Round 2, Game 3: Celtics 97 – Heat 81 (Heat 2-1)

•  Another slow start from the starting lineup saw the Heat down 11.  A run with some movement off the ball saw the Heat surge to the lead with Joel Anthony having a great game.  It was interesting that the starting lineup YET AGAIN had another bad start and it was difficult to put a finger on the problem.  Zydrunas Ilgauskas played well to start the game, then had a uneven result to start the second half.  The one constant was Mike Bibby, who was terrible at the start of both halves.

•  The starting lineup was an issue at the start of the second half and it likely cost the Heat the game.  It gave the Celtics a cushion and gave them confidence to play their defense.  Chris Bosh was non-existent on this night and it was not entirely his fault.  Two plays were called for him on the entire night, while Kevin Garnett turned back the clock to his finest performance in a long time.  Eric Spoelstra alluded to a pinched nerve for Bosh that hampered him all night.  It occurred early on a screen that he set on Paul Pierce.  He complained about it early but gutted it out.  His defense was fine on the pick and roll, but he could not body up anybody all night.

•  Mario Chalmers was sensational all night, and that could precipitate a move into the starting lineup.  Will Spo pull the trigger?  Not likely in my opinion.  Rajon Rondo‘s injury was gruesome on video, but he returned while playing with one arm.  Played uneven after the injury, so there can’t be too much to gleam from his performance post injury.  Chalmers outplayed Rondo, but you cannot weather Paul Pierce, who came out with early aggressiveness, while outplaying LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade playing a low IQ basketball game.

•  Shaquille O’Neal was a detriment to the Celtics on the boards, but he provided a change of pace and forced the Heat to adjust their defense.  So “maybe” he served a purpose?  Jermaine O’Neal played well defensively, while the Celtics interior defense was stout all night.  It also helped that the Heat got mediocre to terrible performances from all three of their stars.  The Heat did not play their brand of defense in the second half, but much of that was due a lack of energy and effort.

•  The Heat bench was sensational and good enough to snuff out the Celtics season, but you must bring the vaunted Big Three to win a playoff game on the road, no matter the opponent.  The Miami Heat still hold a 2-1 lead, but there was much to be confident about in this game.  The Celtics needed vintage performances from Garnett and Pierce while getting terrible performances from the entire Big Three.  The thinking from me is that the Heat will bring much more effort and a complete performance to defeat the Celtics in Boston in Game 4.  In fact, what the hell, here is a guarantee, The Heat win Game 4.  Why Not?  They should.  They are the better team.

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UptownReport RT @MiamiHated: #MiamiHeat @UptownReport: Heat Delay the Inevitable http://htfk.us/m57
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MiamiHated #MiamiHeat @UptownReport: Heat Delay the Inevitable http://htfk.us/m57
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UptownReport RT @MiamiHated: Heat delay the inevitable http://htfk.us/m57 #MiamiHeat
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