Interested in knowing what would happen if Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh didn’t suit up for a Celtics/Heat game? A large part of me wishes I didn’t live long enough to witness it, but, unfortunately, I did. As you read what I’ve wrote, please keep in mind that absolutely none of it is fiction. All of this actually happened.
- The Celtics scored their first two points on a spinning Paul Pierce jumper with 5:45 left in the first quarter.
- There were 11 turnovers between both teams before the Celtics scored a single point.
- Marquis Daniels wore some seriously awesome neon sneakers. I spent most of the first quarter google searching for a modestly priced pair. Size 10.
- With 3:02 left in the first quarter, Miami led by a scintillating score of 13-6. Paul Pierce had five turnovers.
- Avery Bradley continues to exude fearlessness in attacking the basket. Late in the first quarter he tried to throw down on Joel Anthony, one of the fiercest shot blockers in the league. Unsurprisingly he was harshly rejected, but sometimes it’s the thought that counts.
- Quick summation of the first quarter: Miami led 17-10. That’s right, the Celtics scored 10 points. Paul Pierce finished the frame with four points. He was the team’s leading scorer. There were 18 total turnovers between both teams—11 from Miami and seven from Boston. The Celtics shot 23.5% from the floor (4-17) and were an utter embarrassment to all things that obey the laws of cohesion and orderliness.
- We began the second quarter with Sean Williams attempting his first free-throw in a Celtics uniform. It hit the top of the backboard. However, a lane violation was called on Juwan Howard (a mistake he NEVER would’ve made if it were still 1991), and Williams was granted another chance. He clanged it in.
- The Celtics took their first lead of the game on a corner three from Keyon Dooling. It made the score 18-17 with a little under eight minutes remaining in the second quarter.
- It took James Jones 45 seconds to become the game’s leading scorer when he knocked down two consecutive three pointers midway through the second quarter. Once again, everything I’ve written actually took place.
- Curling around a screen just a few possessions later, Jones elbowed Dooling in the eye, causing it to bleed like a boxer’s. Before Dooling was whisked back to the locker room and given a gigantic band-aid, the two were given large pitch forks and instructed to fight to the death. (Just kidding. Wanted to make sure everyone’s still paying attention.)
- With three minutes left in the half, Mike “My rollerblades are so cool, right guys?” Miller drove to the hole, finishing with a nifty left-handed finger roll on the right side of the basket. Nobody impeded his progress, yet the ball fell through the hoop with 2:48 on the clock.
- At halftime, the Heat led 34-28. The Celtics bumped their shooting accuracy up to a fearsome 32.4%. There were 23 turnovers between both teams, and Miami went 0-1 from the free-throw line. (For reference: the Kings led the Thunder 59-57 at the half in their respective game that took place on a more entertaining channel.)
- Looking for some good news—and actual basketball—I flipped to the Hawks-Clippers game during halftime, just in time to catch this exchange between Atlanta’s announcing duo:
Announcer #1: “They’re at halftime over in Boston right now, where the Heat are winning by a score of 34-28.”
Announcer #2: “Oh boy…”
Announcer #1: “I believe a 24 second shot clock is being used?”
- Fun stuff.
- Once the second half started, it didn’t even take a full minute before Bradley embarrassed Mario Chalmers with an in and out crossover. Unquestionably the highlight of the game, in my opinion.
- Nothing interesting happened for a while.
- INTERESTING ALERT: The game was tied 50-50 after the third.
- Midway through the final quarter, Sasha Pavlovic ripped his jersey off, raised his arms to the rafters, and screamed “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?” at nobody in particular. He also went 5-6 from the floor (finishing with a game high 16 points) and spearheaded a 14-4 Celtics run that effectively put the game away.
- Ryan Hollins played 25 minutes and was the only Celtic held scoreless.
- In related news, the Celtics had four (!!) offensive rebounds.
- An ugly win is a win just the same. If the Celtics beat the Bucks on Thursday night, and the Hawks lose to Dallas, the two teams will finish with the same record, but with the tiebreaker in their back pocket Boston will get home court advantage. Good times all around.