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Heat 105, Celtics 103: Built Green Tough

Miami Heat 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
103 Boston Celtics
Brandon Bass, PF 30 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -8Brandon Bass started the game taking Udonis Haslem off the dribble for a dunk and knocking down his first baseline jumper. But on the defensive end, without Kevin Garnett by his side, is where he was a consistent force (for the first time all season).

Bass bodied Chris Bosh in the post and constantly slid back and forth to help create a wall on the strong side. Great game from him on that end. There weren’t any acrobatic blocks, but this was probably the best I’ve ever seen from him guarding the ball.

Jeff Green, PF 40 MIN | 14-21 FG | 10-13 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 4 BLK | 2 TO | 43 PTS | +3There’s nothing really to say about Jeff Green’s performance. If you didn’t see it, shame on you. If you did, then you know it isn’t hyperbolic to suggest this may have been the most impressive two-way individual effort of the season.

He had 14 points in the first quarter, scoring anyway he wanted, whether it be drives through the defense or dagger shots from the corner. Green attempted 13 free-throws on the night, which equaled the combined total from Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade.

On defense he made LeBron James put forth maximum effort. Something that means a whole lot today. The 43 points were a career high, and the most any opponent has scored against the Heat all season. It was the definition of an A+ performance.

Paul Pierce, SF 40 MIN | 6-11 FG | 3-6 FT | 8 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 7 TO | 17 PTS | -9Overshadowed by Green’s unstoppable offense, Paul Pierce was the one feeding him on those open shots. He did a masterful job making plays for others as well as himself, also finding Avery Bradley for a huge corner three to give the Celtics a two point lead with less than two minutes to go. He nearly finished with a triple double on offense, and defensively held his own against James while taking his fair share of charges.
Avery Bradley, PG 31 MIN | 3-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | -6Bradley struggled handling the ball early on, getting his pocket picked by Mario Chalmers and two of his early shots blocked by Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

This has been an issue. Defense has not. His chase down block on Norris Cole was absolutely beautiful, and while some can argue Eric Bledsoe or John Wall as being the game’s best chase down block artists at the point guard position, Bradley is leading the pack.

Offensively, if it wasn’t a layup in transition or an open spot up look, Bradley struggled.

Courtney Lee, SG 40 MIN | 6-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | -4Courtney Lee showed some spunk in the first quarter, turning the corner off the dribble and knocking down a runner, then visciously crossing over Chris Bosh (sending him on his tush) before guiding a smooth floater off the glass. Lee’s influence in 40 minutes was especially calming for the Celtics and disruptive for the Heat. He also hit a huge corner three late in the game that was probably his biggest shot since coming to Boston.
Chris Wilcox, PF 18 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +6Early in the second quarter it looked like nothing in this universe could slow down Jeff Green. Then Chris Wilcox botched one of his alley-oop passes. He was either slow or flat out incorrect on multiple defensive rotations, each one more devastating than the last.
Jordan Crawford, SG 17 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +4Crawford knocked down a step in baseline jumper, a deep three that pushed Boston’s late game lead to 13, and a nifty reverse layup in transition. But he also dribbled the ball off Dwyane Wade’s foot while in his own backcourt, a play that eventually led to a LeBron James dunk and a Miami Heat run. Just Jordan being Jordan.
Jason Terry, SG 24 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 9 PTS | +4LeBron James “knighted” Terry with an alley-oop smash (see what I did there?) but the good JET eventually recovered, going on a late second half stretch that saw him hit several big mid-range shots in a row. He also connected with Jeff Green on a gorgeous no-look pass off a pick-and-roll that resulted in two more Celtic points. Overall not the worst game from Terry, even if it’s solely remembered for one of the more ruthless dunks you’ll ever see.
Doc RiversFacing what might be the best basketball team since Michael Jordan’s 72-10 Chicago Bulls with his most important player out with the flu, Doc Rivers nearly guided the Celtics to an emotional win. He wasn’t out there playing, but the defensive principles instilled in his team were evident all night. And sticking with an eight-man rotation didn’t hurt.

Two Things We Saw

  1. I saw Jeff Green. He was glorious.
  2. Seriously, if this game proved anything, it’s that the Celtics are a team nobody will want to face in the playoffs. They die hard.
  • tbunny

    Watching this game I realized again why I love the Celtics. Because they have heart.

    • janos

      hi bunny

    • Josh_5

      The determination and never-die attitude runs through this team. From Russell to Bird to Pierce and KG, This is why we love this team. This is why, we are Celtics.

  • Bill

    Amazing game.

