By Jeremy Marks-Peltz
1. Usually, one player can only carry you so far in a playoff game. LeBron James did EVERYTHING through 46 minutes for the Heat: Dunk, knock down jumpers, pass, block shots, defend positions 1-5. It would have been nice if a couple of LeBron’s teammates not named Chris Andersen picked up the slack.
2. So, what I’m saying is, yes I’m giving LeBron a pass for the two turnovers on the final two meaningful possessions. LBJ is still more of a closer than a choker.
3. I’m not a big role players decide series guy, but I can’t see the Heat winning this series if the shooters (Ray Allen, Shane Battier, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole) continue to be frigid from three. Miami needs more from Wade and Bosh, too (31 combined points). More than just spurs and long jumpers.
4. I may be crazy, but the Roy Hibbert sitting controversy may end up being the best thing that ever happened to him. Hibbert was unreal (29 points, 10 rebounds) tonight, and exploited the Heat’s size mismatch. Some of that had to have been motivated by the chip on his shoulder, no?
5. Paul George’s dunk was nasty. Like almost LeBron on Terry nasty.
6. The most annoying thing about Miami crowds. They can get as loud as anyone when things go well. The second a rally ends or something goes wrong? Quiet as a pin drop. Miami crowds are the best at making a home court advantage evaporate. That’s coming from a Miami fan.
17: Number of missed Heat free throws in the first two games.
7: Miami’s biggest lead in this series. Tonight, the biggest lead was four points.
22-1: The Heat’s road record over their last 23 games. Good stat to silence the panic meter with.
From Brian “McLovin” Rowitz (@BRowitz): “I want to be on the same page as everybody. Vogel great coach. LeBron is choker. Pacers better than Heat, refs love Heat. I get it all?” Yep!
By: Ken LaVicka
MIAMI - The Miami Heat outlasted the Indiana Pacers 103-102 in overtime to open the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night. LeBron James hit the game-winning lay-up with no time on the clock to give the Heat a 1-0 series advantage. After the game, ESPN 106.3 was in both the Heat and Pacers' locker rooms at the American Airlines Arena for postgame reaction. Click the names below to hear what they had to say.
By Jeremy Marks-Peltz
Will the Miami Heat be trying to control the Pace? Or will the Heat have to get over their various Knicks?
That is unclear until at least Saturday. But we do know the Heat's Eastern Conference Finals schedule, regardless of the opponent. Below is the ECF schedule, as set forth by the NBA. A reminder, catch every game on ESPN 106.3 FM/760 AM.
Note: Times are listed by when ESPN 106.3 coverage starts. All games have an 8:30 PM start time.
Game 1: Wednesday May 22 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 2: Friday May 24 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 3: Sunday May 26 @ Indiana or NY 8:00 PM
Game 4: Tuesday May 28 @ Indiana or NY 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 5: Thursday May 30 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
Game 6: Saturday June 1 @ Indiana or NY 8:00 PM
Game 7: Monday June 3 @ Miami 7:30 PM (30 Minutes of Heat)
MIAMI - In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Miami Heat take care of business at home in an up-and-down game. They top the Bulls 94-91 to win the East Semifinals 4-1. Despite jumping out to a 22-4 start, Miami ended up trailing by as much as 11 in the third quarter before closing out with a 25-14 fourth quarter. On a night that he nearly sat out with a sore knee, Dwyane Wade gave the Heat the surge they needed, scoring 6 points, grabbing 3 rebounds and swatting a key shot in the final 5:38, finishing with 18 points and 6 assists. MVP LeBron James flirted with a triple double, scoring 23, dishing 8 assists and pulling down 7 boards. After the game, ESPN 106.3 FM was in the Heat locker room. Click the names below to hear what they had to say:
Things were looking good for the Bulls, who won the rebound and turnover differentials, until the end. Carlos Boozer led all players in points and rebounds with 26 and 14, respectively. Nate Robinson, fresh off of an 0-for-12 shooting performance, scored 21 behind 4 three-pointers. Wingman Jimmy Butler added 19 points and for the second time this series, and the fourth time in seven games, played all 48 minutes for the Bulls. Chicago was (as they have been all series) without forward Luol Deng as well as guards Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich. ESPN 106.3 FM was with the Chicago Bulls during postgame as well:
By Jeremy Marks-Peltz
1. Like I said all along, Dwyane Wade should give it a go. Or maybe, I was one of the thousands of the uninformed calling for Wade to rest, questioning his health. Maybe, once we will learn to stop questioning D-Wade. He burns us every single time. Tonight, WOW was the best player in a Heat uniform, going 3-3 with three rebounds in the final period. And vaulted the Heat into their third straight East finals.
2. But not before the Bulls gave the Heat 12 rounds, and then some on the canvas. Carlos Boozer (26 points, 14 rebounds) finally looked like an 80-million dollar man. Jimmy Butler is on his way to being a superstar. Good Nate Robinson showed up.
3. The Bulls controlled the second and third quarters so much that I thought the Heat coming back from an 11-point deficit was tougher than the Bulls recovering from 22-4 in the first quarter.
4. But there was the Heat, digging deep on defense, taking away the paint late. And it helped when the shooters (I’m looking at you Shane Battier) were making shots. It helped overcome a C+ night from LeBron James (5-14 from the field, not sharp all game).
5. The unsung hero of the series is Chris Bosh, for all the non-Bosh things he did this series. Such as average nearly nine rebounds, and over two blocks per game, plus outplay Joakim Noah.
6. I’m in the minority, but I’d prefer the Pacers over the Knicks. Indiana is the more physical, bruising team, but the Knicks could pull the shocker if Carmelo Anthony has the series of his life. I don’t think that will be on the table though.
5: Consecutive close-out game wins for the Heat (last loss came in the first round of 2012 vs. the Knicks)
2: Udonis Haslem’s rebounding total. It will need to be way higher against David West/Roy Hibbert. Haslem couldn’t buy a rebound tonight.
0: The number of minutes by Derrick Rose this series. Just felt like mentioning this once more.
From Greg (@gregi1063): “I guess we can both say that we are glad Wade played.” Yep!