge part in building the “tough guy” image of the Boston Celtics and has come up as big as any player in the conference semifinals. He continued his inspiring play with 26 points and 11 rebounds last night. His intensity and competitive fire fueled the Celtics’ late game surge, and his leadership reigned in the rest of the squad to focus on closing out the game. Paul Pierce came through when it mattered most (as usual), draining a three right in LeBron James’ grill with under a minute left to play. The craziest part for the Celtics? Rajon Rondo only netted 7 points on 3-15 shooting. If someone were to say the Celtics would win Game 5 on the road when LeBron scored 30 and Rondo only scored 7, I would have laughed as hard as I laughed after the little kid yelled “Good job! Good effort!” (which, by the way, was just about the funniest thing I’ve seen all year).

The Celtics have the Heat figured out. They aren’t letting LeBron and Wade run all over them like Games 1 and 2. They force LeBron and Wade into the same isolation basketball that doomed them in the Finals against Dallas series last year. The Cetltics take away transition and force halfcourt execution, forcing the Heat to either share the ball extremely well or knock down difficult shots on seasoned veterans. I kept saying after Games 3 and 4, “Once Miami starts really pushing the ball and using the open floor, they will control the series again. No one can stop them in the open floor for a full series. No one.” They refuse to find a way to get back to their strengths and still settle for weak half court isolations. LeBron will get his 25-30 every night, but everyone else flat out is not consistent enough to play in the halfcourt all game. Without a drastic new approach to Game 6, the Heat will find themselves open to even more criticism.

How ironic that both the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs jumped out to 2-0 leads, only to lose three games in a row? The Heat and the Spurs couldn’t be more different in terms of roster breakdown and player/coach personnel, but they both find themselves in similar shoes. Not only are the Heat facing a Playoff exit, they almost surely face the end of the both the Big Three and the Erik Spoestra eras if they can’t beat the Celtics.

And how about us as fans? When was the last time we saw two phenomenal series like the current Eastern and Western Conference finals? No matter which teams advance to the NBA Finals, a fantastic storyline brews that captivates the vast majority of the general public. Like anything in life, we will think about how fast the time flew when NBA basketball ends in a couple weeks. We will think about the two absolutely special series in July, August, and September, dreaming and wishing for just one more game. We, in a sense, are spoiled with fantastic basketball right now. Soak in the greatness, and remember what Ferris said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it.” —Dave Spahn (@DaveSpahn)

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    That loss was on LeBron. As a team’s leader/best player, if you’re going to get all the praise after wins, you should also get all the blame after losses. I’m not going to place any of the blame on the coach because I knew the guy was outmatched and outcoached from the beginning nor am I going to blame Wade because apart from a few games here and there in the postseason, the man hasn’t played well (consistently). So this all falls on the 3-time MVP. This is the kind of pivotal game where former 3-time MVPs like Moses goes out and drops 40/20, Magic drops 27/10/17 and Bird drops 34/14/8. 30/13 on 11-25 shooting (including 4-13 in the 2nd half) isn’t enough.

  • ALD

    bla bla the heat got outcoached, lebron choked… bla bla bla. The mavs showed the world that you need a tea, not just 3 stars… The expirement will be tested friday.

  • http://www.slamonline.com melvin ely

    good job! good effort! Man I was sure someone from the heat was going to smack him

  • Love The Game

    Regardless of who makes the finals, these conference finals, both east and west have been great!

  • ALD

    @Jtaylor back in those days,, teams had to play real defense and stay on their man… Lebron drops 3o on two people everynight just about.

  • nofkksgiven

    miami needs to start taking accountability. they miss shots and look to the refs, they play bad D or have a miscommunication and look at each other, when they lose on the road they blame the role players, now some folks are blaming spoelstra….lebron doesn’t have the mentality of a champion, he is insecure and it comes out in high-pressure situations.

    that being said, the C’s need to play game 6 like it’s game 7.

  • Heals

    If they were playing a best of 5 I’d be celebrating, since it’s not I know IF Bos gets 1 more win it’ll be their toughest of the season so far…

  • http://slamonline.com raylan

    see how KG grabbed peitrus to get in the huddle? now that’s leadership. haha.

  • Fat Lever

    “Just one of them dayssssss, where I wanna be aloneeeeeee”

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    nofk: the accountability should start with Spoelstra. who knows what he says behind closed doors, but at the podium, he NEVER speaks critically of himself or his team. instead, he spouts cliche after cliche and compliments the opponent: “nobody said it was going to be easy,” or “we knew going in it was going to be tough,” or “Boston has championship DNA.”

