Heat’s championship road continues
LeBron James hugged Camelo Anthony after New York’s Season ending loss to The Miami Heat. The two had been in an even matched scoring battle for five games. Their points total was 139 each, a testament that we had just watched two of
the league’s best and most prolific scorers. It was a pleasure and I thank both of them. That is where the level playing field stopped; Miami had a sizable edge over the Knicks all series long.
It was time for Miami to close out and move on to the next one. The first quarter was repetitive of what we saw in the previous games against the two teams. Miami and New York were playing “get to know you “ basketball, just felling each other out. Miami had a number of missed opportunities that they could not capitalize on, most notably LeBron”s monstrous block. With the Knicks up 17-14, Tyson Chandler drove through the lane only to be met by King James and the magical five-finger discount named rejected! The ball was blocked but picked up by the Knicks and Bibby drilled a three pointer that put New York up by six. Miami was able to close out the Knicks in the first quarter. Mike Miller missed a wide-open 3 and James collected the rebound. I love the fact LeBron had the confidence in Miller to fire the ball right back to him. Mike hit that second 3 effortlessly and Miami held a 28-24 first quarter lead. Miller shot 39% from downtown in the series. Not to bad considering he only shot 29% last postseason.
Miami was off and running on all cylinders, they really started to pull away in the second quarter. Mike Miller contributed another subterranean three ball and Miami was up 5. Mario Chalmers had a Marino like pass to a cherry picking Dwayne Wade who slammed it home for an 8 point Miami lead. The Heat was on fire and the Knicks called a time out with five minutes left in the second quarter. Circus shot after shot fell for the NBA’s best improbable shot maker, Dwayne Wade. He would score 8 points in the final part of the period for Miami. The Knicks once again called on Melo to carry them to a win, He finished the quarter with 12 of the Knicks 20 points in the period but it wasn’t enough. Miami outscored the Knicks 27 to 20 in the second and took an eleven-point 55-44 lead into halftime.
I took my grandmother Gloria to the game. She is a foul mouth old crow but knows her basketball. Gloria used to love vodka as much as I do but she does not drink anymore. So I had to do the drinking for the both of us. I fondly remember the days when
she could out drink me on any given day. Roles have now reversed. Vodka on the rocks for me is like a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby, it’s a must have. Gloria is a true fan of the game, sometimes she surprises me with the way she talks about basketball. She said turns and said to me “LeBron is doing a great job fronting that bum Carmelo”, Wow that from a 79-year-old women. It was a great pleasure spending time and watching the game with the living legend that is Gloria.
Miami did not turn down their intensity in the 3rd and kept the ball movement fluid throughout the whole period. With an eight-man rotation they got contribution from all of them. Mike Miller and Shane Battier went 5-9 from downtown for 18 points, its nice to see great production from the two of them off the bench. Miami’s ability to get out in transition and split defenders is why no team can stop them in a seven game series. Amare’s three fouls in the first five minutes of the third sent him to the bench to watch the rest of the period. It left Carmelo to dig the Knicks out of an 18-point hole, he tried but his efforts still left the Knicks down by 14, 67-81 and the end of three quarters played. Shane Battier got redemption when Melo fouled him in the act of shooting a three; it was a costly mistake, Shane hit all three from the line.
You could tell Miami wanted it more then the Knicks, they were relentless on both ends of the court. Wade, James and Bosh continued to attack the basket and put pressure on the defensive end, attacking at will and showing no regard for human life, Miami prevailed. The first series had come to an end and Miami’s road to the championship continued. James had 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, Bosh and Wade each scored 19 points and the Heat hammered the Knicks 106-94 in the closeout game of the series. “We do not take this for granted,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This was a tough series. We feel very good about moving on and it’ll only get tougher from here.”
On to the next one. The Heat will test their talents against The Pacers in the next round. Look for a very young physical team next series. Still Indy is just a little speed bump in Miami’s road to hoisting the Uncle Larry’s trophy. I don’t see any problems for The Heat going forward. Miami will control The Pacers with no difficulty. The Heat won three of four games against Indiana this season.
~stay hungry, eat well~