wft lebron 1
Okay, does LeBron look more like a 'tard...

wtf lebron 2
...or an Orc from The Lord of the Rings?

The Boston Celtics: It didn't really happen during the regular season. Not consistently. But it's happening now. Right before our eyes. I'm talking about the fulfillment of Pat Riley's vision. And by "Pat Riley's vision" I'm actually talking about Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James getting together and deciding to join forces on one superteam.

Now that it's playoff time, there's no holding back, no "For me, 44 minutes is too much, I think coach Spo knows that." In fact, LeBron played 44 minutes last night. D-Wade and the Boshtrich both logged around 40. Those three combined for 80 of their team's 102 points. As a three-man unit, they attempted 55 of cHeat's 75 shot attempts and 32 of their 36 free throw attempts. The Nazgul were +10 in FTA versus all 10 Celtics who saw PT.

I was listening to ESPN's Mike and Mike this morning. Their contention was that James and Wade beat the Celtics with jumpers. And, yeah, LeBron went 2-for-4 from downtown. But he went 2-for-7 from 16-23 feet and D-Wade was 0-for-5 from that zone (and 1-for-3 on triples). By contrast, they were 10-for-13 at the rim and 16-for-21 from the free throw line.

According to ESPN Stats and Information: "Dwyane Wade and LeBron James scored 48 of their 63 points (76.2 percent) at either the foul line or inside of 15 feet of the basket on Tuesday. For the series, the two All-Stars have combined for 83 points from these locations."

The free throw line. That's where the cHeat are winning this series. Miami won Games 1 and 2 by a combined 20 points. In those two games, the Floridians have a 68-40 advantage in attempted freebies. That's not to say that the officials are handing this series to the cHeat. I'm not trying to draw that conclusion. I am saying that Boston is struggling to keep King Crab and Pookie out of the paint and off the charity stripe. The Celtics are lacking in both interior defense and toughness right now. This, more than any other time, is when they're missing Kendrick Perkins.

But, really, I'm not sure Perk could have turned the tide. This is what Riley and cHeat fans banking on: Two of the NBA's top five players being virtually unstoppable at the same time. Before this season, the Celtics never totally shut down either of them, only slowed them down. Dealing with both simultaneously is proving impossible. Again, maybe if they had a second indomitable big man closing down the painted rectangle...but they don't.

Said Wade: "I believe in my ability, but it's very hard to win [alone]. Having another guy, with Chris [Bosh] as well, that takes over games is a burden off of you. We can come at them as a team."

Added LeBron: "In the past, I knew that if I didn't bring my A-game, there is a pretty good chance we weren't going to win. Having guys on the court that can take over the game, that takes a load off of you. That is the vision I had during the free-agent period when I decided to come."

What can the Celtics do?

Yes, the forearm in KG's chest helps.

Said Glen Davis: "Their stars are being stars. Wade and James are willing their way to the win."

Added Boston's head cheese Doc Rivers: "Nothing we can do about it. We've got a third game and we've got to take care of that. Whatever the past is, it is. They've won two games at home. But we can't allow them to play like this, or it's going to be tough at our place."

Ray Allen, quote machine: "Being down 2-0 doesn't scare any of us, doesn't make us nervous. It's just an opportunity to come out shining."

The Memphis Grizzlies: You know what? I kind of want to give the Grizzlies a "Best of the Night" even though they lost Game 2 of their series 111-102. I also want to give a lot of credit to Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol even though they combined for a miserable 5-for-22 shooting night.

Here's why: The Thunder got a lot of latitude from the officials in this game. That may sound strange considering the fact that Memphis had a slight edge in free throw attempts (34-33). And, yeah, Oklahoma City was sizzling at the rim (17-for-23) and from beyond the arc (8-for-14). Plus, the Thunder shut down the paint, limiting Memphis to 42.4 percent shooting at the rim (11-for-26). Oh, right, and James Harden (21 points, 5-for-9, 11-for-11)? Where did that come from?

Here's what I was meant by the "latitude" comment. The Thunder did everything they could do to knock the hell out of Gasol and Randolph. They grabbed and shoved. At one point, Z-Bo had his arms locked by two OKC players. Zach's response? After he got free, he nodded and patted them on the ass. At another point, for no reason whatsoever, Perkins dipped his shoulder and ran full force into a stationary Gasol. Marc's response? A "Fucking really?" eye roll and nothing more.

