Miami Heat Confidence Meter: 9.7 (OH. MY. GOD.)
• I will only devote one bullet point to the game. Many were wringing hands and playing junior coach trying to explain to Coach Erik Spoelstra what starting lineup he should play, as well as what his rotation should be. To the Junior coaches out there, shut up. Please. Coach Spo played the same odd small starting lineup of Mario Chalmers, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem. In Game 5, they got the Heat off to a good start and in Game 6, they duplicated the effort, Credit is deserved. Bringing Chris Bosh off the bench was inspired in this game, since he provided a punch defensively and on the boards. The respect he commands from a defense allows the rest of what he gives in a game. Coach Spo’s use of his players, including the out of the blue insertion of Joel Anthony to guard Kevin Garnett for the balance of 5 possessions which resulted in 2 misses by Kevin Garnett, including one terrible possession in the deep post. Erik Spoelstra had the backing of the best player in the world. And at that point was just trying things out while controlling the game. What a luxury to have. Now for that luxury.
• Oh my god. I have seen this before. I saw it this season in Game 4 versus the Pacers. I saw it in a game against Orlando last season. This was LeBron James grabbing the game with both hands and controlling the outcome as if he was writing it, however he saw fit. At times, you see a performance in sport that leaves you speechless. This was it. This was the game’s best player taking over and knowing the opponent is not a threat as long as he was in charge. This was the type of performance that makes you question whether this one man is that much better than the game. The game in reality was over in the first half, but his total domination was not complete. He needed to have a “complete” performance. He did. An all-time one. Not only did he contribute his scoring, but he guarded Paul Pierce on the balance of his total possessions. Paul Pierce was made a fool, as an assortment of Heat defenders made every single take a difficult one. The defensive effort as geared toward Paul Pierce was a complete success, and set up the rest of the team to guard Rajon Rondo on every possession / screen as if he was the same dangerous shooter that he was for many instances in Game 2. The gameplan on Rondo was sharp and probably sets the stage for continued success. That does matter. The Heat defense was at its best, and erased any attempt at offense by the Boston Celtics on this night. In their building. A place where the Heat had found such little success. This was a soul snatching performance.
• As for LeBron James, this performance was one for the ages and will tide us all over till the latest performance that puts us in awe. On this night, he was a master at his best, controlling the game and the outcome with every play and making his legend that much more impressive with every shot. This is “once in a lifetime” type stuff that we are witnessing. What a joy it has been to watch that man play basketball. Impressive. Awe inspiring. This should have been predictable. More is to come. It really is if you have been following his play for a while. He is re-writing the books, and what you used to think was a virtuoso performance. Be glad he plays for your home town team. Enjoy this.
The Heat is home for Game 7 on Saturday. Tipoff is at 8:30pm.