Refreshing Headlines for Those Tired of All This Heat
Take a moment to vent if you are sick and tired of hearing about all that is wrong with the Miami Heat now that they relinquished a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final to the Boston Celtics. Do what you must. Curse out LeBron James' cat if you have to.
Then breathe. I'm here to help. Here are the sports headlines you really want to be reading from this Celtics v. Heat series:
Rajon Rondo Is Manhandling the Miami Heat. MANHANDLING
Take a break from worrying about whether LeBron James will shoot the ball with a minute left in every close game for the rest of his NBA career. Check out this a great clip of the NBA's best point guard throttling the Miami Heat over and over and over again.
For those of you who are tired of all this Heat, play it twice in a row. Ask yourselves if any of the Heat's "Big Three" have ever put together a more beautiful game than this.
The Doc(tor) Is in the House
Doc Rivers is putting on a strategic coaching clinic on the younger, less experienced Erik Spoelstra in the Eastern Conference final.
Of course, if the Celtics win (errr, I mean, the Heat lose), then the big story will be, "Why couldn't Spoelstra win a ring with James, Wade and Bosh?"
Sigh. Part of the reason the Heat are losing is that Rivers' strategy of shutting down the Heat's Dwyane Wade in Games 3 and 4 has been so effective.
Let's take a moment and appreciate the Doc's surgical clinic in this series over all the Heat's calamity hype.
Celts Force LeBron James into an Ineffective Final Possession in Regulation
This is for all of who you are tired of the assumption that LeBron James plays in a vacuum where every loss is his own.
Rather, much of this series thus far has been about how the Celtics have owned.
The morning sports barb was on how LeBron James passed up a shot in regulation that could have won Game 4 Sunday night. Inherent in this statement is the expectation that if James shot the ball, that he would have made the shot.
I guess we should also expect for all politicians to be honest and for Wall Street to generate profit for the masses...
Let's try using some of the active voice here to give the Celts the credit they are due.
James didn't take the final shot because the Celtics set up a perfect zone defense for the play. The Celts first forced James into a double team, and then forced James to pass to an open Udonis Haslem. The Celtics wanted to set the situation up that way.
Also, that James' pass got deflected on its way to Haslem wasn't because James deflected it. Keyon Dooling deflected that pass.
There. That feels better.
Kevin Garnett Shows Kids a Great Way to Respond to a Dirty Foul
All right, this video has gotten serious coverage over the last few days. But it should get more. A lot more.
Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat inflicted a dirty foul on Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics that could have caused Garnett serious injury.
Many athletes in this situation would have responded by getting up and jawing with Haslem a little. How did Garnett respond? As the video indicates, he took it as an opportunity to show that he has a little class and a lot of toughness.
That had to have inspired his teammates to play even harder during the Celts' Game 3 throttling of the Heat.
Moreover, Garnett's response is something that kids across the world should aspire to. I have a feeling that during a basketball game in the near future, the next time a young athlete is fouled hard, he'll respond the same way Garnett did to Haslem.
That kid will be considered cool for doing because he'd be doing just what KG did. Yes, at times, NBA players can be role models.
The Boston Celtics Are This Year's "Hoosiers" of the NBA
One of the central religion-inspired themes of "Hoosiers" is that great passing can conquer size and athleticism.
Somewhere lost in all this LeBron "choking" craze is that the Celts are playing basketball the way it should be played. The way that Gene Hackman's Coach Norm Dale would want it to be played. The Celts are averaging close to 20 assists in this series. They were second in the NBA in assists in the regular season.
Actually, the Heat are passing the ball pretty well too, averaging close to 20 assists themselves this series. But the Celts' ball movement in the half court (something stats won't show) has been crisper, with a lot more quick second and third passes than the Heat. This, in turn, has allowed the Celts to take a few more shots than the Heat (85 to 80 in Game 4)—a difference that is pivotal in a hotly contested series.
But who cares about all of that? LeBron didn't take the game-winning shot in Game 4.