That kind of stuff went on all night, which is a big reason why Randolph went 0-for-5 at the rim. Hell, Gasol pulled a page out of his big brother's book and didn't even attempt a shot at the rim. The paint became a butcher's shop. And make no mistake: That benefitted the Thunder. For further proof, Memphis finished with a playoff-low 34 points in the paint.

Amazingly, despite the exceedingly rough play, the Grizzlies never lost their composure. Never backed down, either, fighting to the very end.

Said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins: "It was a classic desperate team, more aggressive team. I say the desperate team usually wins, and they were the desperate team in their play, which was a sense of urgency and aggressiveness. They came out and attacked."

Attacked. That's the right word...because many of OKC's defensive plays looked like muggings. I wouldn't be surprised if Randolph got back to his hotel room and found his wallet missing.

Said Gasol: "It's going to be a physical series and it's going to be long. We didn't think it would be easy."

Added Hollins: "We just didn't have enough fight in us."

They also had too many buttery fingers. The Griz gave up 20 points off 16 turnovers. Those miscues got the Thunder out and running...they would finish with 17 fast break points.

Said Hollins: "You can't turn the ball over and play good defense at the same time. It just doesn't work that way."

No, it doesn't, Lionel.

Chris' Playoff Lacktion Report: Nenad Krstic klutzed one shot attempt in 11:19 for a +1 while Von Wafer produced a gold bar worth 2 trillion (122 seconds).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
oh gawd the world's gonna end when the Tri-evil, legion of doom, undertaker and kane and the paul bearer (you can guess who this is)win a championship. OH NO!!

Anonymous kono said...
I didn't watch the game, so can someone tell me, what the heck is going on in this picture?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think you meant to say Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and *LeBron James* getting together to create a superteam.

Blogger winnetou said...

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
I didn't watch the game, so can someone tell me, what the heck is going on in this picture?

LeBron v. Rondo in the open court. Rondo got in front of LeBron and flopped to draw a charge. As Rondo flopped, LeBron spun around him and dunked it.

I can only assume that Rondo is wallowing in shame on the ground and/or taking a moment to ponder the question, "Goddamn why are all of my teammates so fucking OLD?"

Blogger stephanie g said...
It's about time Z-beast and the Grizz transformed back into a pumpkin. Underdogs winning are NOT ALLOWED in the NBA.

I can't look at Westbrook's face without seeing the feels good man frog.

kono: Rondo tried to take a charge on a fast break. LeBron hit his shoulder and he went head over heels while LeBron laid it in. Was pretty funny.

Wade didn't even do a cross over. Ray Ray just tripped over his own two feet. And what was up with Rondo and Pierce and the huddle? Is Rondo metastasizing? He did play pretty well though. Maybe he's mad he has to carry 3 HoF bums.

I personally don't care who wins the title this year, just as long as it's not LA. God, please not LA. Anything but that. It would be pretty funny if it's a Mavs-Miami grudge rematch, Mavs go up 2-0, and then Wade averages 40 ppg with a new ref controversy. Ah, it'd be so beautiful.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous JM said...
I'm glad someone else saw the mugging that was the game in OKC last night. It struck me that Scott Brooks took a page from Jerry Sloan and Coach K in how to use a ferocious home crowd: foul every time and hope the refs only call half of them. If the refs aren't really strong-willed, it works. I actually thought Memphis should have put their subs in and taken their fouling up a notch, just to force the issue to a crisis.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Let's see...

If the Lakers can't three-peat,
If the Mavs gonna Mav,
If the Grizzlies and Hawks are too plucky,
If the Celtics are too injured,
If the Bulls are too overrated,
and the Heat can't start winning championships the season after their 2010 summer for the sake that hope of good still exists in the universe,

that leaves...

The 2011 NBA Champion Oklahoma City Thunder!!!1!1one.

Anonymous Stockton said...
Favorite finals?


Anonymous kazam92 said...
FYI, Bill Simmons is getting really butthurt on twitter right now. Good stuff.