    Boston got up for this game, a wonderful performance. Even though they couldn't pull it out, a lot of great things to take away. Some of the best defense I've seen all season.

    Home stretch guys, let's turn this into a serious run.

  • OKCeltic

    JCrawford scares me every time he steps on the floor, but I think earned his grade tonight considering it's probably safe to say that was the first game in his NBA career with that level of intensity and atmosphere. I like the 3 assists.

    • Anthony

      I hated that he dribbled off DWade's foot and missed 2 FTs but I liked that dagger 3 and the nice lay-up. And at the very least, he was aware of the shot-clock when he hoisted that 30 footer.

      I think that's just who he is. Some nights he's going to make more positive plays, some nights he's going to make more negative plays. You just live with it and hope you get more of the positive play nights.

    • KillerGymRat

      Good point. I do wonder if Doc left him out there for a bit longer then you'd expect just to see how he handled the pressure. This being as close to a playoff game intensity as you'll ever see in the regular season.

      I thought he did okay. He's really like a puppy dog that gets really excited and then pees everywhere. He just needs to learn to relax into the game and make the smart and simple play. You could tell on the off-the-foot dribble he was hyped and trying to run back to make a big play (his version of peeing) instead of just taking care of the ball.

      • Rav

        Yup you get the feeling he's sincere and that he tries hard and wants to be good. Sure he's a ball-hog and a shot-hog, but it's always better than not caring at all.

  • New English

    I wonder how Wilcox plays when he isn't stoned?

  • Banner18

    Love Pierce's play over the past 3 weeks, so I can't hate on him for taking that last shot. But after getting bailed out and getting the ball back with 9 seconds, I feel like we could have had a less "desperation" shot available.

    Gotta love this team though. It really is a shame that Rondo and Sully aren't our running with these guys.

    • KillerGymRat

      Yeah, I keep hoping we'll bust out that last play we ran against Indy that lead to the wide open Jeff Green layup. Or some variation of the PP iso fake out.

      • hydrofluoric

        We had Kevin Garnett for that one…

    • Rav

      Agree definitely seem to rushed. I know the fact that they had a foul to give played into it, but when you're at home don't you play for the tie anyway?

  • Anthony

    I was so hyped thinking we had the game, I started coming up with possible post-game headlines:

    – "Witness Jeff Green"
    – "Green Night After St. Pattys"
    – "Heat Not Green Enough"
    – "Buy Green Sell Brons" (lol… for those that like finance)

    Definitely going to lose sleep over this one.

    I was perfectly OK with the last shot, although, I would've preferred if JET curled closer towards the baseline and take the shot using Pierce as a decoy. A fade-away wing 3 against outstretched arms of Lebron is going to be a tough shot even if you're The Truth.

    At least Hawks, Bulls, and Lakers lost too. Hopefully Knicks will lose again.

  • janos

    hi micheals is janos
    i am celbrate st patri'k day one day late with bottle jamieson , large stew – beef top cut, and nba celtics onm tv . and was throughs entertain but unhappy on end. if am honests, on title not win this year (am still sure we aretoo win titles this year, but in case of not) i will looking this eras, back,on equals regret of with happy. from game 7 lakers loose, game heat last year , injure to player this year, allens go last year…is team, this;, of could be so muches more, is make a sense? one titles not enough this group us that make us cry them, cheer them, so proud them. if is not on title more one AT LEAST, is equals regret and of happy prouds for me.

    i am go to the bed now.

    • Anthony

      Nicely put Janos.

      One title is not enough for the KG era, fell on the short end of the stick a few times, some bad breaks, but the real fans know this group (all 6 seasons) personifies what a team should be… True Grit, All Heart, Total Effort. Just more reasons to love the Celts and proud to be their fan.

      Bottle of Jameson would be nice after this game.

    • Mikhail

      Your english is poor like child. Nice for me to look.

  • IBleedGreen

    LeBron James is the best player in the world, but I fucking hate that guy.

  • KillerGymRat

    I have to stand up for Jet on that LeBron dunk and say it was hardly ruthless or impressive. It was a 3 on 1 break or the equivalent of three bigger brothers picking on the runt of the litter. Big deal. A huge guy like LeBron catching the ball at a full sprint knocks over a guy who is at least 50 pounds lighter and was defending 3 guys. Zzzzzzzzz.

    I give props to Terry for not backing down and getting in the way. And LeBron looses what little respect I had for him by following it up by standing over Terry when his team was getting blown out and made their first decent play of the game. He also flopped on the PP contact and then rubs his ear (evoking the flop and neck grab off the Tyson Chandler screen in the playoffs). He's too talented and athletic to need the theatrics. He's a win at all costs kinda guy so no – not impressive.