  • Heals

    Absolutely loved the white headbands on the road and the fact that there is NO team more tightly knit than my C’s. Quis, Dooling and Peaches are every bit the leaders that the Big guys are, just doing from a different seat. As for Bulls fans, don’t think for 1 second Bos fans like myself don’t know the only reason our team is still playing is cause your best player went down; we just trying to hold it down in your absence…

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Ha! Fat Lever ftw.

  • sad really

    a vast majority of the public does not give a good god dam about boring “sports” you simp. NO ONE cares. less that 5% of the United States watched the game.

  • kobe

    Im a die hard lebron fan. and I dont know what else you can expect from him. Personally this is on coach Spo and wades inconsistancy. Question for ya’ll if Durant wins a ring this year would you rank him above Lebron James?

  • nofkksgiven

    @lights out – you right. i think spoelstra should have been fired after the first year and folks told me I was thinking prematurely that pat riley believed in this guy, etc. etc. i don’t think his personality type and coaching style are what this group needs. he’s soft. he talks too much and is overly focused on the emotional aspects of the game which is why his execution fails, miami doesn’t need a post game therapy session from spo

    @kobe – i personally already rank KD over lebron…he’s clutch and has more potential to get better – not better physically athlete for athlete but better in the mental and intangible areas that make a winner (but i’m far from a lebron fan so…probably biased)

  • TheWhiteMarkPrice

    If KD gets a ring you definitely have a debate. Given that LeBron is has probably hit the ceiling of his talents. Where KD gets still has plenty he can improve and get better.

  • Bola

    @ Kobe, definitely. Durant didn’t need to jump ship. So i will rank Durant higher

  • marchalmadness

    this is THE uppertunity for Miami and they let it slip. Lebron’s performance is great all playoffs long, somebody else needs to support him…. PLEASE!!!

  • T-Money

    doc is coaching circles around spo. it’s been 5 games and spo has not yet figured out how to take the lob pass to kg away. that’s 5 lay ups every game, even stiesma gets 1 or 2 baskets on lobs! haslem is not a center, battier is not a power forward. guys go from not playing at all to being on the floor in the 4th (cole, james jones) and vice versa (joel anthony, turiaf, mike miller). if they get bounced by boston and spo is not fired this summer, i’m done with miami. i like lebron and all but this is not entertaining basketball to watch, win or lose. you can’t have possessions in the 4th end with james jones having to create at the top of the circle.

  • T-Money

    kobe – i don’t understand these questions. do you want to know who’s better or who would have the most championships? those are two distinct questions. sometimes, they overlap but it’s not a given. michael is better than magic and bird and has also more rings. wilt is better than russell and has like 10 less rings.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    What did Joel Anthony do to get dropped from the rotation? I just don’t understand why you eliminate your best rim protector, really your only rim protector, from the game when the other team is most effective when they can get to the rim. It’s so strange. Oh well.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Did I mention Eric Spoelstra is coaching?

  • 23

    I dont see how anyone could possibly put all the blame LeBron. Now all of a sudden he’s the leader of this team? Just last series everyone was saying, “Miami is/was/always will be wades team”. I do agree it was an average game from Bron(as crazy as that sounds) but wade keeps failing to help out LeBron until the 2nd half. If everyone would do their part, these games would be blowouts. Coach spo is too scared to ACTUALLY coach, the role players fail to knock down open 3s, wade is asleep the first half, and LeBron needs to perform even more superhuman-like

  • 23

    If OKC wins this year, then it proves that OKC is by far a more superior team than Miami. Durant is #1 in this league when it comes to scoring, Nash is tops when it comes to getting teammates easy open shots, love is the best rebounder, and Howard is the best defender. And LeBron is the only player with all those skills at an elite level

  • logues

    i loved it when celtics were down 2-0 and a lot of ppl are saying “sweep” and “grab the brooms.” like any time a team gets up 2-0 in a series ppl think its gonna be a sweep haha dumb

  • 23

    I dont see how anyone could possibly put all the blame LeBron. Now all of a sudden he’s the leader of this team? Just last series everyone was saying, “Miami is/was/always will be wades team”. I do agree it was an average game from Bron(as crazy as that sounds) but wade keeps failing to help out LeBron until the 2nd half. If everyone would do their part, these games would be blowouts. Coach spo is too scared to ACTUALLY coach, the role players fail to knock down open 3s, wade is asleep the first half, and LeBron needs to perform even more superhuman-like..

