Thanks to a franchise-record 11 blocks and 32 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks from Heat small forward LeBron James, the Miami Heat would defeat the Boston Celtics, 93-79 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The three-time Most Valuable Player would show a deadly combination of aggressiveness, passing and a deft shooting touch on 13-of-22 shooting from the floor. In his last three games, James has averaged 32.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists.
Shooting guard Dwyane Wade would add 22 points, seven assists and three rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting. The duo of “The King” and “Flash” has the look of a deadly and lethal combination for opposing teams in the post-season.
Since being down 2-1 to the Indiana Pacers, James and Wade have combined to score 65.7 points, shoot 58 percent from the field, hit 36-of-52 free throws and grab 18.7 rebounds. James and Wade would combine for 54 points, shoot 60 percent from the field, hit 12-of-15 free throws and grab 16 rebounds in Monday night’s game.
The way that James and Wade are clicking, this Boston-Miami matchup has the makings of a short and brief five-game series.
Boston, who would manage to stay in the game thanks to the steady shooting of center Kevin Garnett and the quickness of point guard Rajon Rondo, who would both keep the Celtics close before Wade and James would help the Heat pull away late. Garnett would score 23 points, grab ten rebounds for the Celtics, Rondo would add 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
One area of concern was the lackluster performance of shooting guard Ray Allen, who would score six points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field. Allen, one of the NBA’s premier sharpshooters of all-time would only shoot 1-of-4 from three point range.
If Boston hopes to steal Game 2 in Miami, they must do a better job of keeping the Heat from running out on the fast break as Miami would outscore the Celtics 10-5 and keep them in half-court sets.
Miami would also out-rebound Boston, 48-33 in the paint—sans power forward-center Chris Bosh who is still out indefinitely with a an abdominal strain injury.
If this Game 1 trend of allowing James and Wade to roam around freely on the fast break, allowing easy lay-ups on back door cuts continues for Boston, then their time against Miami will be short and un-sweet.
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