    I miss the days of the original Jordan seeking out 7 footers and dunking clean over them. Sadly these days it's guys like Blake Griffin committing offensive fouls by mauling guys at the neck…and guys like LeBron and that other Jordan dunking on guys half their size.

    • Rav

      I see where you're coming from with the size difference angle; it's definitely not as impressive as if it would be if the heights were reversed.

      That being said, nothing wrong with standing over the guy (unless it's garbage time and you're losing) – doesn't matter if he's small, big etc. They're all grown men in this league. Making sure not to hurt anybody else smaller is for boxing etc. where they have weight classes.

      Say you're a guy – if a guy 6 inches shorter than you says something bad about your wife, are you just going to let it go because he's smaller?

      • KillerGymRat

        Well I'm assuming Jet didn't say anything about LeBron's wife :)

        And IMO standing over a guy is always a punk move. Unless you did something out of the ordinary and spectacular. Knocking over 35 year old Jet is not one of them.

        Imagine Jordan running down the court with Pippen and let's say Rodman on the wings then he gets the ball and finishes over the lone defender who happens to be Jeff Hornacek, and then Jordan finishes the play by standing over Hornacek. It would be embarrassing to Jordan. Which is why he didn't do anything like that. He loved to challenge the biggest and the best so you get him dunking on both David Robinson and Tim Duncan (both in their primes) or dunking on Ewing and 2 other knicks or mount Mutumbo and giving him back the finger wag.

        IMO standing over a smaller player is a punk move, especially when you had a 3 on 1 break. I expect it from a Deandre Jordan. But LeBron is trying to be one of the best to ever play the game. Then grow a pair like the original Jordan or even Kobe…and save the theatrics for when you really do something impressive.

  • KillerGymRat

    On the Jeff Green tip: Nice to see him relax and play under control while still being aggressive. Against OKC he took himself out of the game by trying too hard. This game he seemed to be playing almost at half speed, but with such precision it was a joy to watch. I hope he keeps it up. He should seriously be a 20 ppg scorer from this point on.

  • ElRoz

    I don't hate LeBron – he is not a bad guy…I think he is, compared to others, a nice guy. I do dislike the Heat though.
    I don't think this Heat team is the best since 72-10 Bulls. No way. I would consider 2000s SA & Laker teams, and perhaps 2008 Celtics as a favorite against this Heat team.

    • Rav

      You're right. Character wise the only blemishes really are:
      1) The Decision – a poor PR move, though it raised $3 million for charity
      2) Perceived arrogance – related to his self-conferred nickname ("The King") – hmm, there are some guys who would have been so much worse if they had even got half the hype and love LeBron did
      3) Wearing Yankees hats at Cleveland Browns games
      4) (Possibly) Cheated on his fiancee (then his girlfriend) and mother of his two children
      5) That one time he said all his haters have to go back to their miserable lives while he continues to stack paper playing basketball after a loss against the Mavericks in the finals two years ago – not smart to say, but considering the vitriol received through that season it's understandable
      6) Flops a bit on the court

      Actually looks like a pretty long list but for most players (or at least, anyone with a degree of fame that we actually hear about them outside the ten minutes they play each game) it's longer.

      • Rav

        Wow looks like I might be a Lebron stalker…

      • KillerGymRat

        You can add in LeBron wearing a T-shirt with his own face on it to a championship trophy celebration.

    • Anthony

      The 85-86 Celtics team should be in that conversation as well with the original Big Three. They had the best home record ever winning 40 out of 41.

  • Rav

    Dang was only able to watch the end of the game. Saw Bradley hit the 3 from the corner to go 2 up but we couldn't make anything after that…

    Looks like I missed a Jeff Green performance for the ages. I'm one of his unwilling critics, so I'm bummed out I missed a chance to revise my opinion.

  • scott

    BETTER without Rondo…

    nuff said.

    • tbunny

      Rondo probably would have helped bringing the ball up a few times.

    • KillerGymRat

      We had Rondo we win this game easily. He doesn't get blocked at the rim like AB and can finish in traffic, and he can handle the defensive ball pressure. Jet, AB, Terry and even PP all had a bunch of turnovers under pressure.

      • Rav

        If we had Rondo (and were using the offense we have used with Rondo the past two years), Jeff Green isn't scoring 43 points.

        • KillerGymRat

          You say that like it's a bad thing.

          We lost the game. So I don't care how many points Green had.

          At the end of the game the only points that truly matter are the ones on the scoreboard.

