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Celtics-Heat Game 5: Heat play to stereotype, wilt while Celtics take control of series

Jun 6, 2012, 12:33 AM EDT

Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, Keyon Dooling AP

This game felt like the entire Miami Heat season — there were spurts of athletic, beautiful play, but they couldn’t sustain it. They wilted after the All-Star break. They wilted in the second and third quarters of this game when they shot just 29 percent in the face of Boston’s pressure. They could not make the plays at the end, reverting to hero ball.

The Celtics — those “old” Celtics with the tired legs — out ran the Miami Heat down the court all night long. They out worked inside a Heat team that was at home and got one of their big three back. Boston played with more energy and precision.

Boston ground Miami down, wore them down and executed better with an 18-8 run in the final minutes to win 94-90 and take a 3-2 series lead. Boston can close it out and punch their tickets back to the finals Thursday night on their home court.

Both teams played right to their stereotypes. And Miami is never going to hear the end of it.

Boston played poorly in the first half, but they used defense and grit to keep it close. The Celtics started the game 4-of-17 shooting. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo combined to shoot 7-for-29 to open the game. But late in the second half Boston started getting the ball inside to Garnett (who finished with 26 points) and they just found a way to hang around. They were down two at the break.

They withstood another Heat rally and after three quarters were up five — they threw a mix of zone and man-to-man defenses at the Heat that kept Miami off balance.

“They had a great rhythm in that first eight minutes of the game,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after the game in a televised press conference. “We had to do something, honestly, just to take them out of that rhythm.”

They did. Boston is a great defensive team and Miami can be pressured out of its system and into poor isolation plays. Miami shot just 39 percent as a team and players not named LeBron James (30 points) or Dwyane Wade (27) shot just 31.4 percent. Miami also shot just 26.9 percent from three and that was key — they couldn’t stretch out the Celtics defense and make them pay.

Chris Bosh was supposed to help change that, and he did at first. Bosh’s played pretty aggressively from when he stepped on the court and just and having athletic body out there helped the Heat spacing. Bosh’s got his first bucket when he got deep position after Greg Stiemsma helped off him on a Wade/LeBron pick-and-roll. Bosh got the ball deep and hit a turn around bank shot. But that didn’t last. At the end of the third he was part of the lineup that got taken apart, so he didn’t play in the fourth.

In the end, Miami played to their stereotype of individual ball with no team concepts on offense. It was all LeBron and Wade, no other Heat player scored in double digits. And those two guys are not enough against good team basketball. It was that way last year in the finals, it is the same way this series against Boston.

Miami was up 6, 78-72, with 6:13 left and they wilted. It started when Wade made a fantastic block on Brandon Bass that Rondo saved to Mickael Pietrus for a three. Boston remained calm. They kept defending. They kept grinding and getting balanced scoring — five Celtics scored in double figures (Pierce had 19). They weren’t great but with their defense they just have to be good enough.

And they fight for it. In a way we just have not seen the Heat do when tested. For the second straight game, LeBron and Wade didn’t even go to the interview room to take questions. It doesn’t look good, it looks like a group of individuals and not a team.

It’s hard to see how that changes before Game 6, but if it doesn’t this series will be over.

  1. labratre - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:33 AM

    I am a Heat fan, but, I gotta say, the better team one tonight. I am overall an NBA fan though, and give credit where it is due. Congrats on that game 5 win, C’s. Game 6 should be a great one. That’s if Miami’s supporting cast shows up of course.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Couldn’t agree more. The C’s wanted it more and took it. The Heat looked dis-oriented and just plain sloppy. The better team won.

      If we don’t hit our free throws we have 0 chance.

  2. diablito0402 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Thats true, miami is a bad sports town, dolphins suck marlins are ok, new stadium nobody shows up to see them, heat got a bunch of new bandwaggon front running fans when lebrick and posh came to town, well anyway enjoy the beach after game six…

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      Whats true? That your a dimwit?

      Oh and trust me we will enjoy the beach. Regardless of the outcome..

      Are you a Celtic fan? Or did your team fall by the way side? Yea, I know it hurts.

      • scalfor3 - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:26 AM

        the espn guys compared the atmosphere at heat games to the french open LOL

  3. mungman69 - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:48 AM

    Miami needs Bosh for 40 minutes in game 6. There is no tomorrow. He has to stop Garnet and pull Kevin out on D. The Heat can still win this thing but I don’t know. Let’s see if the heat can man up. I doubt it.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      Yea we need all hands on deck here..

      Maybe Riley can show the Heat how to stop the pick and roll…………

  4. 8man - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    Great coaching, a bucket of guts and green pride.

  5. iowahbr - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    I feel bad (not in a financial sense) for the other three players (whoever they might be) of the Heat who are on the court with Wade and LeBron. If you have played much b-ball you know how hard it is to find a role when you have two hero ball players on your team. Space the court and wait, don’t draw the player guarding you into the one on one area or get too close for an offensive rebound, pick, pick, pick and pick but never see the ball back unless it’s for a 30 footer. At what point does Miami learn that team ball is very hard to teach players with super individual skills who have never, until now, had to play as a team?

    Hope the Celts close it in 6. Not much smart money on the potential of 5, 6, or 7 Miami NBA titles right at the moment.

    • southbeachtalent - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      “Not much smart money on the potential of 5, 6, or 7 Miami NBA titles right at the moment.”

      You think??

  6. canehouse - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Spolestra is gone… he couldn’t inspire a seasoned veteran of al qaeda to hate america… he is terrible.

    • kappneffect - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      hahahahaha…. I love it.

