Every morning, we'll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Celtics steamrolled by epic LeBron performance
You and I both know LeBron James gets a bad rap, which he has partly earned and which has also partly grown out of control. Last night, though, there was no hint of the negativity. There was no "what if" or "but he didn't do this" in LeBron's game.
LeBron James started hot, stayed hot, and finished hot while putting up 45 points and 15 rebounds in a HUGE Game 6 win on the road. The rest of the Miami Heat pitched in, I suppose, because they had to 97 somehow. But Dwyane Wade scored 17 and that was it for double figures as the non-LeBrons shot 18-50.
The Celtics, meanwhile, fell back into some old habits. It's not that they didn't want to win or didn't try. But the shots that were falling for them in Game 5 clanked off the rim in Game 6. There were no clutch Mickael Pietrus 3's. There was no Pierce step up in traffic and bury one in someone's eye. There was no KG turnaround rainbow to stem the tide of a Heat run so the C's could put one of their own together.
The Celtics had chances to put themselves into a "steal this game" position. At the end of the third, Mickael Pietrus and Paul Pierce missed some very make-able shots, which, had they made them, would have prevented a LeBron basket. It was a 7-point swing that put them down 13 (74-61) going into the 4th quarter instead of down 6 (72-66). From there, who knows what could have happened.
But we're heading into a Game 7 on Saturday. Which is where this thing probably belongs anyway.
2: ... and everyone watched it happen
Too bad the lockout killed interest in the NBA, huh?
Rondo gets fancy
Wade with the crazy reverse
LeBron takes flight for the huge follow dunk
4: Line of the Night: LeBron James: 45 points (19-26 shooting), 15 rebounds, 5 assists
There was something different about LeBron last night. And I don't mean that in a jokey "he actually showed up in a clutch game" way. I mean it in a "there was something visually different about his personality" way. He had a different tone to his speech. His shoulders hung differently. He was more subdued and less... well... LeBron.
I don't know what it was. I don't know if something snapped in his head and made him "all-business LeBron," but it was there, and it was noticeable.
I'm not going to speculate as to why he was acting differently. Only he knows that. But I've often said, often following jokes about his 4th quarter failures, that it's probably a good thing for the league that LeBron doesn't have Kobe's mentality. Last night was the perfect example of what I was talking about.
5: You can quote me on that
I think every single guy showed up, and he wanted to play as hard and the best he could. Sometimes it doesn't happen, even when you want it to happen. The good news is we get to do it again. So that's the good news. The bad news, we have to do it on the road. We're comfortable on the road. We've been comfortable. But we're going to have to play a hell of a game.
- Doc Rivers
I'm going to go out there and play my game and play as hard as I can. I don't really care what the stats say. I won't regret Game 7. Win, lose or draw, I'm going to go in with the mindset like I've had this whole season. And we'll see what happens.
"It was crazy. It was f---ing crazy."
-Kevin Garnett, on the crowd chanting "Let's Go Celtics" as a send-off during the 20 point blowout
|Like CC on Facebook||Follow CC on Twitter|