NBA Eastern Conference Finals, Game 3, TNT.
Second quarter, eight and 1/2 minutes left.
Analyst Steve Kerr…”Miami just has more guys who can create something out of nothing.”
Even though last night’s intermission score was only 43-40 Miami, I felt comfortable speculating the Heat would hold the lead. I bet most did also.
It may have been good enough in the regular season to guard a certain way but finally…FINALLY…it appears someone other than Andrew Bynum (who went too far) has figured out guarding the paint is a really, really good idea in the NBA Playoffs when someone makes a living off of driving directly into it. I give Derrick Rose credit for continuing to challenge the interior of the Heat defense, while at the same time wondering why he and the Bulls haven’t developed a Plan B other than attacking the boards when their shots fail.
It was a weird evening in South Beach, starting with Rose telling reporters an hour before game time a quote attributed to him in “ESPN The Magazine” was one he did not recall….stating the NBA has a huge problem with performance enhancing drugs.
The timing on this discussion probably did not thrill the league, especially since CBS’s “60 Minutes” was simultaneously devoting oh…half their show…to Lance Armstrong’s cycling team using PED’s for years.
Shortly after tip-off, the Bulls’ Joakim Noah decided to state his at-that-moment position on gay rights to at least one fan after being seated with a second foul. Once again, bad NBA timing…especially since Kobe Bryant fired off a spontaneous, similar slur to at least one referee earlier in the Playoffs.
The weirdness continued early on with Rose, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade all carrying on a free fall diving competition of sorts as to whom could take out as many court side picture takers as possible. I have never understood in this day of advanced intelligence and spyware why these people need to be directly under the baskets. This drives my wife nuts also. Please Commissioner Stern, if not for the obvious well-being of the highly paid NBA superstars…if only for my wife and I…tear down those walls (of photographers).
In the second half, the Bulls somehow managed to hang around until less than seven minutes remaining…but a run of nine straight Heat points sealed the deal. Miami wound up with 53 second half points against the top defensive team in the league and if not for Carlos Boozer’s 26 points and 17 rebounds…Chicago might have gotten run out of the building. Noah played 29 minutes and scored…a point. Rose had 20…but once more shot poorly…8 of 19.
Chris Bosh. What can you say about Chris Bosh last night? Well…I can say 42 minutes, 13 of 18…8 of 10 from the line…34 points. I once more note I had buried him earlier in the Playoffs. I come to praise Bosh now, not to bury him. James with 22 points and 10 assists. Wade with 17 points and 9 boards. Heat win.
Miami has a much greater capacity to manufacture points…to make something out of nothing. If the Heat keep the pressure on Rose and deny Chicago second chances, how do they lose this series with the Bulls’ capacity to score so limited? The expression “cut off the head, the body dies” has never been more relevant.
I’ll bet one thing Rose recalls is how he carried Chicago this season. He and the Bulls need to increase their capacity to make something out of nothing come Game 4.