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

 

2011 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals

Eastern Conference Semifinal Game 2 - Miami 102, Boston 91 - Heat lead series, 2-0

 

This is what LeBron James signed up for.

A year after struggling mightily and losing an Eastern Conference semifinal battle with the Boston Celtics, James is halfway to exorcising that demon with his new squad. In May of 2010, James was the lone wolf on an overmatched Cleveland Cavaliers team that failed miserably against the savvy operators from pro basketball’s most storied franchise. Fast forward 52 weeks, and the outlook is distinctly different for LeBron: The reigning MVP has much more help, but the irony of Tuesday’s contest against the Celtics is that he may have been able to complete the task on his own. James poured in 35 points, 24 of them coming in the second half, as the Miami Heat took a commanding 2-0 series lead over the defending Eastern Conference champions.

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With the game in doubt midway through the final stanza, James and his newfound friends took over. Boston’s Paul Pierce hit consecutive free throws to tie the game at 80 with 7:09 to play. The Heat responded with a blistering 14-0 run over the next three-plus minutes, whipping the sold out America Airlines Arena crowd into a frenzy. James scored seven points during the stretch. Fellow superstar Dwayne Wade, sharpshooter Mario Chalmers, and associate free-agent signee Chris Bosh also got in on the action. It was a period of time which James and Heat fans had dreamt about when the most sought-after free agent in NBA history took his talents to South Beach last summer.

Oh what a difference a series makes.

 

 

After easily dispatching the New York Knicks in four games in round one, the Celtics look outclassed in round two. Boston hung around for three and a half quarters, but couldn’t hold off the Miami surge. The Celtics’ inability to get the free-throw line cost them dearly. Paul Pierce had just 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting. This performance came just one game after being ejected late in Game 1. Suffice it to say, the Celtics need much more out of both Pierce and guard Rajon Rondo if they want to get back in this series. Rondo was better in Game 2, scoring 20 points and dishing out 12 assists, but he wasn’t able to make his usual imprint on the game. Boston shot just 43 percent from the field and continued to lack the offensive flow Rondo ordinarily provides.

The Heat are two games away from the Eastern Conference finals. Just four teams have recovered from an 0-2 deficit to win a series. James, who has been a part of many playoff disappointments, looks like he is on a mission this season. The first two games of this second round series have proven one thing: The Heat are in a groove. It’s up to Boston to shake Miami out of its comfort zone when the series shifts to Beantown for Games 3 and 4.

 

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By: Zach Bloxham
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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