Tag: Miami Heat
Well, it really is not a surprise that the team that dominated the regular season and finished with the best record in the league is not having much trouble making it through the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. And so far they have not shown any signs of weakness. For a while, it´s only been a matter of standing behind LeBron James and hoping that someone else could step up and delivered. And that really shouldn’t be much of a problem, considering that his teammates include, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Ray Allen.
Sure enough, the veteran Allen is coming off the bench and is averaging only 25-30 minutes per game, but last night, he reminded us that at 37-years-old he is still capable of delivering. He finished the night with 23 points and 3 rebounds. Enough to make it pass Reggie Miller for the best record of Playoffs three-pointers, finishing the night with 322 postseason three-pointers, two more than the retired star of the Indiana Pacers.
LeBron James guided the visiting team effort with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. They made it quite clear. The Buck gave it a good effort, they fought a good fight, but it seems as if James took over in the third quarter and just killed the Milwaukee Bucks will to keep on fighting. . Miami blew this one up in the third quarter and rode it to the end to take a 104-91 victory on Thursday night. The Heat now has a chance to complete the sweep Sunday afternoon at the Bradley Center and get some extra days of rest before going into the second round.
It’s been a long while since we’ve seen a team dominate so much in the regular season. And it’s quite interesting to see if this sort of dominance could translate into the Heat winning their second straight NBA title. The Heat certainly has the man power to pull off this feat. Let’s consider that Chris Bosh added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, and despite Dwayne Wade having a terrible night, getting only four points for the night in 1-of-12 shooting, this team is on a streak.
Consider for a moment that the Heat has won 11 straight games dating to the regular season and 40 of their last 42. Chris Andersen had another big game, scoring 11 on 5-of-5 shooting and grabbing six rebounds in less than 14 minutes, to prove he’s good to go from the bench.
“I shot the ball terrible,” Wade said in the postgame press conference. Let’s not forget that he has been nursing a bruised right knee and that might cause him to be a little off mark. No, forget that, he was extremely off mark. “But we played a good game. Game 3 is a tough game. I thought, as a team, we showed a lot of guts, a lot of grit. When those guys came out hot, we stayed with it, we stayed with our game plan and were able to get a great win. There’s nothing as satisfying as winning a Game 3 on the road. But it’s over now. Now we have to focus on closing the series out.”
Last month, the Chicago Bulls put an end to the second longest winning streak in NBA history, as they defeated the Miami Heat at the United Center to put an end to a 27-game winning streak. This time around, the Heat new from the start that this was going to be a rough and physical game and that a payback was in order for the Bulls putting and end to their phenomenal run. It wasn’t easy, don’t get me wrong, the Heat had to fight for this win, but it became quite evident from the second half on that despite the very fierce efforts and what could be seen by many as straight up provocations by the Bulls was not going to slow down Miami. The Heat are now 64’16 for the season, making them the team with the best record in the league. Not only did they took a 105-93 win over Chicago, they also proved they have what it takes to play a rough game, which is what they’ll most likely get in the postseason.
“It was good, especially against this team,” said LeBron James, who guided the Miami Heat with 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists. “You’re definitely not just going to show up and win against these guys. You’re going to have to work for it. So for us, to continue to get better and for us to have a really physical game, good game, testy game, we liked it.” For a moment, however, it seemed as if the Bulls were going to give the Heat a whole lot more than what they had bargained for. Dwayne Wade chipped in with 22 points and 4 rebounds while Chris Bosh would have a slow night and finish with only 12 points and 9 rebounds. Certainly not the sort of performance head coach Erik Spoelstra would like to see from his power forward. Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen each scored 15 for Miami, which improved to 36-4 at home, a franchise historic best.
Carlos Boozer finished with 16 points and 20 rebounds for the Bulls who managed to physically push around the Heat quite a bit, but who had plenty of issues with their shooting all day long. Luol Deng led Chicago in the offensive end and he finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Robinson and Kirk Hinrich each chipped in with 14 points apiece while Jimmy Butler added 13 for the Bulls. It was a though game for the Bulls who have been dealing with a lot of injuries lately. The Chicago Bulls played without Joakim Noah (foot), Taj Gibson (knee), Richard Hamilton (one-game NBA suspension) and Derrick Rose, who has been out all year while coming back from a knee injury.
It´s been a very long run for the Bulls. There is still plenty of uncertainty of whether the Bulls are going to have a chance to beat their opponents in the postseason if they don’t get Rose back for the Playoffs. Truth is that so far they’ve been able to keep this team afloat thanks to a huge team effort. But Rose is one heck of a player, and they need that key ingredient if they hope to make it to the NBA Finals.
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.”
I’m not sure if I would go so far as to say that the winning streak of the Miami Heat is just as valuable as winning a National Championship. One thing is for sure, for a team that has had to take a lot of criticism for not been aggressive enough, for not living up to their true potential (let’s not forget we are talking about the NBA defending championship) they are really proving they are for real. Let it there be no doubt, they want to keep this streak alive just as much as they want to win their second championship in a row.
These guys are determined to do whatever they need to prove they are the team to beat right now. Yes, on the one hand, we have to realize that few players have needed to prove themselves as much as the Heat biggest star, LeBron James. He’s been in the league for ten years, and despite multiple regular season MVP’s and a couple of trips into the NBA Finals, he always came up short. That was until he joined Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in Miami to for the latest Big Three. And in a short but extremely intense lockout-season, the boys from South Beach took the National Title. Still there was huge animosity against James and the Heat, although they are now going into their third season straight playing in a full house at Miami. They might be quite unpopular everywhere else, but the South Beach fans loves this new force.
Now, facing the Orlando Magic, a team that desperately needs to pull off big wins in a season that is certainly going to end as soon as the postseason kicks off, things were looking quite difficult at one point. With the Orlando Magic’s Jameer Nelson three pointer in the 3rd quarter, the game was tied at 68 points a piece, and considering that the Heat were playing without Dwight Howard for the second game in a row, it seemed as if James was not going to be able to deliver and the streak was going to be cut short. And it was just about that next play that LeBron James got a bit mad and started playing like he was on fire. He started the turnaround with a phenomenal highlight reel worthy dunk, followed with an easy jumper over three Magic players only 30 seconds later, and guided the Heat on a dominant 4th quarter to take a 108-94 win at Orlando.
James would go on to lead the Magic for the second night in a row, scoring 24 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists against Orland. “We are not taking this team for granted,” James said in the postgame press conference. “I continue to always say that in professional sports, wins are hard to come by and teams like this are really rare. To be part of a team like this, we do not take it for granted.” The Magic gave it all they could, but then again, it is clear that at 18 and 53 for the season, these guys are not at their finest. Jameer Nelson guided the Magic with 27 points and 12 assists while Tobias Harris had 20 points for the home team.