The Miami Heat have lost control of the Eastern Conference Finals. Just a few days ago, it appeared that they had the Boston Celtics on the verge of collapse after stealing Game 2 in Miami. Now, after watching a valiant comeback fall short in Game 4, the two teams head back to Miami for Game 5 and the Celts look to have all of the momentum.
In what has become a very bad habit, the Heat got off to a poor start in Game 4. Boston led by is much as 17 points half, and when that half was over they led Miami 61-47. Dwyane Wade had another poor shooting first half as he went 2-11 and only scored 8 points in the first two periods combined. Some of his shots were off, but the officials weren’t doing him any favors either. While I’m not going to accuse the officials of trying to make up for controversial calls earlier in the series, there is no question that the calls that were being made in Games 1 and 2 have not been made in Games 3 and 4. The evidence is there to support this argument. Wade and James combined for 50 FT attempts during the first two games, but in the last two the dynamic duo has only attempted 18 total. Another problem for Miami is that LeBron has only gone 5-13 from the line since the series moved to Boston. Some credit has to go to the Celtic defense, but the Heat have looked very challenged offensively in this series. Chris Bosh coming back would help, however, Coach Eric Spoelstra has said that there is no timetable for his return.
Defensively, Miami is having some problems as well. Ray Allen seems to have found his shot and hit 4-11 from beyond the arc. This is not a good development for the Heat, a team that has had plenty of problems defending the 3 this year. The Celtics are also getting balanced production from their starters, as all five were in double figures on Sunday night.
So is it all bad news for Miami? No. They did have a monster comeback, on the road, and actually took the lead in the 4th quarter before they eventually fell in OT. Guys like Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem are making huge contributions. UD grabbed 17 rebounds in Game 4. Coach Spoe seems to have made a nice adjustment too, getting PG Norris Cole in the rotation. The rookie’s speed and energy really helped Miami by bothering Rajon Rondo. The Celtic guard has been this series MVP thus far, so any improvement defending him is a good one.
Now the Heat look to regain control of these Conference Finals as both teams prepare to square off in Game 5 on Tuesday night in Miami. If they can get better production from DWade early on, plus neutralize Rondo just a little bit, they should be able to take Boston down in the game and the series. If those two things don’t happen, Miami will be doing the same thing Bron was doing after fouling out in OT; watching the NBA Playoffs from a chair.
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...).