  • normshorts

    Jeff Green is a man. A bad man. Let us revise our opinions of this man. He is a man of the highest regard. May none of these blogging idiots ever put down this man again.

    • Josh_5

      He sure is. That's why he's Dr. Nasty.

  • lebron killed c

    you still lost
    it is not matter by how many points

    • normshorts

      Man, grammar sucks.

    • KillerGymRat

      So do trolls.

      Lots of them on here lately. Welcome troll with bad grammar.

    • Danny

      And you're still a bandwagon dick rider who roots for a team that he knows nothing about, I don't listen to anything from Heat fans unless they can name one person from the 2006 championship team other than Wade or Shaq, which you probbaly can't, because as your name states, lebron killed c not the heat, so go tweet at lebron or something more useful and stop pretending like you understand basketball.

    • Josh_5

      Hi troll with bad grammar.

  • High Rollers

    What. A. Game.

  • james patrick

    Lebron is a punk. A bitch ass punk. I hate him. I hate cry baby wade. I hate traitor Allen. I hate them all. These ones sting a little more. But if we can do that without KG. Need to find a way to get at least half of that out of Green every night.

    • Morpheus

      Amen brother

    • Josh_5

      In your rant above, I think your referring to Complayne Wade and Betray Allen.

  • Morpheus

    Why can't Jeff play like this every night. He even went left tonight. What a performance. He can only get better. I think he proved to me that he definitely has the ability to be a 20ppg scorer if he really wants it and he can be a defensive stud too.

    • check12check

      maybe that's it….he just discovered how to use his left. now that he has, he will become league MVP and GOAT in no time. just kidding, but I liked the development he showed tonight

  • swissflix

    some bad rotations hurt us and the free throw shooting was really bad. Missed like 9 or 10.
    But this game showed everyone that the celtics can match the heat!

  • Marc

    In the case of LeBron staring down Terry, it’s fair. Terry is seen as a loud mouth here in Miami, there’s a history of bad blood. By the way Jordan was an expert of the stare down after big plays.

  • Danny

    I hate to lose such a winnable game, but Miami did not impress me at all, yeah they won but the Miami Heat did not win that game, Lebron James won that game with a little help some other guys in black jerseys and 3 in gray. He is the best basketball player in the world, but that team is not that good. They are all style no substance. All flash, no grit. Sure they'll run down and make a big dunk or block off the back board, but they don't dive for loose balls or gte on the floor and fight, and they suck at free throws (not that we don't, free throws lost us that game what did we have 8 misses). All i know is that stupid back door cut Wade dunk to tie the game doens't happen with KG in the middle. And I learned that Avery Bradley is too agressive but mario chalmers isn't even though his idea of playing d is hacking a slapping. Also is there a bigger tool in the world Chris Anderson?

  • KillerGymRat

    After watching the highlights I have to shift my stance of defending Terry on the dunk. I still think LeBron's a tool for taunting (and for flopping and other things that I despise about his game) after a 3 on 1 break and dunking over such a small player, but Terry totally deserved it. We had a 4 on none fast break but instead of lobbing the ball ahead (pretty much anywhere) he reversed direction and brought the ball back against the defender, never noticing the D was collapsing on him.

    Even if the ball wasn't stolen the D would have caught up and the break would be over. He has to make quicker decisions. When I saw the game live it happened so fast I figured he couldn't see the court, but he had a clean angle and so many targets he basically could have just flung the ball ahead to the paint and it was a sure bucket. Instead it swung the momentum and gave Miami some life.

    Certainly not blaming the loss or the comeback on JT…but maybe getting dunked on will motivate him to react quicker against an elite team that punished turnovers.

    We now return you to the Jeff Green is awesome thread.

  • Luis

    Danny, you mad bro? It’s ok if your best still isn’t good enough. You had a stacked Celtics team during the playoffs last year and still couldn’t pull it off. Embrace the present. Enjoy the RepHeat.

    • Danny

      Not mad at all, just call it like i see it, i'd debate the stacked team thing though seeing as we had no Jeff Green or Avery Bradley and outside of the starting lineup nobody really capable of playing conference finals ball. But hey seven games is seven games and the Heat won the ship can't knock it they did it. But even the biggest Heat fan can't argue that what you have there is not a true team. Its a bunch of mercenaries who signed on for a free ride to a ship. Without Lebron that team goes nowhere, having the best basketball player on the planet makes everything go a lot smoother. Also how can you argue that mario chalmers is not a hack n slap artist, and the Chris Birdman Anderson is not a tool. Come on now, no hate just facts.