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Road to the Championship: Glorious Glorious Game 5

Some of the things we were reflecting on about the last game and thinking about before this game:

Shane Battier played West great last time.
Udonis Haslem provided needed toughness out there. Knew they wouldn’t rough him up without a response. How true that turned out to be.
Some wondered, will the Pacers try to trap James and Wade, forcing our role players to beat them? Or will they play them straight up, daring the Big Two to try and repeat Sunday’s spectacular performance?

The Heat never gave the Pacers a chance to decide on Tuesday night. And it was great. From the top!

We were looking forward to seeing if the wake-up call this last week served to rally the fans enough to get them in there by tipoff, and they did not disappoint.

Good start with a Battier 3.

And another.

Oh Battier, Pacers have a 3-on-1 on him and he causes the turnover

Yeah Battier is on. That’s three…

(We were calling for it before the game. Due some Shane Battier reinvigoration. )

Lebron hits a smooth fade right in Granger’s face.

Norris Cole draws a quality CHARGE. No flop!

A deep three from LBJ on Grange to end the first

Wade hits the first of a series of incredible And-1 Bank shots

Tyler Punksborough draws blood on Wade. On the bench, Juwan Howard becomes a vortex of Heat energy

Then Haslem lets Punksborough know he’s in Wade County.

OK, let’s get back to basketball, Wade with a purty crossover scoop. Many a highlight reel play in this one.

Joel Anthony packs one out into the stands. Do the Pacers want to go inside? No, they’re shooting all outside shots. I like it.

Lebron nails the 3 by the Indiana bench and looks at them for just the right amount of time, for just one moment after

When somebody passes to Joel Anthony the ball needs to have a ribbon on it.

LBJ with a Stuffa in the open lane because nobody wants to go inside for the Pacers. They end the half with a sweet back and forth Wade to Lebron lay-in.

Battier is still hot after halftime.

The lane is empty of Pacers for a Lebron Slamma.

It was priceless seeing Juwan Howard and Norris Cole roll their eyes at Granger pulling up the ankle. He’s fouled Lebron the last 3 times down the floor cause he doesn’t want to be seen next to Lebron scoring.

Wade with an amazing circus And-1, and Turiaf has the best dances.

Somebody was saying the other day this Heat team has been “nothing special” all year.  I pity the fool who has not been watching because they do something spectacular every night. Especially tonight.

Lebron is all smiles after a one-hand pass for a Wade dunk, then gets professional quickly.

Every Pacers shot is outside. How many threes did they shoot in this one?

I really don’t want to talk Pacers strategy, but how do they not just ride Hibbert and West I’m asking myself time and again. They’re All-Stars

Wade with another And-1 off the glass.

The announcers are going on about Tim Duncan and then the Boston Celtics as Wade beautifies a full court pass to Lebron.

Great defensive possessions as Indiana misses a long 3 at the end of shot clock.

Wade with an awesome crossover on Hansborough. Officially an awesome game. Blow their doors off as they used to say in my time. Wade stares down Hansborough after sending his shot into the stands. This is Wade county.

Granger does not look that upset to be on a cart. Kobe’s brow would be so furrowed if he were being carted out of a playoff game. Granger’s chillin, looking a little relieved not to be out there anymore.

James Jones gives em a couple 3s for the plane ride home.

O Dex. He gives Lance an elbow to the throat so wrong its right. A wink too. He’ll be suspended. I’m an advocate of nonviolence and everything, but yeah this is basketball. Gotta do what you gotta do. All those cheap shots we were getting earlier this series…nah, it ain’t goin down like that.

Heat record 61% field goal percentage in a playoff game.

The three starters not Lebron and Wade scored first. Oh yeah, they’ll never duplicate Sunday, role players won’t step up. Ha. Another Heat Classic. Now Thursday.Image

Glorious Game 4

 One of the best Heat games ever. Instant Classic. As I look back on the last few days, I realize I’m getting more and more emotionally involved here, and clearly lot of other folks are as well I see. That was a doozy.  I can’t remember the last time I was this worked up consistently over sports…then I remember last year’s Heat run, and the ’06 championship run, and all the other runs from my sports viewing history…

It’s been easy to forget lately that the Heat lost two to the Chicago Bulls in the first round in 2006. With plenty of drama. There was a lot of drama during that whole run, which is also easy to forget.

Turiaf starts, I like it. Battier stays starting at the 4.

Our heroes don’t look settled early

Haslem. Slamma putback

O Wade steal on the inbounds pass Heat come right back and score and we’re back in business.

Lebron goes coast to coast. On his way to doing everything today

The Pacers are punks.

