Quantcast 2010 Boston Celtics: Celtics vs Heat


NBA Playoff Recap - East First Round, Game 5

(4) Boston 96, (5) Miami 86 - Celtics win series, 4-1

Dwyane Wade couldn't score 46 points for a second straight game. Actually, the Miami Heat's superstar and lone source of excellence "only" needed to score 42 points in order to prolong his team's season, but even that proved to be unattainable for basketball's biggest inactive free agent.

Yes, "inactive" now describes Mr. Wade, whose season ended Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston. Because Miami's main man wasn't able to stand on his head the way he did in Sunday's Game 4, the Boston Celtics closed down the Heat and advanced to the second round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs.

It's not as though Wade didn't try hard or compete with a diminished level of passion. In a series that often felt like a 1-on-5 competition, Wade did bring 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to the table, a not-inconsiderable amount of production for coach Erik Spoelstra. Yet, Wade's 31 - a night many NBA players would kill to have just once in the playoffs - came at the expense of 24 shots, with the Marquette star making only 10 of them. Basketball statisticians and analysts have begun to delve into specialized and highly-nuanced formulas in recent years, and one such category of number-crunching is "points per shot." Wade's 46-point outing in Game 4 came on 24 shots as well, so in doing the simple math, it's not hard to see why this 31-point game offered comparatively little value. Had Wade taken only 17 shots to get to 31, we might be singing a different tune and getting ready for a Game 6 on Thursday in South Florida, but because "The Flash" couldn't duplicate his Sunday heroics, the Heat's season is over.

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Boston wobbled in this game. The Celtics built a 21-point third-quarter lead, only to see the lead shrink to three with just over 10 minutes left in regulation. With the Celtics clinging to a 73-70 advantage, it was Ray Allen who took over. The same man who missed three straight foul shots on Sunday in Miami - enabling this series to come back to Beantown for a fifth game - created two separate 3-point plays to put the Heat on their heels. One three was an old-fashioned "hoop-and-harm", while the other trey came in the form of a long ball. In a heartbeat, the lead swelled back to eight points, and Miami never made another big run at the flag. With Glen Davis providing high-value minutes off the bench for Boston - all while Rasheed Wallace and other busts collected rust on the bench (that can't happen in the upcoming Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cleveland Cavaliers) - coach Doc Rivers found enough production to get his team to the second round, which begins Saturday.

The Miami Heat's offseason begins right now. The NBA community is already wondering if Dwyane Wade will still be part of the franchise when the next training camp breaks in September.


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By: Matt Zemek
Pro Basketball Fans Senior Staff Writer

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