Eye of the Hurricane

May 10, 2011

Working Overtime

Filed under: NBA — magdebar @ 1:23 am
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After last night’s Mother’s Day games left us with some good story lines…tonight’s games did not disappoint, with both going beyond regulation. The Heat outscored the Celtics 12-4 in overtime to pick up a 98-90 victory and 3-1 lead. This team played with heart and should wrap the series up Wednesday back in Miami.

The Big Three combined for 83 points and 35 of the Heat’s 45 rebounds. Also notable: Miami forward Udonis Haslem made his much anticipated return tonight…The only thing he picked up in his three minutes of action? A technical foul for arguing with a ref.

And in the second part of the doubleheader…
For the second time in as many games, Zach Randolph and company needed more than 42 minutes and even more than 48 minutes to try to extend their lead against the OK City Thunder. Both Western Conference teams fought through THREE overtimes. In a game that lasted just under four hours, the Thunder broke open to win the game 133-123 and tie up the series at two apiece.

May 9, 2011

Playoff Headlines

Can someone please remind me what Kobe Bryant said after the Lakers went down 0-3 Friday night against the Mavericks?

I’m sorry, Kobe. There’s a difference between saying your team has a chance to keep the series alive and just completely blowing smoke. After last night’s ugly 36 point loss to the Mavs, what are you going to say now?

So the Lakers bow out in four straight and Phil Jackson looks like he might retire. But those aren’t the only story lines coming out of this weekend…

Atlanta evened its series with Chicago last night despite MVP Derrick Rose leading the Bulls with a game high 34 points. But Rose took 32 shots from the field to get those points (making only 12 for an unimpressive 37.5 field goal percentage).

Meanwhile the Memphis Grizzlies…yes, the Grizzlies…continue their Cinderella story as they’re up 2-1 against Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Will tonight’s contest be as exciting as Saturday’s overtime game where Zach Randolph and the Grizz went off and established themselves in the extra five minutes?

And before that game, we’ll see if the Celtics have the energy, heart, and healthy bodies to tie their series against the Heat. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.

April 27, 2011

Heat have plenty to work on heading into series with Celtics

Filed under: NBA — davidfurones @ 9:55 pm
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With a 97-91 victory against the 76ers Wednesday night in Miami, the Heat finished off the pesky Sixers four games to one and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals where they will face the experienced and playoff-savvy Boston Celtics.

Miami’s pure talent was enough to get them passed the Sixers, but they’re going to need to show much more hustle, determination, and outright desire if they plan on being as successful against the Celtics.

Throughout their first round series, we saw far too often that the Heat had their minds more set on looking flashy and winning with flair, style and ease. Against Boston, they’re going to have to change that attitude. In a seven game series against the Celtics, you have to match their intensity, their scrappiness, and their bully state of mind.

The Heat was drastically outscored in points in the paint in Game 5. Although they turned on that interior defense late in the game, as Joel Anthony contributed with a few key blocks, it took them quite a while to get that figured out. Philly was a jump shooting team for most of the series, and Miami was getting dominated inside during various stretches.

They need to display greater toughness near the basket on both sides of the ball. On the offensive end, a team that throughout the year was able to reach the free throw line at will was settling for perimeter jump shots. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh combined to shoot 11 three pointers.

In their defense, the referees were extremely inconsistent in how much contact they would allow players to get away with. There were several plays where Heat players, specifically their stars, felt they got fouled and let it be known to the officials.

But that’s another thing. Just play the game!

On one play in the third, LeBron thought he was fouled on a fastbreak and missed a layup. The teams sprinted down to the other side of the court off the miss while James stayed behind pleading his case to the ref and leaving his team to defend five-on-four for a series.

With about a minute remaining in the game, Dwyane Wade, on a play where he missed but Bosh rebounded and was fouled, received a technical foul for arguing on the shot he took.

Earth to Dwyane: your teammate was fouled and will get two free throws. It’s a positive play for your team. Albeit, the technical did not ultimately decide the game, but against a good team in a close game, every point given away is pivotal.

Both discipline and hustle are lacking, and I have not seen it from this team since that regular season series finale against Boston when they dominated the Celtics at home.

I have never seen this team move around defensively with such determination and gusto the way they did that afternoon.

Watching this game, I can almost say I was secretly rooting for the series to go seven so Udonis Haslem can buy himself some time to get back and any sense of hustle can be restored on the floor for this team.

And then there’s the shot selection… well, I’ll save that for another rant.

One thing’s for sure. It’ll be extremely interesting when the Celtics and Heat get their series started Sunday at the American Airlines Arena.

April 10, 2011

Trap game upcoming for Heat

Filed under: NBA — davidfurones @ 10:28 pm
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After winning arguably its biggest statement game of the season (as much as I hate using that term), the Miami Heat faces another daunting task a little over 24 hours after the final buzzer in the game against the Celtics.

The Heat will travel to Atlanta for a 7:00 tip tomorrow night. Although the win against Boston gives Miami sole possession of the No. 2 seed in the East, they can easily give it right back to the Celtics with a loss Monday night and two Celtic wins against the Wizards and Knicks. That scenario would bring the two teams back into a tie for second and Boston would own the tiebreaker as they’ve won three of the four games between the Eastern Conference foes.

The No. 2 seed would give one team home court advantage in a second round seven game series if the two were to meet.

The Heat would also like to keep winning so they can potentially secure home court advantage against the Lakers in the NBA Finals if both teams were to get through their respective conferences as the two seeds.