Lebron with amazing pass inside to Wade. It’s an awesome pass; you realize how casual the normal viewing experience is when they show the instant replay up close and you really see the angle and precision that goes into it.

Wade heats up hitting how many in a row after starting 1-8.

Granger likes talking unprovoked smack up in peoples’ biz.

Amazing Wade 3 after catching the ball falling on the ground.

A CHARGE by Hibbert.

Wade is on fire.

Lots of screaming around here in 3rd quarter on glorious Heat baskets.

Udonis with a great game, especially after they drew blood. Lou whats-his-son had no idea what a mistake that would be. But Haslem. Gotta have the championship player out on the floor in crunch time. Good stuff.

Lebron.
Wade.
40.
30.
Huge.
In their house.
One of the best Heat games ever.

Feelin the Heat: Game 3. Picture ‘em Rollin’

 Feeling the Heat down in my soul, folks. That was one of the worst games I’ve ever seen. Right now, I’m wondering what Riley has been turning over in his head last night and today, what Lebron is mulling, and I can only imagine like I, they picture the Heat rollin’ (kinda like the Tupac song). Amidst all the talk of no supporting cast, they must be wondering how they got here, what they were going for when this team was assembled. It wasn’t done out of foolishness. Don’t believe the hype, Haslem, Miller, Battieeeer. The media talk is divisive, making this team into the Stars and Everybody Else but we know that’s not the case. Remember in December when they looked unstoppable? That’s just waiting to be uncorked. I don’t care what’s happened, don’t care what they say. This lineup, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole. Dwyane Wade. Mike Miller. Shane Battier. Lebron. James Jones, Udonis. Turiaf. Bosh (usually), Joel, Pittman. That lineup is still ridiculous, they’ve just been under a cloud. All the talk is the Pacers are deep, we aren’t. We’re the tired stars and underachieving role players. We’re deep. We’re a team. The Heat still have a great opportunity, to let this fire burn for a couple days and then come out Game 4 with a heretofore unseen passion. They haven’t played as hard as they’ll have to. Now they have to. Picture ‘em Rollin’, Heat fans

 Game 3 Notes, From the beginning (Heat Faithful may want to avert their eyes)

Wow Spo’ starts Pittman and Battier. Flabbergasted. Good move, I like it. If Dex gets a couple fouls and goes to the bench, big deal, at least we have a big

He gets benched quick.

It would be veddy nice if we could get a packed house at tip next time

Chalmers is feelin’ it, assists a Miller three, and that’s good.

Many a floater from Chalmers and ‘Bron.

Joel Anthony catches AND dunks it!

At the end of the 1st quarter it seems we’ve really weathered the storm, leading by 9 after trailing 11-2 to start.

Turiaf would-have-been classic Windmill Dance after an And-1 if everybody didn’t want to forget tonight. He tends to look good for the Heat, he really fills a void.

And Joel Anthony with a highlight left handed layup! Looks funny doing it as always

Haslem and Miller get fouls called on them just for being out there

After a beastly And-1, Chalmers hears it from a fan who’s had too much beer and gets a look from a lady that appear to be filled with genuine hate

O man, our alloted one incredible play (at least) from Lebron James this game

After halftime, Chalmers picks up where he left off.

Wade with a smooth J finally (it ends up being his only smooth moment of the night)

Battier short on 3s again and again.

Wow. Never seen ANYthing like Wade up in Spo’s grill. What’s more shocking, this, or that it hasn’t happened before?

Then the ref reverses a call just for being asked nicely as a gift to the Pacers and their fans

Unfathomable off. foul call against Wade. No calls tonight. Not feeling crazy about suspecting the league of tipping it in Pacers favor early in the series to make this more dramatic. Of course, the league can’t write the storyline but they can play with a little bit. They don’t want the Heat out though

Granger seems to have psychological issues. That’s the second game in a row he does something weird to Lebron then turns around and gets in his face (last time it was knocking off his headband, this time he untucks his jersey from behind)

D. West is a professional basketball player but the occassional non-basketball plays are embarrassing

You’re my boy Chalmers, All-Star tonight! All series please

Are the Pacers getting too excited?

Why why Miller and Turiaf taken out

We’ve had 3 blocks that had fouls called on them that were all ball I swear

How many early shot clock shots? How many times did they penetrate THEN kick it out?