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    I want to see 07 game 5 vs pistons Lebron James next game.
    Maybe then i can live with a miami loss.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’m done with the excuses (warranted or unwarranted) for LeBron. The man has more than enough supporting help on this Heat squad to beat Bos and get back to the Finals. I don’t expect him to dominate every game but I do expect him to dominate at least one playoff run in his career and carry his team to a championship regardless of his teammate’s shortcomings like MJ did numerous times, Hakeem did twice, and TD during the 03 Playoffs. Every Top-10/12 great had at least one great postseason run (1st Round to the Finals) on their resume and LeBron hasn’t done that yet. He’s come close twice (09 Playoffs and this current playoff run) but no cigars.

  • Rhodey

    I wish these Miami Heat would figure out the C’s free throw defense.

  • ALD

    @jtaylor21 u act like his career is over after this season….. ( and you sound like skip bayless lol)

  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/60/Kevin_Garnett_2008-01-13.jpg/220px-Kevin_Garnett_2008-01-13.jpg omphalos

    Lebron had a great first half, but there’s no denying he wilted in the second. When you’re going to laugh in KGs face in game 1, you better be sure you can close the damn series. I hate the amount of sneaky plays Miami pulls (and gets away with); Chalmers holding Rondo’s right arm down so he couldn’t get the rebound, Pittman giving a forearm shiver to Stephenson in Indiana. I used to like Wade, and Miami as a consequence, but since Lebron got there the whole organisation has gotten so far up it’s own butt that they are impossible to like if you’re not already a Heat fan. The Celtics could still easily lose 2 straight with Bosh back in the rotation with a game under his belt, but I think they proved Miami is far from unbeatable, and that you should never underestimate the heart of a champion.

  • Bravo

    Yo who ever said Boston wins in game 6. Well you the man!

  • T-Money

    jtaylor – no offense but that’s kinda silly. perfomances should be assessed on their own merit. yes, lebron should be blamed for flaming out during last year’s finals. yes, lebron should be blamed for flaming out during the boston series in 2010. no, lebron should not be blamed for the orlando series in 2009. no, lebron should not be blamed for the heat being down 2-3 right now. it’s not that hard, is it? think, people.

  • deafballer

    How is no one talking about the Peitrus flop on chalmers near the end of the game where he got hit with a tech? that was just disgusting.

  • bike

    Bosh is injured and Wade is playing hurt and sporadically–what do people expect? Without the three stars playing at the top of their game, the Heat are simply an above average team. Granted, the C’s are also banged up but they have the guy(s) to go to the rim and MIA doesn’t have the inside defense.
    And like somebody already said–what’s up with Anthony being kept out?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    co-sign T-Money. If Miami’s role players were playing well and were knocking down open looks and Wade was playing like the super-star he’s capable of being, and Miami was losing because Lebron was putting up pedestrian numbers, then yeah, that’s all on Lebron. But the fact of the matter is DWade is struggling to put up more than 2 good quarters per game, Bosh has played a total of 15 minutes in the series, and Miami can’t seem to find a 3rd option who’s capable of scoring double digits on a consistent basis. MJ and Dream are 2 of my favorite players of all time, but let’s not discredit their supporting casts, the Paxons, Armstrongs, Kerrs, Horrys, Cassells, Smiths, and Elie’s who as 4th, 5th, and 6th options, were able to rise to the occassion and consistently knock down big shot after big shot.

  • http://www.nyill.wordpress.com O

    Funny enough, this series should be over. Boston-4, Heat-1. After game 2 the league got in those officials ass about the calls…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    So other then switching his rotation ore than a light switch (which is f*cking ridiculous IN THE PLAYOFFS) what adjustments has Spoelstra made? Any? I honestly can’t think of one.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    O — STILL is saying the games were fixed. LMAO.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    T-Money, I hear what you’re saying but we all know that LeBron is held to a different/higher standard than any other superstar in history. He is the only cat that can have great series and still get 100% of the blame. You know and I know that LeBron will not get a pass regardless of how well he performs if MIA loses Gm6 in Bos or Gm7 back in MIA or loses in the Finals (if they make it that far).

  • http://www.slamonline.com Real Player

    @ T-money: I don’t think it’s a matter of should Lebron be blamed for the Heat being down 2-3 right now.

    He’s put up good numbers thus far this series and He had a stellar first half, and over all a good game.

    The question in my mind is how can you ignore this pattern of dissapearing in the 4th qtrs of the most pivitol games?

