Tag: Dwayne Wade
There was really no surprise that the Celtics would have a very rough time dealing with Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. Sure enough, because a series of injuries, the Miami Heat´s big three hadn’t been able to play together in a long while. That been said, considering that current situation for the Boston Celtics, not much else was expected from a team that was traveling to South Beach to face the defending champions without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who stayed in the bench resting their injuries. As if that was not enough, the Boston Celtics have had to do without the All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo, who´s been out for the better part of the second half of the season and will not return until next season. So yes, by no means was it a surprise that the Heat dominated the Celtics from the second quarter on to take a 109-101 win at Miami.
The Miami Heat started slow. It took them the whole first quarter to find their rhythm, their game. But soon enough, everything kicked in place and there was no stopping these guys. Miami scored 41 points in the second quarter, for the record: that their highest-scoring period of the season, in a phenomenal effort to erase what was an early 13-point lead by the Boston Celtics. LeBron James guided the Heat with 20 points and 9 assists. Rashard Lewis added 19 points coming off the bench. It was a phenomenal effort from the Heat reserves. As a matter of fact, the Heat´s reserves outscored Boston’s 52-14. Now, that sounds overwhelming, but one has to consider that quite frankly, the Heat shouldn’t get too cocky. After all, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford are by no means the Boston Celtics starters: the starting squad for Boston was already mostly reserves, so there’s that.
Chris Bosh had 17 points for Miami. So did Ray Allen coming off the bench, while Norris Cole chipped in with 12. Jeff Green guided the Boston Celtics efforts with 25 points and 8 rebounds. He was doing all that he could for this team, but the Heat were just too much for the shorthanded Celtics. Jordan Crawford added 20 points, Courtney Lee scored 18 and Brandon Bass had 17 for Boston. The Heat certainly dominated this season head-to-head regular season matchups against the Celtics, winning three of the four games they played this year. That’s not much of a surprise to be completely honest with you guys. After all, the Heat have dominated this season all around the clock. At 63-16 for the season, this team is looking very strong. They could easily end up with a 65-win season. Miami has three games left, two at home, and already has clinched home-court advantage for the entirety of the NBA playoffs.
James was quite thrilled to be able to play next to Bosh and Wade a couple more times before facing the postseason. “Felt good to get back in the lineup with the other ‘Big Two,’ ” James said. “It’s great. We’re just trying to get some more continuity, get our legs up under us.”
After almost a whole week of no games, it seemed as if the Miami Heat would go out to the field showing some signs of rust. On the one hand, the NBA defending champions were playing at home against a team that at 15-27 for the season, is certainly not really much of a rival under normal circumstances. And yet, the Heat had to rely on brilliant performances from LeBron James and Dwayne Wade to pull this come-from-behind overtime win over what in paper seemed as a Toronto Raptors squad that wasn’t much of a threat. At the end, and before their excited crowd, the Heat took a 123-116 win to improve their record to 27-12. They are still the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, and considering what an irregular season the Boston Celtics have put together, it might be up to the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls or the Brooklyn Nets to give the guys from South Beach a run for their money.
Wade guided the Heat’s offensive efforts with 35 points and 7 assists. “It was typical for a team to come off a long road trip, have days off and try to get back in a groove, especially versus a team that offensively is one of the top 10 in the league in offense and scoring the ball,” Wade said in the postgame press conference. “It took us time to get our legs into it and get our rotations down, but as the game went on we were able to do that.” For a moment there, however, it seemed as if the Raptors would be able to pull off the upset. Alan Anderson was the man of the hour for Toronto as he managed to score 20 points as he was part of seven other Raptors players who closed the game in double figures. Jose Calderon scored 17 points, Terrence Ross had 16, and Amir Johnson finished with 15 points. But the Raptors lacked strength under the basket and they were critically outrebounded by the home team. As a matter of fact the Heat recorded 53 boards while the Raptors only picked up 28.
LeBron James was the overall top performer of the night. He finished with 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for Miami, to reach now his 34th career triple-double. He seemed quite happy with his game last night. “Just tried to keep wearing on them,” James said to a T.V. reporter right after the game was finished. “We knew it was going to take a little while to get the engines back started, but we got enough stops in the second half to give ourselves a chance to win.” James has been playing very well lately. The incumbent league’s MVP was in double digits even before the end of the first quarter. Now, for the better part of the game, this was the Raptors game to lose. I mean, they were up by 10 at one point before the Heat cranked it up and brought down the deficit to 4-points before the start of the fourth quarter.
