The Celtics have officially won the season series with the Miami Heat despite being dealt some interesting cards. The Celtics were forced to play today’s game with only eight semi-healthy bodies. Adding insult to injury, Paul Pierce failed to get it going on the offensive end. He may be suffering from an unknown injury, still feeling the effects of his reported bout with the flu, or perhaps he just had a bad game. Still I cannot remember a game in which Paul Pierce was so ineffective on the offensive end. In 40 minutes, Paul Pierce was 0-10 from the field and scored a total of one point. Scary Bad. On the flip side, Pierce played a masterful defensive game against LeBron James.
On the surface it seems odd that the Celtics can win a game against the Miami Heat when one of their big three is not playing well. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll see why the Celtics were able to win. Kudos go to the Miami Deep Threats James Jones, Mike Miller, and Eddie House as they shot a combined 1-for-12 from distance. That is not a figure you will see often, but then again, neither is Paul Pierce’s box score entry.
One last thing to note before Mike gets you caught up with some more substantial analysis: the officiating was grotesquely bad today. The flagrant foul call on Dwyane Wade, the numerous times LeBron James got hit on his way to the basket, and phantom calls on Kevin Garnett all make a strong case for league review. I don’t think I want any of these guys officiating in the playoffs aside from Ken Mauer. He’s not great, but he still had an emphatic “No Call” signal on the Garnett lean-in screen that precipitated Wade’s “flagrant” foul. This type of differentiation from officials is necessary for the playoffs, especially when things get a lot more physical.