Tag: Dwayne Wade
When there were 28.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Boston Celtics head coach, Doc Rivers, pulled out Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all at the same time. With a brilliant run from LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, who scored all of the Heat’s fourth-quarter points in a 28-15 run that put the game away. And the veteran Celtics coach made a grand gesture. He was accepting his defeat, yes, that’s certain, but he was giving credit to the core of his group, to the three players that had given this team half a decade of success. Rumor has it, the Celtics Big Three will not be back together next season. At 36-years-old, both Garnet and Allen are now officially free agents and it is not far fetched to expect the Celtics to build a new team around their all-star point guard Rajon Rondo.
The Miami Heat won two games in a row to turn around a 3-2 deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals. At the end, despite Rajon Rondo’s 22 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, the Heat took an 88-101 win at home. LeBron James finally came out with a victory in a game 7. It took him three chances to get that win, and a 31 points, 12 rebound performance to close the deal. But once again the Miami Heat are up for the NBA Finals. Miami will open up the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thuesday night. This has been a highly anticipated matchup. It is still uncertain how the Heat will work out against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Their explosiveness and game style are far away from what the Celtics gave them.
Dwayne Wade scored 23 points for the Heat. Chris Bosh finished with 19, including a career best three 3-pointers for the game while Shane Battier added 12 to help the Heat win a Game 7 for the first time since 2004. Last year, the party ended a little too soon as the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA Finals in game 6 at Miami. For the Boston Celtics this could very well be the end of an era. Brandon Bass scored 16, Ray Allen finished with 15 and Kevin Garnett scored 14 for the Celtics. “Give them credit,” Rondo said. “They spread the points out as a team tonight. Give them credit. They played great tonight as a team and we just came up short.” And a brilliant game, filled with true teamwork might be exactly what this squad needs to finally give LeBron James his first title.
The Heat had to deal with 3 weeks without Chris Bosh. He proved vital in game 7 and is certainly going to be a reference in the offensive end in the finals. “We all had a pit — even though we didn’t admit it — we all had a big pit in our stomach when we saw him walking off the court in Game 1 of the Indiana series,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Bosh. “We played tough, but we knew that for two years he had been our most important player, because he makes it all work.” Well, the finals are here, it is time for this squad to deliver.
The Miami Heat’s Big Three was a bit too much to handle for the Orlando Magic who just simply didn’t get a break all game long. The Heat’s Chris Bosh, did get one. Early in the first quarter, when he took his first shot, the ball slipped out of his hands and flew at least two stories high before somehow, as in one of those viral internet videos, the ball came down and into the basket. Chris Bosh didn’t miss the first six shots of the night and ended up with 23 points and 7 rebounds in one heck of a comeback. Let’s just take into account that his previous two matches were quite a disappointment. Bosh was 7 of 27 in his previous two games before he got things moving in the fourth quarter for the Miami Heat to hold off the Orlando Magic and take a 91-81 win at home. Now the series between the two Florida teams is tied at two games apiece at home.
But it was Dwayne Wade who would really turn things around in the fourth quarter. Wade managed to score 14 of his 31 points in the last quarter. He finished the night with 31 points and 6 rebounds and 4 assists. His numbers could had been a bit higher had it not been for the efforts made by the Orlando Magic to keep him from scoring the 24.5 points and 14.5 rebounds he averaged on the three previous matches they had this season. LeBron James, the last member of the Big Three, finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and five steals for the Heat. His role as the usual high scorer gave space to another role. On this game, James worked something like a facilitator. His pass with 3:46 left made it past two Magic defenders and set up Bosh for the final and decisive blow. The play stretched Miami’s lead to 84-73, and it was pretty much over by then.
The Magic put on a good effort but it wasn’t nearly enough to slow down the Heat. Dwight Howard finished the night with 18 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando. Quentin Richardson chipped in with a 15-point night that included 5 for 7 shooting from 3-point range. At 29-17 for the season, the Orlando Magic has had a good season so far, but head coach Stan Van Gundy was certainly not happy with his team performance: “Our effort defensively early in the game was not there. We did not come to play. That’s inexcusable particularly playing on the road against a team this good and then the 20 turnovers.”
The Orlando Magic got some additional help from Jameer Nelson with his 13-point night and Jason Richardson’s 12 points for the game. But perhaps it was on the defense that things got a little better for the Heat. And that might had made a big difference. The Heat got their act together. Miami was outrebounded by 10 in Orlando, then by 16 in Chicago and 12 in Philadelphia. But not this time, specially not with LeBron James playing like he did. The Heat outrebounded Orlando 42-36.
