Lebron not committing a technical foul.
Hell of a night for underdogs... that is if we're still inexplicably considering the Boston Celtics underdogs. Which I'm sure now we shouldn't. Meanwhile, Miami continues to keep the "alternating clumsy/super-impressive style" playlist on repeat like Norah Jones on my iPod.
I think the most notable thing in this game was the persistent ball movement and energy of, frankly, a very old team that usually relies on a half-court offense. The scary streaks from Miami came when pressing the pace (usually with Bron bringing the ball up), to which Boston didn't seem to have much of an answer. Here are a few highlights:
*If we continue to see technical fouls called like the one on Nate Robinson for gesturing confusion to his own coach, I'm going to find David Stern's home address and leave poop on his doorstep. That's not a threat—that's a promise.
*The disdain with which Doc answered the question, "What can you do to stop Eddie House?" was glorious. Quickly: "Guard him. If somebody would guard him, it'd be nice." It was exactly like him calling both the reporter and Ray Allen stupid at the same time. Also, it was really funny.
*I don't care how accurate an assessment of the teams' varying identities it is—the word "passion" was used just a few more times in an exchange between Reggie an Kevin than I'm comfortable with.
*Same with Reggie offering to hand over his three-point title to Ray. It was charming at first, now it's getting weird. He'll get there dude, you guys can hug then.
*I seriously don't understand why Chris Bosh isn't doing more on the glass. I've seen him use instinct and placement effectively before, I know it. Also, remember that he can jump?
*In my mind, Rondo's dunk on Bosh is the equivalent of a middle school bully getting beat up by Scrappy Doo. And exactly as entertaining.
*Udonis Haslem's 17-footer is dirtier than Ke$ha. And way more reliable.
*Ray Allen is great at shooting the basketball.
*I get that Rondo is averaging 15 assists, so it should make sense when he puts up 16. Still, it doesn't.
For me this game boiled down to two things: coaching and Ray Allen's hot hand. Rondo's too good at drive-and-kicking to run an effective zone at the Celtics, and when Ray Allen is shooting 7-9 from downtown off
screens, man defense isn't really gonna cut it. Spoelstra's gotta have an answer here that I don't. I don't know how you get stops on a team like Boston down the stretch, but the guy who coaches one of the most athletic rosters in the game should have an idea or two. There was no observable change in defensive strategy and, unsurprisingly, in the key moments of the game the stops that could've created easy transition baskets weren't there.
Solution: Grow a pair Erik. And a plan. And a mustache.
One More Game We Watched Last Night: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets
I see a sequel to The Notebook on the horizon...
First of all, props to Marv and Kevin for talking about the reliability of Melo and Mamba to close games. That's exactly what both of them did. It's very easy to overstate the importance of games like the Heat and Lakers' losses tonight, so I'll try not to do that... But this was the biggest game of any of these players' careers. And their families' careers. The grain of salt is that we're still not 10 games into the season, and so far the Atlanta Hawks look like a top tier team.
But I will say this: It's good to see someone successfully overcome the size of the Lakers with speed. It's not an uncommon strategy and not unique to this season, but it's always a nice exhale to see such a solid team get picked apart. And man is Ty Lawson fun to watch. Noted notables:
*Pau had 20 rebounds. Nene looked personally afronted. Al Harrington looked bored.
*Melo's jab step is still as cool as it used to be. His facial hair isn't.
*It's really incredible to see the difference in a team's performance with/without Coach Karl. Can't wait to see the difference with/without a number one scoring option.
*Shannon Brown's putback—don't know how much I'll get to write that phrase, so I'm just getting while the gettin's good.
This was as important as early losses get, I guess. Phil Jackson doesn't think they can win 70 games, but thinks Miami can. Anybody got a line on his SAT Math scores?
"Carry the triangle..."