Forget about the “Big 3″. It doesn’t matter if your referring to the original in Boston, or the latest offering in Miami, the “Big 3″ is not the story of this series between the Heat and Celtics. No, the most important aspect of these games was the inability of Boston to stop the dynamic duo of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. If either one of these guys had a huge game it was bad news for the Celtics. In Game 5, they both had big games, so say goodbye to the defending Eastern Conference Champion Celts. The 97-87 score doesn’t really illustrate how good D3 and Bron were. In fact, there were plenty of good things to take away from this game, and the series in general for Miami fans.
The Heat again had to weather an early Boston surge on Wednesday night. Kevin Garnett started off the first quarter very hot, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the opening period. Luckily for Miami, DWade started off equally hot and had 23 points by halftime. The Heat trailed by two at the half, but if not for Dwyane, they probably would have been down by double-digits. It wasn’t until the 3:12 mark of the third quarter when Miami regained the lead. That was the first time they had led since early in the first. The game went back and forth after that.
In the fourth quarter, LeBron James came to life for the second time in the series. He had struggled in Game 3, played excellent in Game 4, but then struggled shooting for the first three quarters on Wednesday night in the AAA. During the final twelve minutes, he caught fire, especially during the final three minutes. Miami was trailing 87-81, then went on a 16-0 run to end the game, including ten straight points by LBJ that featured two 3pt field goals, and a steal that became a one-man fast-break dunk. After that slam, Bron seemed like a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He looked truly happy for one of the few times all season.
Wade and James, currently appearing as Batman and Robin, certainly won Game 5 for the Heat. D3 led all scorers with 34 points, to go with 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Bron Bron had 33 points, along with 7 boards and 4 assists. There were, however, some other contributions and points of interest in this game. Juwan Howard, due to Joel Anthony getting in foul trouble, put away his walker and logged 19 very constructive minutes. This was really the first time all year that I saw Howard really do anything of value for the Heat. James Jones, who scored 25 points in Game 1, only hit one shot in Game 5, but it was a big 3pt FG in the fourth quarter. Chris Bosh had a solid, if not great game, and registered a double-double. Not everything was entirely positive. As good as Wade was, and he was the best player in the series on either team, he was only 8-15 from the free-throw line in Game 5. That was a little disturbing, but not as irritating as Reggie Miller blatantly pulling for the Celtics on the telecast. I really liked Reggie as a player and thought highly of him as a color analyst, but during the broadcast it became painfully obvious that he was not objective. He was complaining about fouls, traveling calls, and just about any call going against Boston. When questionable calls went against Miami, there was nary a peep from Reg. I know members of the media have cast a negative light on this Heat team, but I expected more from him. Of course, now it doesn’t matter for a couple of days at the very least. LeBron got to exorcise some demons, while Wade showed why he is probably the best player in the NBA right now, averaging 30ppg against the Celtics, who are regarded as a great defensive team. Now Miami travels to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2006. Back to the Batcave to prepare.
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...).