The Miami Heat had to find a way to recover from a three game slide this season and to get there, they had to rely on every single bit of talent that LeBron James and Chris Bosh could throw in the court. The first half belonged almost exclusively to the San Antonio Spurs, and for the better of the halftime break it looked as if the Heat would inevitably lose it’s fourth game in a row. But perhaps in the same fashion as the Ave Phoenix rose from it’s own ashes, the Miami Heat put on one heck of a show in the third quarter to score 39 points, and finish off the San Antonio Spurs 120-98 in South Beach.
This was a big win for the Heat. For the fourth game in a row, Dwayne Wade had been on street cloths watching the game from the bench. He has been struggling with a sprained right ankle and the very tight schedule has only made things worst. So it would be up to the other two members of the Miami Heat Big Three to seal off the deal. And they finished strong. LeBron James had 33 points and 10 assists while Chris Bosh had 30 points for the night, including a perfectly executed court-to-court dunk to sign it out. If the first half was all about the San Antonio Spurs embarrassing the Heat, the second half was all about payback. The Heat shot for 68 percent in the second half and outscore the Spurs 71-35 in the second half.
The Spurs went into the intermission with 63-49 margin, after connecting 12 of it’s first 15 shots of the game. The Heat took an early start in the third quarter, and their momentum was only fueled up with LeBron James’ two consecutive three-pointers that gave the Heat a 72-78 margin. From there on, it was simply impossible for the Spurs to hold the Heat off. Just to put things into the right perspective, and perhaps to prove that when he’s got it right, he’s probably the best active player out there, James outscored and the entire Spurs team in the third quarter. LeBron James 17- San Antonio Spurs 12. James also had one more assists than the Spurs in the third.
Now, the statistic that comes out to be a little bit strange is that it really seems that the Miami Heat are better of without Wade. Just check out this next statistic: Without Dwayne Wade the Miami Heat are now 4-0 this season and 8-1 since early last season, when they don’t have the 2006 NBA finals MVP in uniform.
It is still uncertain what the future holds for the Miami Heat. At 9-4 for the season, the Miami Heat are not having their best start ever, but still, behind all the usual media grabbing highlights from James and the inconsistently talented Chris Bosh, the Heat might just be better of without Wade. Then again, we’ve still have to see how this team pulls it together once they have to face challenges from squads like the Knicks or the Bulls or their rivals the Boston Celtics.
With such a demanding and compressed schedule, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many teams are going to have to sit down their key players in order to keep them healthy for the long run. And perhaps this is a particularly important reference for a team like the Miami Heat, that as we speak are waiting for their two top-scoring stars, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade to recover from injuries. The duo already missed their first game of the season, as the Miami Heat, guided by Chris Bosh on a phenomenal effort, managed to defeat the Atlanta Hawks at Georgia.
With James and Wade cheering from the bench it was up to Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers to prove that they can handle the pressure, although, going into triple overtime to take a win shouldn’t really come as a clear proof of anything certain. Mario Chalmers finished the night with 29 points and 7 rebounds, while Bosh guided the Heat with 33 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks, and secured the last minute 3-pointer that tied the game and forced the first of three overtimes. At the end, and despite the good efforts from Tracy McGrady and the rest of the Hawks, the game ended 116-109 in favor of the Heat, who secure another win on the road.
Many will jump to say, that the Heat will be fine on the long run without James and Wade. On the other hand, the extra minutes of play should come as a boost to the morale of these other guys who have been in the shadows of the Heat’s super stars for the better part of a season.
Wade missed his second straight game with a sore left foot. LeBron James even got in uniform, and made a couple of warm up shots, but at the end he opted to sit this game down. James turned his left ankle late in the third quarter of Wednesday night’s 118-83 win over Indiana, and it seems that the injury is still hurting him a bit. So, yes, on the one hand, with Chalmers and Bosh making a good duo, this certainly should come and help the team’s morale.
It really seems as if the Hawks just ran out of fuel in the third, last, and definitive overtime. Joe Johnson scored 20 points for Atlanta, but the third quarter was just a mess. As a matter of fact, the Hawks didn’t manage to score a single point in the third extra period. Just for the record, let’s clear this out and say that this was only the 10th time in NBA history a team did not score in an overtime period.
The Hawks knew well what it takes to win a game on the road against the Heat. They did just that on Monday, but it seemed that they lacked the mental concentration, or the spark to make that same move at home. The Hawks led 93-90 as the clock ran down. Still, they gave too much space to Chris Bosh launched the tying 3-point attempt from the wing over defender Marvin Williams. There were only six-tenths of a second remaining in regulation when the only member of the Heat’s big three in uniform for the night made his best shot of the night.