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How the Boston Celtics Exposed the Miami Heat’s Biggest Flaws
In any NBA game that ends with 10 minutes of extra time, whoever wins is usually the beneficiary of an extra lucky bounce or two – a moment of good fortune as opposed to any schematic advantage carried out over the course of 58 minutes.
Sunday’s thrilling double-overtime battle between the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics was no different.
If Paul Pierce had followed Shane Battier to the perimeter on what ended up being LeBron James’ game-tying three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation, the Celtics probably wouldn’t have needed two overtimes to get the win.
Conversely, if Ray Allen had knocked down his attempted open corner three with the Heat down two near the end of the second overtime, the Heat could’ve won.
There are a half-dozen other examples of sequences that went one way but could have easily gone the other.
However, the simple fact that the Celtics played their bitter rivals so close (the game was tied at halftime) without Rajon Rondo was a testament to several decisions enacted by Doc Rivers and his staff and inspiring efforts from a majority of Celtics who’ve struggled mightily in recent weeks.
The Celtics closed the game with a small lineup, beating the Heat at their own game by playing Pierce and Jeff Green beside Kevin Garnett.
BY MICHAEL PINA