Quantcast 2011 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs: Semifinals - Miami vs Boston

 

2011 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals

Eastern Conference Semifinal Game 1 - Miami 99, Boston 90 – Heat lead series, 1-0

 

LeBron James was the centerpiece of the NBA offseason. His decision to join the Miami Heat has been the talk of the town for the past 10 months. Joining forces with superstar Dwayne Wade was supposed to bring great success. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, things went according to plan as the Heat blitzed the defending Eastern Conference champions at American Airlines Arena in Miami. The Heat, who had struggled against Boston during the regular season, came out with a tremendous level of energy and rode a raucous home crowd to a 1-0 series lead.

While James and fellow free-agent acquisition Chris Bosh may have garnered most of the headlines, it was veteran Miami guard Dwayne Wade, a superstar in his own right, who delivered a Sunday sermon the Celtics won’t soon forget. Wade was 14-of-21 on the afternoon, delivering a scoring rampage which carried his squad to victory. Wade’s regular season struggles against Boston were emblematic of Miami’s floundering against the Celtics as a whole. Everything was different in South Beach in Game 1 as Wade tallied 38 points.

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It was everything one would expect from two teams who have a salty history. Tempers flared on a number of occasions, resulting in flagrant foul and an amazing seven technical’s. The final technical sent Boston forward Paul Pierce packing. Before the ejection, Pierce and Miami guard James Jones received technical fouls for a verbal spat. The disdain between the teams was evident and the longer the series carries on, the greater it will become.

With Miami taking a 55-36 lead on a Bosh jumper with 10:32 remaining in the third quarter it looked as if the Celtics would go quietly into the night, but champions respond under duress. Boston responded with 12 straight points to cut the lead to just seven.

Credit Miami for responding. Beyond Wade’s heroics, Jones was there to answer the call. Jones hit five of his seven 3-point attempts, and all 10 of his free throws, to give the Heat a tremendous spark at key moments. His 25 points were a playoff career high. If Wade and Jones were doing the scoring, James was doing everything in between. James scored, rebounded, defended, came up with important steals and dished out key assists all afternoon long.

 

 

Boston simply couldn’t find an offensive rhythm. Both Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett were lacking in quality. Before being tossed Pierce and teammate Ray Allen began to lead yet another fourth quarter charge. Even that felt futile as the Celtics looked enigmatic all game long. Allen’s 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting was just a diamond in the rough of a forgettable opening game in the Sunshine State.

For the Miami Heat, Sunday afternoon was further proof that this club has the capability to do great things. With performances like the one seen in Game 1, perhaps those in the NBA world will begin to discuss LeBron’s move to Miami not only in terms of history, but future success.

 

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By: Zach Bloxham
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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