The Miami Heat opened up their current season playing against their conference rivals, the Boston Celtics. And this time, the whole thing had a little twist. On the one hand, the Heat were going to put op their championship banner (second for the franchise) and LeBron James would receive his first and long coveted championship ring. On the other, the Heat would come out to the court with their latest acquisitions wich included Ray Allen, the ex-Celtic and member of the Championship winning big three.
Allen spent 5 years with the Celtics. He used to be head coach’s Doc Rivers golfing partner. But the relationship went cold and considering that he had some issues in and out of the field with Rajon Rondo, he opted to leave for Miami for far less money. And the uproar has just been out of this world. Some call it treason and unprofessional. After all, he went on to play with the Celtics archrival, the team that have sent them home in the last two playoffs.
So taking this first game was of vital importance for the Miami Heat. After all, they were playing at home against a revamped Boston Celtics that included Jeff Green, who’s playing for the first time in a game that counts since January 2011 and sharp shooter Jason Terry. Sure enough Green only scored 3 points in 23 minutes and he is still far from been the productive player the Celtics need. But he’s going to get there, all he need is a little more time. Boston once again relied their play on their point guard Rajon Rondo and on the talent of veterans Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
The squad really never dominated against Miami but they managed to cut down the gap late in the third quarter. It was clear that after suffering from cramps, LeBron James wasn’t going to come back for much of the second half and the Celtics tried to build up some momentum to get back in the game. But just as they were starting to close down the gap, Chris Bosh took over and with a couple of baskets and a nice three-pointer in the last 4 minutes of the 4th quarter, he just closed the deal to guide the Heat to a 120-107 win over the Celtics.
The Heat were guided by James who, despite leaving the game early, finished his season opener with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and two steals. “It was good to cap this night off with a win,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said in the press conference. “It was an emotional time for all of us in our organization.” Ray Allen, who spent five years with the Celtics, had a brilliant night with the Heat. He finished off with 19 points and 2 rebounds. Chris Bosh, on the other hand, close his opening night with 19 points and 10 rebounds for a decent double-double. For the Celtics, Paul Pierce chipped in with 23 points, while Leandro Barbosa gave them 16. Kevin Garnett had 9 points and 12 rebounds but he made the highlights when he refused to acknowledge Ray Allen’s pregame handshake. It was classic KG! Expect big things for the rest of this series.
LeBron James still has at least eight or nine more seasons of good basketball in him. He started straight out of high school, and even though it took him 8 years to finally get an NBA Championship, he is the best active player in the NBA. But is he just good enough, does he have the athletic and mental strength to reach the heights of the all-time best? The issue is out there. The virtual head-to-head is perhaps as fascinating to the NBA fan as an impossible matchup between the 1992 Team USA Olympic Dream Team and it’s 2012 London homologue.
And yet, Micheal Jordan’s resume is so much more impressive than that of LeBron. But the credentials, the rings, is not all there is to this comparison. For intance, Kobe Bryant has 5 NBA Championships, just one less than Jordan, and yet, it seems that James is so much closer to be in the same stratospheric league as Jordan than Bryant.
Perhaps the issue at hand here is that James physicality is just something that we haven’t seen yet in a basketball player. And perhaps that gives him an edge over the field. At 6 feet 8 inches tall, and weighting in 250 pounds, the 27-year-old James has an unique skill set. He can run just as fast as any point guard in the league, he has the mobility of a much smaller and agile player, he can jump as high as any center, and he can certainly shoot and defend like few others. Now, joining Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade at the Miami Heat, LeBron James has managed to get a very good to seasons since he made the decision to leavel the Cleveland Cavaliers and take his talents to South Beach. James signed off a remarkable year earlier this month with an Olympic gold medal for Team USA. In the last 12 months James won his third league MVP, his first NBA championship and an NBA Finals MVP.
But what has certainly sparked up the conversation lately has been the comments given by James teammate Dwayne Wade. “I don’t know if (James) has the ability to surpass (Jordan) or not,” said in an interview last week “That’s yet to be seen. My version as LeBron being on par with Michael is this: They’re both on the golf course. Michael’s on the 18th hole. LeBron is somewhere on like the fourth hole. He’s got a long way to go, but he’s on par to get to the 18th hole.” From a safe distance, it looks as if Wade’s evaluation seems very fair based.
James is young, his potential is still as important as his achievements. If he can continue building up around him in Miami, many good things are still to come. “He’s now playing with that confidence, that swagger that you need, and he’s right in the smack of his prime. We’ve all seen it from all the best players in this game, all the future Hall of Famers, that age — 27, 28, 29 — that’s like the best years, and then after that if you stay healthy, then you have even more great years like a Michael Jordan, like a Kobe (Bryant) has had, when they reach their 30s.” It seems as if only time will tell.