Friday, June 15, 2012

NBA Finals Game 2. The Heat Rises

First of all God forgive me but this has been quite a ballsy playoff run for the Miami Heat.

Against Indiana down 2-1 and playing with out their 3rd best player they were getting eaten up and faced a large deficit in Indiana in a game that would have left them with a 3-1 deficit and a huge uphill climb to the Eastern Conference finals. Miami was left for dead. The old not 1...not 2...not 3...not 4 jokes had arisen from the ashes again. Miami not only came back and won game 4 to even the series they came to win the next two decisively and finish the Pacers 4 games to 2.

Against Boston they had lost 3 in a row and faced a 3-2 deficit and had to face Boston on the road to stave off elimination. Many in the media who had picked Miami to win the series in a decisive rout now change their tunes and decried Miami's lack of championship mettle. Again Miami arose from the dead. For maybe the first time in his career LeBron James was the all time, all-star in a clutch situation that he has long been sold to be. LeBron has often been good and sometimes great but he has rarely if ever had that MJ like true legend game. He did here. Quite simply he couldn't miss and he helped carry his team to a decisive game 6 victory at Boston. Game 7 in Miami had the look of a Boston victory until the final 8 minutes when LeBron along with Chris F'n Bosh carried the team over the hump and brought them home to the NBA finals.

So when Miami blew a lead in game 1 and fell apart down the stretch to fall behind 1-0 to the Oklahoma City Thunder perhaps It should come as no surprise that again many were quick to bury the Heat. It should also come as no surprise that the many were wrong. Miami won the all important game 2 100-96 tonight in Oklahoma City. Quite simply, though this was but the 2nd game of a series that could go 7. This was a must win game for Miami. Lose tonight and Now you have to win the next 3 games in Miami. A Herculean task at best. Now Miami can win the series in 5 though I would be shocked if they won the next three games even in Miami. However Miami has shocked us before though haven't they? What I believe is more likely to happen is Miami wins 2 of the 3 and sends the series back to Oklahoma City up 3-2. Then Oklahoma City will get game 6 and set up a fantastic winner take all game 7.

ABOUT THE OFFICIATING. First of all tonight's lead official Danny Crawford is terrible. He's one of those clowns who believes we are watching to watch him. He and his over-officious crew were blowing their whistles early and often and as a result The 3 officials got lots of TV time and most of the stars on both teams were in foul trouble sitting on the bench early in the contest. Another byproduct of this awful over-officating was that in the 4th quarter when they suddenly swallowed their whistles it looked...well silly. Players flopping, diving and just getting breathed on for 3 quarters and getting rewarded were now getting fouled legitimately but there were no calls. With the score 9896 and momentum teetering on the brink to Oklahoma City Thunder player Kevin Durant was clearly fouled Not once...not twice...OK Maybe just twice, by LeBron James and the same refs who called anything and everything for 3 quarters sat there and called nothing after Durant was obviously fouled. Game over drive home safely everybody.

After the game many people said the game was fixed and bemoaned a "fix" in favor of Miami. In My honest view the last no call aside the officiating was lousy tonight BUT it was lousy for both teams. It was lousy because there was too much of it. It was lousy because it was inconsistent. It was not lousy IMHO because they were fixing the game for the Heat.

So if you are the Thunder or a Thunder fan what can you do to get even? First of all stop falling behind by large margins early in the game. This was the third straight game the Thunder fell behind by at least 13 and had to fight from behind. It's hard to complain to hard about calls when you don't decide to start playing until the score is 18-2 against you. Faster starts are an absolute must for the Thunder from here on out if they want any chance at all to win this series. They can;t keep falling behind by large margins and relying on huge comebacks.

This game reminded me of the 2nd game of the Boston-Philadelphia series. Boston fiddle farted around for 3 quarters put on an embarrassing display of Basketball. In the 4th quarter they got series and made a huge run to get back in the game. Now with the lead down to 2 and the ball they had a chance to tie or win the contest. Kevin Garnett was called for a Godawful moving screen. The call was atrocious yet so was Boston's play for 3 quarters and that is what allowed a bad call by the Refs to ultimately play such a large roll  in the game. Same thing could be said for Oklahoma City tonight. Don't fall behind 18-2 play 4 quarters instead of 1 and half and odds are that officials mistake doesn't matter a lick.

So the series is 1-1 after 2 games. It could be, should be a long fun series. After tonight Jonathan Holmes, you know the guy who can actually write, will be taking over the duties of writing about this series if he so chooses.  By the time I am back to where I have net access the series will have ended. Of course for lovers of good quality writing this is as good as Danny Crawford officiating is bad.

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