Blogger Wormboy said...
You might not say it Matt, but I will: of course the Heat will win a championship if nobody is allowed to sneeze on Dweeane without sending him to the line. If the Celtics are allowed to play their physical D, the kind that won them a ring ('08) and a near-ring ('10) and that won Detroit a ring ('04), it will be an utterly different series. Meanwhile, exactly that kind of play was going down in the City-that-shall-not-be-named, where there was a Grizz-Zombie Battle Royale. Can the NBA officiate games even close to evenly? Apparently not.

Oh, and 1) there is no foul on a 50-50 ball. Impossible. Ray Allen should not have been whistled for almost breaking his body on LeBron's physique. 2) LeBron DID knock down Rondo, who was planted. Sweet spin move, but he still violated Rondo's established space. Perhaps balanced by Rondo's transparent dive at the end of the half, but even that wasn't awarded an "in the act" three shots, though what the hell else could it have been at the end of the period?

Conclusion: the officiating sucked. Though as all season, it sucked in the favor of the effete, no-contact Heat. "The Effete Heat." I like that!

Anonymous Tree said...
Thought I'd add this, from NESN: the Boshstritch is suing the mother of his daughter for appearing on Basketball Wives without his permission (essentially, since she's his ex, and the show is premised on women who had relationships with NBA players, she is also representing his image and therefore needs his permission). After watching Bosh for years, I am amazed that I was unable to detect his amazingly high level of douchy-ness and narcissism.

Here's an actual excerpt from the claim giving the reason for the lawsuit:

"[His ex will be] providing personal information about [Bosh] that may be harmful to his public persona"

Reading between the lines, Bosh is not worried about her making things up, he's concerned about her being honest and making him look like a: pussy/faux tough guy/asshole/douche? Unless she slanders him (in which case, sue away), she's doing nothing illegal.

One important question arises from this lawsuit: how, exactly, would Bosh define his 'persona'? I imagine hours of laughter is his response ... I hope this makes it to court.

Blogger Ragib said...
Wormboy - Go cry some more. Of course you haven't even watched Heat basketball this season, you hate them so much. There's a good reason he gets to the foul line so often - he attacks the rim relentlessly. It's actually well established across the league that attacking the rim gets you high percentage buckets or trips to the free throw line. Do you watch enough basketball to know that?

39% of Wades field goal attempts this regular season have been "close" (not a jump shot). This compares to 31% for LeBron, 15% for Kobe and 13% for Durant. Of course, these aren't perfect stats because it doesn't account for the fact that some players get to the FT line every time they drive and miss (like Durant) but it is still a good indicator of how often a player is attacking the rim.

Also - Yea, LeBron and Rondo had contact, but do you even understand why the spin move was impressive? It wasn't just because it looked cool - it's because he AVOIDED getting called for a charge at the last second with it. For a charge, your body has to be in FRONT of the other player. LeBron barely hit Rondo's shoulder. Here, go fix your misunderstandings: .

Anonymous William said...
Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
"Wade then made another move, hitting the air brakes. Boston's Ray Allen couldn't stop. Allen fell to the ground, like a supplicant, watching Wade's three-point shot swish."

First, Dave Hyde, I don't know you, but go screw yourself. If hero-worship is actual worship for you, then I'm glad you found a newspaper that will pay you to masturbate on their pages.

Second, Wade's 'move' was to take four steps in a straight line without a dribble. This is not a difficult move to perfect, in fact, if you want to join your idol you could go out for a jog. It's that simple. I think maybe later I'll do some Wade-move-ing down the street to a coffee shop. Don't even need a basketball, because again, no dribble required.

Anonymous George said...
I'm truly bummed about how Doc Rivers ran this game. He clearly wanted Garnett and Rondo to carry the offensive load, while excluding Allen and Pierce. And it didn't work.
Allen has been the most efficient shooter of any player in these playoffs, but he only took 7 shots and most of those were at the end of broken plays. He wasn't even doing his usual job of running through screens looking to get open. And this seemed conspicuously on purpose. They wanted Rondo and Garnett to attack the paint. They weren't efficient.
Next game let's hope they get the ball in Ray's hands.

Anonymous A. said...
A lot of butthurt people in here. I guess everyone was expecting the Heat (cHeat? Really? That's lame) to get slaughtered after what happened during the regular season. At least there's a consistency to it. To your idiocy that is.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Jesus Christ you guys sound butthurt. And Dave Hyde is one of the more respected writers in South Florida. Hey, he's writing good about a guy he's been covering for years. What a terrible guy.

