Shortly after LeBron James announced his “Decision” to play for the Miami Heat in the summer of last year…Cleveland Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert…part of his open letter/reaction to Cleveland fans…
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE.”
“YOU CAN TAKE IT TO THE BANK.”
Fortunately, the good folks of Cleveland are smarter than Dan and long ago figured out not to stake out the ATM’s any time soon. As for the self-titled former King, he’s a tad closer this morning than maybe Dan banked on.
In the Heat’s 102-91 Game 2 win last evening James’ report card was 44 minutes played, 14 of 25 from the floor, 7 boards…35 points. Heat are now up 2-0 headed to Boston for prime-time Saturday night.
Dwyane Wade…39 minutes, 28 points, 8 boards. Chris Bosh…38 minutes, 17 points, 11 boards.
Rest of the Heat…let’s just say they fielded five players at all times.
Even though the game was well within Boston’s reach late…having already seen James hitting jumpers at will, Wade turning around Kevin Garnett like a spinning top and leaving Ray Allen sprawling on the floor as they both tried to defend in vain…and Bosh doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing in his supporting role…you had a feeling Miami was going to turn up the Heat down the stretch and they did just that. Did I mention the Heat Big Three was playing solid defense as well?
Post-game talk of the walking wounded Celtics. Paul Pierce a strained left foot. Ray Allen a bruised chest. Rajon Rondo a bad back. But everyone is limping about this time of year. The question is how old do the Celtics feel mentally, not physically.
ESPN analyst Tim Legler said this morning while a lot of folks are putting this series to bed and Boston may “have their jammies” on, this is far from over. I agree. Two wins is only half way to four.
Yet, both your math and mine finds the equation is the Celtics now have to win four of five to advance. Boston plays at a deliberate pace and doesn’t get second opportunities, which means if Rondo doesn’t get run outs in transition and the defense doesn’t turn the Heat over…it puts so, so much pressure on every possession.
If the Miami’s Big Three plays like they did last night…maybe they don’t need as much help from the rest of the Heat after all. Heck, Rondo wouldn’t even participate in one time-out huddle while Pierce seemed to be trying to steer him back into the fold mentally, if not the huddle physically.
The really scary part is Rajon was essentially the best player on the floor for Boston last night.
Dan Gilbert, your personal guarantee looks a little less likely this morning. The only bad “Decision” right now looks to be you taking things too personally.