Heat CenterWatch: Joel Anthony (31 minutes), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (13 minutes), Chris Bosh (4 minutes). PointWatch: Mike Bibby (22 minutes), Mario Chalmers (23 minutes), Wade/James committee (3 minutes).
Did Paul Pierce deserve to get tossed in the fourth quarter after a verbal altercation with Dwyane Wade? The call might have been excessive but, as Dan Devine of Ball Don't Lie writes, Pierce didn't get ejected for jawing with Wade. He got run because he picked up a second technical: "NBA rules stipulate that any player who racks up two technical fouls is automatically disqualified. That, and not a horrifically egregious overreaction to one bout of jawing, is why Pierce got tossed." Should a second technical foul have a higher threshold than a first? Should an official put a double-technical he'd normally be inclined to call back into his pocket because one of the participating parties already has a technical?
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston: " [T]he Paul Pierce time machine came to a screeching halt in the year 2005, when, as a petulant young star, he allowed his emotions to overtake him and was ejected from a playoff game against the Indiana Pacers. It was the lowlight in Pierce's career, particularly when he followed up his ejection by striding into the interview room with an outrageous bandage wrapped around his jaw, his way of tweaking the officials for the non-call that set him off ... Shouldn't Pierce be past this? All indications were he had matured into a reliable elder statesman, a Celtics winner who had taken his rightful place among the greats in this storied franchise. Yet Bill Russell was never tossed from two playoff games. Bob Cousy, John Havlicek and Larry Bird never were, either. Veterans are supposed to know better. When you are tagged with one technical, you cannot afford another -- under any circumstance."
Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook demonstrates how Erik Spoelstra used misdirection out of a timeout -- and LeBron James as a decoy -- to get Wade an open driving lane for an easy layup.
Fun with 5-man units! At The Painted Area, M. Haubs unit takes a close look at how the Heat stretched out their lead at the start of the second quarter with a lineup of Mario Chalmers, James Jones, Mike Miller, Chris Bosh and Joel Anthony. We saw a bit of "Bosh time" occasionally during the regular season at the start of second quarters, but I don't think anyone had an inkling Spoelstra would feature units without both Wade and James for meaningful stretches of the postseason: "Some conventional wisdom suggested that the Heat would need to play James and Wade 45 minutes apiece to prevail in their tougher playoff series. In Game 1, it was a relative walk in the park, as James played 40 minutes and Wade played "just" 37 minutes -- and did so spectacularly."
Hayes Davenport of Celtics Hub doesn't understand why Rajon Rondo spent virtually the entire second quarter on the bench, three personal fouls be damned: "When Rondo came out with 11:17 to go in the third, the Celtics were down by four. They didn’t score again until 7:46, during which the Heat went on a 9-0 run and the Celtics missed five shots, blew one dunk, and gave up two turnovers. They could do nothing. The ball moved slowly enough for Miami to send double coverage against virtually every shot, the result being that none of the looks were even passable ... Why are those extra minutes important? Because the Celtics outscored the Heat by SEVEN POINTS when he was in the game. Thinking about that in a different but equally interesting way, the Heat outscored the Celtics by 16 in the 19 minutes Rondo was on the bench. Cut those sitting minutes in half and the Celtics are in this one. If he fouls out, then Doc did his job. He maximized Rondo’s minutes."
Not one, not two, not three, not four ... but five pump fakes from Wade in warmups.
Mike Bibby: Shot-blocking machine.
J.M. Poulard of Warriors World: "At least once per game, Bosh will in one sequence put a spin move on his defender, pump fake him and then get the shot up all the while drawing the foul. The Celtics defense was ready for that move in Game 1 as well as everything else the power forward brought to the table offensively. Boston dared him to throw some counters at them and he could not."
Ohio Governor John Kasich tells a crowd in Twinsburg, Ohio that he roots for the Heat to lose every game.