Anonymous Tree said...
@A.: I agree, there are a lot of 'butthurt people in here' ... they're the ones whining about people criticizing the Heat. What's truly lame are people that take it personally, as though someone criticizing a team who's 'fans' barely care about when they don't have a second AS somehow impacts them.

Perhaps you're new to the site, but it's called 'Basketbawful' for a reason ... this site has consistently criticized and mocked EVERY team in the league repeatedly, it's just the fans of certain teams that seem to get 'butthurt' about it...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Can we all agree that "butthurt" has jumped the shark, or nuked the fridge, or whatever the fuck we're supposed to say about shit that has passed expiration. Maybe it as "The Spurs"ed.

By the way, just saw this Z-Bo quote in a Simmons article. He said it after Game 1:

"All Perk can do is foul me. ... He's too slow. I don't think nobody in the league can stop me. Not only Perk. I tell Perk to his face. I already told him before."

Might explain all the physical play and Z-Bo's 2-for-13 night.

Anonymous Koggz said...

Agreed. There always seem to be legions of "die-hard" fans that come out of the woodwork to try to verbally smite those that criticize their teams. I mean, what do you guys expect? It's in the goddamn name of the site, there's no way you think that your respective team's asshattery will go unnoticed.

Though I have do have to give props to kazam, one of the few Heat fans that I've seen online that isn't annoying.

Blogger stephanie g said...
In Simmons podcast yesterday Windhorst pointed out that there's a weird locker room split because LeBron and Wade like to go clubbing together and Bosh prefers to go home early and is a nerdy bookworm who spends a lot of time on the computer and fancies himself as a wine aficionado. I wish I never heard that since now I kinda want to root for Bosh.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
Can we all agree that "butthurt" has jumped the shark, or nuked the fridge, or whatever the fuck we're supposed to say about shit that has passed expiration.

In honour of Bawful Hall of Famer The CAnswer with a nod to LeDouche, took his talents to Istanbul?

If the Celtics keep this up you're going to need a Spurs-type column about them too, Matt.

Mentioned during last night's telecast (probably paraphrasing the exact quote):

"Shaq practiced yesterday.. then needed to be transported from the court to the bus on a golf cart. Doc Rivers say he's 'very optimistic' about having him on the floor for game 3!"

Yeah, OK. Unless they were talking about the floor of a buffet in a wheelchair. In which case said buffer will need to reinforce the floor and equip staff with anti-gravity devices so they don't get sucked into the Big Fatty McFat Fat's orbit.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Okay, does LeBron look more like a 'tard..."

Tard? Seriously? Come on, man, you don't need to use that language here.

Love the site, but damn.

Anonymous William said...
Non-Heat fans (including me, a Celtics fan): "Superstars getting superstar calls makes this series unwatchable, even though the Heat were going to win the series anyway."

Heat fans: "Quit bitching, we like it this way. Why risk it in a fairly officiated series? Gawddamn, you guys sure can complain alot."

Dave Hyde: "Apotheosis of Dwayne Wade... COMPLETE!"

I don't get how it's whining to ask for a fairly officiated series. Maybe you could say I'm being hypocritical if you think I'm only pointing this out because the Celtics are so far on the losing end. If you did so you'd be wrong, because I'd rather have the Celtics win a fair competition than one slanted in their favor.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Second, Wade's 'move' was to take four steps in a straight line without a dribble."

Sorry, but that wasn't a travel.

The dribble isn't "over" until he picks the ball up.

...let the shit-storm begin.

Anonymous William said...
Four steps occurred after he gathered the ball. Not even counting from when it last comes off the floor (which wouldn't be right).

Anonymous Tree said...
@stephanie g: thanks for that - now I know why Bosh is so worried about his 'public persona' ... not that that persona is a bad thing, but it certainly doesn't help him gain credibility as a tough guy or dispel his current persona of 'marshmellowy soft'.

Blogger draftaraujo said...
Boston just looked old and slow, (mind you im routing for boston here)

I watched a good portion of the game last night, and it was just one of those games where you could watch for about 15 min and see how Wade and Lebron were playing and see that it was just over. I think the Celts biggest problem is there is no one in the paint for KG to direct traffic into. But i do think Davis had about 2-3 no calls in the short period i watched, but I can also say with confidence, I am faaaaaaar from a athlete and I can jump higher than that guy.