    How do you explaine the #1 player in the world, the best player of a generation, in his prime, fading into the backround minute after painfull minute in moments where leadership is defined?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    O, stop being such a hater. It’s not even rational. DWade can’t play two good halves of basketball and that is where a lot of the problem comes from. When a guy has to face two defenders every night and still plays better than the so called best shooting guard in the league, there is a serious problem. Kinda like Allenp’s latent homosexuality.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    In the defense of LeBron, the guy did have 9pts in the 4th last night and the last time I checked, he was leading the playoffs in 4th qtr scoring throughout the first 2 rounds but hey…let’s all ignore that and carry on with our “LeBron disappears in the 4th” narrative.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Random shot fired by Da Meat Hook. Lol.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    No one’s gonna mention the lack of Bosh’s play even though he had 9pts and 7rebs in 14 minutes? He would’ve at least created a distraction for KG defensively.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Spaceship, idk if you noticed, but Erik Spoelstra is the coach of the Heat.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Hey where is Eb!tchboy? I’d like to hear his insight on how the Heat can fix this and push it back to Miami for game 7. Obviously Spo, can’t fix it but Lebron and Co can still win despite inferior coaching. If it were impossible the Thunder wouldn’t be up 3-2 with their inferior coach.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^This covers everything basically. Just when I’m ready to give dude a pass, he has a night like last night. Baffling.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    ^^ that wasn’t me

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Off topic but DW3 glasses were just…sigh

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Seriously, I’ve been racking my memory to think of just one adjustment. I can’t. He made the fronting the post adjustment in the Indiana series. But I can’t think of anything strategically, that the Heat have done to counter the Celtics. Not a single one. (other than rotation stuff, which again, is absurd in and of itself at this point in a year)

  • JL

    bosh has been injured with a abdominal injury. he probably would have hurt himself if he played more. or he could have already.

    People hold Lebron to high standards because he is possibly the most talented player ever. With that people expect him to win. And not just in the regular season. 8 years as a pro and he hasn’t won a chip yet. If he’s the greatest EVER, which people actually do think talent wise, then he should have won a chip by now. I guess it’s kinda like Wilt only winning 2. Shaq is another guy who was athletically and talent wise on another level, but he’s also won 4. Lebron will win a championship I think, but he is probably about half way through his career.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Bosh had a 25 minute limit. He played 12.

  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/60/Kevin_Garnett_2008-01-13.jpg/220px-Kevin_Garnett_2008-01-13.jpg omphalos

    @jtaylor21; I dislike Lebron as much as everyone else, but doesn’t Lebron’s 1st Finals appearance in 2007 count as a great run to the Finals?

  • T-Money

    real player – to say that lebron always disappear in the 4th is just plain false. he is inconsistent in thr 4th but the close out games against boston and chicago last year DID happen. he sent these teams home all by himself. and he didn’t disappear yesterday.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    My co-sign was for NBK’s comment

  • T-Money

    honest question – if pat riley doesn’t go after phil jackson this summer just because he doesn’t like him personnally… isn’t that incredibly small and petty?

  • http://gmail.com z

    i tell ya man, i couldnt stand bron when he was a cav (everything about him just seemed…manufactured and thus kinda fake), but all the HATE that’s gone his way since he exercised his right to make a “decision” has actually made me root for the guy. THat being said, i gotta say that dwade is more to blame for the 3 losses than bron, but hey, there’s only one ball, they both need the ball to be effective throughout the game, and they can’t both have it simultaneously…

  • Ill Smith

    Wooooooooo! That was Celtic basketball there! Again….when y’all gone stop denying greatness? It ain’t cause LeBron scared to take the final shot. It ain’t cause Spo shows time & time again he ain’t got a lick of knowledge how to make adjustments. Not cuz DWade prefers b*tchin to refs over getting back on D. it’s because they ran into a great TEAM! Like I said, Miami is soulless; no heart whatsoever. & they stepped to a squad with too much heart, talent & familiarity. RIP Heat, keep the losing up Bron Bron. ANYYYYYYTHING IS POSSSSIBLEEEEEEE!

  • Kadavour

    @JTaylor21: don’t write the man’s legacy quite yet. Yes, his accomplishments now contribute to that final legacy, but the focus now is wins. LeBron had good success early in the game when he caught the ball within that 15-17ft range and worked his way to the rim from there. Boston responded by featuring some zone looks which forced him to catch the ball further out. Brilliant coaching move by Doc. The response to that should have been ball movement, which was implemented – Chalmers and Battier being the biggest beneficiaries – then for some God-forsaken reason, the Heat brought the ball back down court on their next offensive possession and tried to feature either Bron or Wade exclusively instead of creating offense with ball movement. That to me was Bron and Wade looking for their looks and not as much a coaching failure. Spo clearly called the right play in response to the zone and the guys on the court abandoned it.

