Sunday, May 01, 2011

Celtics vs. Heat: Game 1

Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat will tip off on ABC at 3:30 PM this afternoon. It pits the Big 4 against the big 3.

Awful Announcing has the broadcast team for this series:
Game 1: Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat (ABC 3:30PM) Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy
Game 2: Boston Celtics @ Miami Heat (TNT 7PM) Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller
Game 3: Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics (ABC 8PM) TBA
Game 4: Miami Heat @ Boston Celtics (TNT 7PM) TBA

Records of note:
All‐Time Record vs. Miami: 55‐36 (.611)
All‐Time Home Record: 29‐15 (.659)
All‐Time Road Record: 26‐21 (.625)

Boston vs. Miami in 2010-11:
MIAMI 100, BOSTON 77 – AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL (4/10/11)
BOSTON 85, MIAMI 82 – TD Garden, Boston, MA (2/13/11)
BOSTON 112, MIAMI 107 – AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL (11/11/10)
BOSTON 88, MIAMI 80 – TD Garden, Boston, MA (10/26/10)

As of Game 4 against the New York Knicks, Paul Pierce is ranked 13th in Celtics history when it comes to playoff games played. He is inching close to the top 10. On April 24th, he passed Tommy Heinsohn for 13th all‐time with 105 games, which ties him with K.C. Jones. Bob Cousy is next with 109 games.

Similarly, Pierce is 8th in Celtics history in minutes played with 4,188.

Boston Globe sports columnist Bob Ryan notes that Miami is on the hot seat. He goes so far as pointing out that this was supposed to be the series in the Eastern Conference Finals.
We all can say we knew this clash was inevitable, but who knew it would be this humbling?

I mean, wasn’t this supposed to be for the Eastern Conference championship?

Both the Celtics and Heat took their eye off the prize, allowing upstart Chicago to claim the No. 1 seed. So what we have here is the most anticipated, most hyped, most fascinating undercard in NBA playoff history. When this thing is over, the winner and its fans will be saying, “Wait a minute . . . there’s more?"[...]

Nope, that’s not entirely true, either. This Heat thing is about their Big Three. The playoffs are a test to see whether LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh can do what many people say can’t be done, and what even fewer people (outside of Miami) want to see done, and that is win an NBA championship with a completely lopsided roster that defies the notion of a proper title team.
Here's this tidbit on how the Celtics have done the past few seasons in the NBA Playoffs:
May 4: Celtics eliminate Hawks in Game 7, 99-65
May 6: Celtics beat Cavaliers in Game 1, 76-72
One day of rest, four-point win

May 18: Celtics eliminate Cavaliers in Game 7, 97-92
May 20: Celtics beat Pistons in Game 1, 88-79
One day of rest, eight-point win

May 30: Celtics eliminate Pistons in Game 6, 89-81
June 5: Celtics beat Lakers in Game 1, 98-88
Five days rest, 10-point win

May 2: Celtics eliminate Bulls in Game 7, 109-99
May 4: Celtics lose to Magic in Game 1, 95-90
One day of rest, five-point loss

April 27: Celtics eliminate Heat in Game 5, 96-86
May 1: Celtics lose to Cavaliers in Game 1, 101-93
Three days rest, eight-point loss

May 13: Celtics eliminate Cavs in Game 6, 94-85
May 16: Celtics beat Magic in Game 1, 92-88
Two days rest, four-point win

May 28: Celtics eliminate Magic in game 6, 96-84
June 3: Celtics lose to Lakers in Game 1, 102-89
Five days rest, 13-point loss
Gary Washburn wrote about how Danny Ainge has helped to resurrect the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics would not have reestablished themselves as an elite NBA organization — or be championship contenders again this year — had it not been for Ainge’s unconventional and sometimes defiant style.

“It’s not my job to listen to the outside world, the media, or the fans,’’ said Ainge. “It’s my job to identify what our weaknesses are and to improve those weaknesses and not listen and respond to those outside forces.

“My experience as a player and my experience as a head coach has helped me do better and define the real reasons we were winning or losing. That is my job.’’

Ainge, 52, is remembered by many as the fiery Celtics shooting guard who after a short career in professional baseball helped Boston to NBA titles in 1984 and 1986, one of the faces of the workmanlike Celtics who battled the Showtime Lakers for NBA supremacy throughout the decade.

Now Ainge is the fiery Celtics president, determined to squeeze at least one more NBA title out of this Hall of Famer-laden crew. He is a risk taker, a headstrong general with enough arrogance to make brash decisions and enough humility to allow those under him to work without interference.

“The more we were together, the better it got," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who was hired by Ainge in 2004. “That’s probably the league’s problem — the two parties [coach and general manager] don’t want to wait long enough to figure each other out.

“Danny knows what you want and goes and gets it, and I don’t know if there’s a guy who’s better at it. He just lets me do my job."
I think it's very possible that we can get another title out of this group. Maybe 2. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are getting older. So is Paul Pierce. Who knows, maybe they draft Anthony Davis in two seasons. Or Michael Gilchrist.

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