    • iowahbr - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Spolestra (or Red A. for that matter) can’t break 20 years of hero ball from players like Lebron and Wade. The big 3 made this team and they will either win or not regardless of who the coach is. It will be a larger and more successful but still ringless version of the Cavaliers is my guess

  7. toegoat - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    All this hate over a Hr show and a pep rally??? Lol geez
    Anyways, STOP CRYING OVER THE REFS BOSTON WON WOW bunch of crybabies on this site.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Uh, Boston won?

  8. florida727 - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    I’m a Bulls fan, so I’ve got no horse in this race, but for some reason I still see the Heat winning this series. Man, I hope I’m wrong. I’m not anti-Boston either. I’m rooting for them. I’m still worried that the age thing will eventually play out, but they’re dispelling that myth every time they step onto the court.

    It would be great to see “team ball” beat down “hero ball” just once more. I’d love to see OKC v. Boston in the finals. The so-called old guard against the new kids on the block. THAT would be an exciting Finals.

    Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7… how about NONE, LeBum?

  9. freudnumb - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    Not one. Not two. Not three … Oh, I see. ZERO!

  10. tampajoey - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    I wonder if Dan Gilbert enjoyed last night’s game? I’d bet he’ll enjoy game 6 even more!

    • kappneffect - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      Well…that voodoo is paying off I guess… hahaha,

  11. omniusprime - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    What will Queen James do after the Heatstroke lose again in the playoffs? If LeBoring wants a ring he’d better don a wig and join the WNBA. He might have been a man amongst boys in high school but he’s been nothing but a boy amongst men in the NBA. Yet again Queen James proves that the sports pundits who voted for him for MVP are off their meds. Another regular season MVP award for the Most Valuable Choker in the playoffs just seems so wrong now that Queen James and company are one loss away from going fishing.

    Hey what about that worthless guarantee Queen James made? Now the question is will he ever win a title? I doubt it since he’s been such a wimp in the playoffs. No wonder Queen James is one of the most hated sports players in the world.

    • delius1967 - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      You know, dude, even though I agree with everything you say, you get a thumbs down. Do we really need hi-larious put-downs like “Queen James” and “LeBoring”? Forget about sounding like you are in high school; you sound like an eight-year-old taunting someone on the playground. And that’s not even mentioning the not-so-subtle homophobia you have on display.

      Please just try to act like an adult?

  12. buddyleefarnsworth - Jun 6, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Where’s Bozo today? Almost 9:30 EST and he is no where in sight.

    Gutsy win Celtics!

    • j0esixpack - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      He claims to have a “life outside of cowardly anonymous comments bashing gays and mocking the retarded”

      You’d never know that from the hundreds of Google pages of all his hate-blogging,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=34125657c9c088bd&biw=1280&bih=866

      • bozosforall - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:39 PM

        Once again, whether or not I am posting here..I STILL OWN YOU LOSERS.

        Nice to see that not only do you guys look for my posts here but that you are all so obsessed with me that you Google my posts as well.

        Poor pathetic no-life Boston losers. I particularly own you, joeduncehat.

      • j0esixpack - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM


        Damn, that’s some witty rejoinder you’ve got going there.

        Seems like without gay bashing or making fun of retarded kids you’ve got nothing.

      • bozosforall - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM

        More than you will ever have, joefudgepacked.

      • andyhr17 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        I triple checked the dictionary and for the word “own” and “to be mentioned by someone on a blog” was not one one of the definitions. I know what you might be thinking, “But Andy, your dictionary is clearly out of date”. This is true, so I checked online and to my surprise this was still not listed as a definition.

  13. slimshadee - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    king no ring

  14. redblue560 - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    These aging Celtics have shown they don’t want to fade into the sunset just yet, so I am rooting for them to win this series, show up with the same determination against Spurs or Thunder and hopefully win another championship for the players in all sport who are told they are too old to be playing.

    Good Luck.

  15. klownboy - Jun 6, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Celtics-Thunder in the Finals?

  16. patsfiend - Jun 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    They still need to win game six, and this team has shown a propensity to make things hard on themselves. There should be no celebrating yet. I think the difference with them now is that RONDO picks up the slack when they start to fade (and get tired) at the end of the game. I really, really, hope they can close the door on these guys tomorrow night. Sadly… you KNOW the NBA would love to have a Game 7 on Saturday night, right? (shaking head)

  17. paulhargis53 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Bozo: You aren’t in anyone’s head.
    People are reveling in the fact that you make a horse’s ass out of yourself daily on this site. They just want the chance to let you know it. Everyone knows what an idiot you are, they also know that even if you aren’t responding, you are reading the posts. That is why your name is brought up. You are an ignorant fool. I’m sure you love any attention you get,which a majority, if not all, is negative.
    This doesn’t mean you fit in. I’m sure your daily life is not much different. I honestly pity you and feel sorry for you. You lack the social skills to add anything of value or merit toa conversation, so you’re reduced to name calling and hurling insults on the web. Why not, there are no reprecussions for you. What an empty life you lead. Your stupidity knows no bounds and your response should be stunning.
    Come on now, dazzle us with a play on my name, or a homophobic comment.
    The formula with which you post is old and boring. You think you’re making people mad, when in reality, we are all laughing at you. You are a front runner with the teams you like, we get it. Your juvenile. You can’t accept that our team isn’t any good, you are childish in your defense of your team and dislike of other teams , we get it. Your worthless, we get that too. You add nothing to this site, go away, you won’t be missed. At all.

    • infectorman - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      Don’t forget, he “owns” you!
      If you’re not careful, he might call you a mean name or direct untoward comments at you. OOHHHH the pain!!!!


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