Sunday, June 10, 2012

Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 Wrap

The Miami Heat are headed to the NBA Finals. Game 7 went blow-for-blow for about 44 minutes, and in the end Lebron James and company were just too much.

Lebron led the way with 31 points and 12 rebounds, while attacking the rim at will, and defending at an all-NBA level like he always does. That said, this game was won on the periphery in my opinion. Chris Bosh hit 8 of 10 from the field including a career-high (regular season included) three triples to finish with 19 points and 8 boards in 30 minutes, and Shane Battier connected on 4 huge threes of his own to pace Miami.

On Boston's end, all five starters went for 14+ points, but outside of Rondo's 22-point, 14-assist, 10-rebound triple-double, I didn't think any of the other "big 4" had a particularly outstanding output. Brandon Bass sparked the Celtics in a big way in the 1st half, but cooled late after expending a ton of energy guarding Lebron (for some reason), and finished with 16 points. The real key was Boston's inability to score in the 2nd half, when they finished with just 35 second-half points, and jumper-after-jumper clanged off the rim in the final minutes as Miami pulled away.

One thing I have to address was the play of Dwyane Wade. I'm very anxious to see how the national media handles his play because his box score looks like he played well. 23 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists on 8-17 FG shooting is a pretty average Wade line, but I actually thought he was pretty bad for the majority of his 44 minutes. His transition defense was absolutely putrid for the entirety of the night, and Wade's offensive game was forced and choppy. I thought it was a miscalculation to run the offense through Wade for most of the night, and the only reason it didn't bite them was the brilliance of Lebron James in a "secondary" role.

I have a million more thoughts on this game (and you can read them on my twitter feed @BTRowland), but I'll cut it off here and look forward to the finals. It's too early for a pick, but the NBA gets their dream matchup with the 2 biggest young stars in the game squaring off. If the Finals can equal the drama of the conference finals, we're all in for a treat. See you in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.

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