While LeBron James suffered from cramps that kept him out of the 4th quarter, it was the Boston Celtics who wished they could’ve flushed this one down the toilet.
Boston coach Doc Rivers has his work cut out for him as he tries to integrate 5 new players into the rotation. Most notably, there appears to be too much redundancy when newcomer Jason Terry and Rajon Rondo play together. Neither player excels without the ball, and the offense was ineffective with them both in. More importantly, the defensive matchups against the Heat with these two in the backcourt became a severe liability.
More After The Breakdown
The Heat opened up with a burst of energy after receiving their championship rings and never looked back. They forced turnovers and got run outs for layups and dunks. The only thing that kept the Celtics in the game was hot shooting. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra look unfazed, as most of the Celtics shots that went in were strongly contested.
With the additions of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade now have excellent shooters to pass to after one of their forays to the rim. Rather than kicking out to Haslem or Joel Anthony, they kick to the NBA’s all time 3 point leader open in the corner, or a 6’10” knock down shooter in Lewis.
With championship experience comes greater wisdom and a sense of calm confidence. The Heat look to be in midseason form with their defensive rotations and intensity, while the Celtics are still in the meet and greet phase. Never count out a team with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, but they had better get better cohesion in a hurry. Courtney Lee is a nice addition, and did a good job guarding Dwyane Wade. However, without a defensive presence like Mikael Pietrus to defend LeBron, this Celtics team doesn’t match up well enough to beat them in a playoff.