<sigh>

 The Heat is on for Game 4. Picture ‘em Rollin’

Miami Heat Devotion Game 3 Pre-Notes

Miami Heat Game 3 Pre-Notes

 Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird how we keep hearing Spoelstra say “I wish I could have gotten him a minute or two” in reference to the question of rest for Lebron … What? Stop being a baby. Sit him for a minute. Put somebody else in. It will be OK. Our players are capable. Does he believe his own hype when he says we have enough or not?

I’m looking for threes. Rhythmic movement of the ball throughout the team on offense. Yes, I know it’s a road game. We smoked them here by 30 points earlier this year.

I don’t care what’s been going on they’ve got to show some trust in Haslem. Do they have no vision of a player’s continued potential ability through their rough stretches? It sure doesn’t seem like it. Everybody’s bashing the role players, but the coaches are blowing in the wind with them, any non Big Three player has a couple of bad shots, they get thrown out of the rotation practically. We’ve seen this happen with Miller and now Haslem. These guys are quality players

Game 2

Game 2
 Well After repeated yelling at the TV screen, much discussion afterwards, and listening to the moronic post-game questions being asked of Dwyane Wade such as “How much did you miss Chris Bosh?” “In what ways did you miss Chris Bosh?” and “Were you guys trying to conserve energy in the 3rd quarter?” I may as well go ahead and note what I’ve noted now so I can go ahead with life
 12 minutes from Udonis Haslem. I’m immensely disappointed with Spoelstra. Can’t hide it. From the beginning:

1st Half
Turiaf shoulda been playin the whole time. I’m sayin.

No. Early. Long. Shots.

And here is the lineup they said we wouldn’t see Miller, Battier, Wade, Turiaf, Bron at the 4. That’s a quality lineup. They’re playing fast. Great defense

OH man Wade.Lebron. Baby. A back and forth touch pass jam. Entertained.

Need some UD revival.

Some Heat players get no love from refs. Battier. And Anthony gets reach-ins every time he rebounds the ball.

The Heat are fronting the Pacers players keeping the ball out of the post.

Ooh, a deep Battier three by way of Wade Mojo Pass

2nd Half

CHARGE taken by Haslem

Chalmers gets a talking to from Spo rightfully after ticky tack foul. If you’re gonna foul em, foul em so they don’t make the basket plz

Much needed basket from UD don’t even know how it went in.

A tough run in the 3rd quarter best left undiscussed

Needing to establish a rhythm on offense…

How is Joel Anthony playing more than UD pray tell? Hasl-bear can set screens, rebound, and can actually catch, hold the ball, and put it in.

A Few soft passes from Wade this game

You know they have to think way too much when they’re running the pick and roll with Anthony, you can see them hesitate, and I would too.

An abominable no-call on Wade and you know he’s pissed.

Was Haslem not our starting 4 when we won a ring for cryin out loud! It’s not funny with J.A. anymore

Is that not pissing off Lebron, he wouldn’t rather have UD or Ronny out there?

Manly play from Wade with the crucial offensive rebound and putback

The Pacers are raging, Granger gets in Lebron’s face and he’s yapping. The non-basketball play is embarrassing. Can’t help but wonder if their coach didn’t get them off-track with his comments.

Manly one hand rebound from Lebron.

An impressive seven fouls from Granger after getting his fifth taken away, then proceeding to earn it back and another

Then the end.
After listening to the radio, it’s clear some in Heat nation are in panic. They talk about the late misses from Wade, the Lebron the free throws. I’m thinking about how tiring it must be for them thinking out there if the guy they’re running the pick and roll with can catch the dang ball. Spoelstra didn’t make adjustments amidst the adversity in the second half.
Heat in Five.

Game 2 Pre-Notes

Waiting for a Udonis re-stepping out game, like when he was great for us in the 06 finals, with that legendary defense on Dirk. I know he has it in him.

Ignoring Pacers whining about foul shots. The disparity, which was not that great of one, is because Lebron and Wade attack basket so well. This is more akin to Netherlands v Spain in the World Cup when the Netherlands were fouling Spain like crazy because they knew they couldnt win otherwise against a superior team

Agh Bosh

Let’s see what the starting lineup will be here

Well, I would have thought to inject Miller into starting lineup, but Lebron said he’s not going to play at the 4 so, the most likely solution is to replace Bosh in starting lineup with Turiaf. Joel Anthony was great off the bench other day, and besides not having Lebron to play the 4, I don’t think Spo wants to change bringing Miller and Battier off bench. I don’t see Pittman starting, though he could certainly play, so that leaves us with Turiaf as the starter. Which is not much of a doomsday scenario as far as I’m concerned, I think he’ll be great for us.  We’ll see what happens. I could see Haslem possibly returning to bench with a Bosh return, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves…Game on

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