Seriously, I would love to see JO/Shaq/Davis have a vertical leap null star competition.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Stephanie, I listened to the podcast as well. Found that nugget on Bosh interesting.

Butthurt shall be retired. Should I try anally sore instead?

But does every celtic fan think this series is being officiated unfairly? It's plain ironic to me when I hear Celtic fans complain about officiating. Even Simmons, for all his whining and subsequent retraction never mentioned a foul disparity. To be fair, I did see Davis get a few no calls in the 4th. That I can't deny. The point is why go to HIM in crunch time to begin with. Overall, the Heat are attacking the rim more.

Anonymous Karc said...
Regardless of how successful the Heat are this season, the story of how they came together will rank in the top 5 reasons why there is going to be a lockout. I think people should have a small amount of bitterness towards them for that.

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
Regardless of how successful the Heat are this season, the story of how they came together will rank in the top 5 reasons why there is going to be a lockout. I think people should have a small amount of bitterness towards them for that.

You mean because they took less money than Joe Johnson? The lockout was happening anyway, that's one thing we can't blame on the unholy trinity.

Also, either somebody didn't like my best to worst Lakers playoff scenarios or I messed up posting it. Admins?

Anonymous Karc said...
@TransINSANO - I'm not saying they are THE reason, but Lebron James going out of his way to embarrass several owners with his summits and forcing other teams to pull the trigger on free agency was certainly not a good move. I think there were several owners nodding their heads in silent agreement (rational or otherwise) with Dan Gilbert's rant. The Heat are more of the extreme example of the problem of player contracts where a star player tells his small market team to take their money and shove it to form a super team in a big city. Joe Johnson, Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas are on the other end, where the teams overpaid out of fear of losing them (then lost them anyway).

I'm sure the Lakers, Celtics, Heat, and Knicks have no problem with this. Donald Sterling obviously doesn't give a shit. But there are 25 other teams in the league...

Anonymous Omedee said...
Hasn't anyone noticed that 80% of this site's posters are whiny Celtics fans? Of course they're going to be mad.

Blogger Ragib said...
I never realized until I came to this site that it was universally accepted that the officiating this entire series has clearly been in favor of the Heat. Why do people just look at FT disparity and not at playing style? Do you all realize LeBron and Wade are rim bashers, they go in strong to the rim much more than the Celtics have in this series. The only game that was even iffy was Game 1, and the league issued statements that they reconsidered some of the fouls. Game 2, the officiating was not anymore biased than the normal home court advantage. If you are actually complaining about that, you must complain about every game or you are biased against the Heat.

People continually cite the name of this blog as a reason to be irrational idiots. I thought this was where we made fun of players playing basketball horribly, not place irrational blame and hatred to players for things they DON't control, the officiating. EVEN IF the refs officiated the games horribly, how is it a display of the "team's asshattery" ? Do you think the Heat has a conspiracy going on directly with the ref's to make them give them calls?

Anonymous William said...
There's no question that the NBA permits, condones, and encourages superstar calls, and home cooking. That's not new, it's just more apparent in the playoffs where everything is magnified. The claim you'll hear about the regular season that 'everything evens out' doesn't apply to the postseason, where it's often uneven at the end of a series.

Also, can we retire the Heat's 'aggressiveness' as a defense? The Celtics have driven the lane in each first half in this series, and came up with no-calls on contact, so they go away from it to try their hand on jumpers. The Heat go into the lane and continue to go into the lane because they're being rewarded with touch fouls. It's easy to be aggressive if you know the worst case scenario is two shots from the line.

I can't even imagine the whining we'd hear from Heat, Bulls, Thunder and Lakers fans if they had to get by without superstar calls.

Boston's FTA during regular season:
Boston's opponents' FTA:

Heat opponents:

Bulls opponents:

Thunder opponents:

Lakers opponents:

Anonymous TransINSANO said...
In defense of the Lakers' opponents' FT numbers, for large swaths of the season the Lakers couldn't be bothered to foul guys going to the basket, electing instead to watch them score or "get back on offense."