The Miami Heat have been waiting all season for an opportunity like this. Amid all of the commotion that has surrounded this team since the summer, when LeBron, DWade,and Chris Bosh made it official that they would unite in South Florida, the players have been looking forward to a moment like this. Saturday night in Boston, the Heat 3 can show the world just how good they can be. They have already put the Celtics in an 0-2 hole by beating them soundly in the first two games, but those were played at home. Now with the series headed to Boston for games three and four, the defending Eastern Conference Champion Celtics will be looking to even the series. The Heat will be looking to put the proverbial dagger in the hearts of Boston players and fans with a win on Saturday. And just to make things a little more interesting, Shaq will play for the first time in the 2011 Playoffs. Shaquille O’Neal, who won a NBA Championship alongside Wade in 2006, will be expected to help keep D3 and LeBron away from the rim, where they have killed Boston so far.
So far, the story of this series has been Boston’s inability to slow down Wade and LeBron. Dwyane is averaging 33 points in the first two games, while LBJ is at 28.5 ppg. Both players are shooting at least 50% from the floor and they are averaging 19.5 free throw attempts between the two of them. Batman and Robin are attacking the basket at will. If Boston is planning on making the series competitive, they are going to have to clog up the paint. Shaq coming back will help a little, but Doc Rivers is unlikely to get more than ten minutes from the big shamrock, as he is sure to be out of shape. He has only played five minutes in the past three months. A bigger problem for the Celtics has been the ineffective play of Kevin Garnett. KG is only scoring 11ppg on 38% shooting. The Miami defense in general has been the biggest problem for Boston. They have been shooting just under 43% as a team and losing the rebounding battle as well.
Game 3 should be the toughest test yet for the Heat. The Boston crowd will be an issue and I expect the Celtics to come out of the gates hard. As long as Miami doesn’t dig themselves a big defecit, they will be in good shape. I think that Wade has definitely taken the reins of the team and appears to have his teammates playing their best basketball of the year. In fact, if somebody could make Ray Allen miss a few 3′s, the Heat might win by twenty.
About the Author
Written by Sean Eckhardt
Univ of Alabama alumni. Born and raised outside Chicago, IL. Currently live in Florida. Some of my favorite teams include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Heat, and the Florida Panthers. My interests outside of sports include music, outdoor activities, and anything with a motor(cars, bikes, boats, etc...).