  • Kadavour

    And don’t be too tough on Dwayne, he’s being double teamed on the catch. The Celts have handled him wonderfully. They did the same with Bosh for a couple possessions and stripped away his confidence in isolation early. Doc is really doing a great job with this group.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Ahhhhh… The playoffs.


    Sure. Blame it all on LeBron. Wade had absoulutely NOTHING to do with this outcome, right?
    MJ had Pip. LeBron has no Pip. Instead, he has Wade. Unfair comparison.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Real Player

    @ T$: I never said he ALWAYS dissapears in the 4th…
    I said, he’s shown a pattern of such in “THE MOST PIVITOL GAMES”. Context.

    @JT21: “last time I checked, he was leading the playoffs in 4th qtr scoring throughout the first 2 rounds but hey…let’s all ignore that and carry on with our “LeBron disappears in the 4th” narrative.”

    Again, im not arguing that LeBron has not played great basketball in these playoffs as usual.

    Yes he did have 9pts in the 4th last night, but when the game was on the line where was he the last 4 mins? i saw Wade trying, I saw Pdouble and KG leading where was the best player on the court?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Before LeBron’s basket with 8 seconds left, his last basket in the 4th was a 3 with over 8 minutes on the clock. For the record.

  • T-Money

    nbk: free throws don’t count?

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    @T-Ray – along those lines I saw this clip on Conan the other night and it made me laugh:

  • https://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway/status/210207323229138944 nbk

    I was just talkin bout field goals. I am not criticizing Bron, just pointing that out. He was passive in the 4th. Well that and the Heat were actively trying to give the ball to everyone else. For whatever reason

  • davidR

    do you guys think this rejuvenated celtics squad would beat the bulls if rose never got injured?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He was passive. In the indiana series he wasn’t settling for being a spot up shooter. Van Gundy mentioned it. Dude was cutting off the ball, flashing hard in the post. He missed one hook and that was that for the deep post moves. Weirdo.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So y’all are telling me that LeBron as the best player on the team and on the planet couldn’t have done more out there when it looked like his team was crumbling under the pressure during one of the biggest games of his career? Everyone knows I root for LeBron but I’m not going to make excuses for his 2nd half play (4-13) or failing to score during that pivotal 8min stretch in the 4th qtr. I can not call myself a fan of someone all while ignoring and making excuses when the guy comes up short.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    So Chris Bosh said he had “he was trying to be a good teammate on the bench, but he had a lot left in the tank” –
    .Spoelstra’s reasoning for not playing Chris Bosh (a professional athlete, who makes what? $15MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR) was…..
    - “it wasn’t fair to put Chris in that position”
    Spoelstra should be fired for that comment. And I am f*cking serious.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Lol funny video Diesel

  • Heals

    @dR, without Bradley, I don’t think so. Chi-Towns bigs play exceptionally vs Bos, Doc vs Thibs would be a toss up. I’m not even confident their gonna win this series yet…

  • Da-Meat-Hook


  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Ok. The Celtics’ experience would have beaten the Bulls. They couldn’t even beat Miami last year so I see no reason why Rose and the Bulls would have faired better against either team this year. As great as Rose is, he’s not on Lebron or Wade’s level. Defensively, he couldn’t handle the way Rondo is playing right now. Plus they’d have Heals the mascot to cheer them on.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    That mascot is a scary looking mofo

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Just like his mommy.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Annnnd the troll who is using my name to cowardly take shots at regulars on the site continues.

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Spoelstra is not “the guy”.
    Been saying this for a long time.
    Riley has to get over his ego. And get a qualified guy, like a Jerry Sloan. Who, is a master of the pick and roll.
    Or, Nate McMillan.
    Even if the Heat wins this series. Spoelstra is not “the guy”.
    Has never been.
    In my opinion.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Annnnd the real troll who has severe mental issues won’t stop lying because he just got released from the looney bin and still isn’t cured yet demonstrates his hereditary schizophrenia by harassing me and following me all over the internet continues.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Meat hook, I think its the same dude who’s been impersonating nbk. Pathetic, really.

  • http://slamonline.com Caboose

    Not as pathetic as the fact that I have no social life, never go outside, no girls are interested in me, and I have awful acne. Hence my obsession with internet basketball talk.

  • trueballer4life