clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game Preview: Heat vs Celtics. Drawing inspiration from the Red Sox & Bobby Brown

If I was you, and you were me, you'd wanna be winning

If you want something bad, yo, you gotta wanna give your all

'Cause I believe so much in we and know we're not kidding

If you feel the same as me, yo, you gotta want to take the ball

Now I find out that nothing is given

Don't know where the cards may fall

All I know is that we've gotta get it

We've gotta make it on our own

Well I guess we're gonna have to take control

(all on our own)

If it's up to us, we've got to take it home

(all on our own)

- Bobby Brown, "On Our Own"

Sage advice from the immortal Bobby Brown and though he was referring to the Ghostbusters, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra would be wise to write these lyrics on the blackboard before today’s playoff elimination game with the Boston Celtics eager to return home and rest their creaky bones in anticipation of earning the right to be beaten by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round. The odds aren’t in the Heat’s favor, that much is obvious. No NBA team has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a seven-game series going 0 for 88 in those circumstances with the Celtics themselves 15-0 when leading 3-0 in a playoff series. But the city of Boston is well aware that coming back from such a deficit is possible.
"We were one loss away from going home for good. We couldn’t let it end that way at home in front of our fans like that" – David Ortiz, October 17, 2004
That was the night of Game 4 against the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Down 0-3 in the series and 3-4 in the final ninth inning, the Red Sox couldn’t be any closer to ending their season at the hands of their hated rivals with a dreadful sweep. The Yankees looked unstoppable and had scored 19 runs the night before in game 3. Thanks to a walk, a subsequent stolen base to second and then a single the Red Sox managed to tie the game and send it to extra innings. Five hours after the first pitch was thrown, the Red Sox lived to see another day with a game-winning home run by Ortiz in the 12th inning. For the Heat to have any chance to win this game and take the series back to Boston, they’re going to do more than just re-hash sports clichés. Jermaine O’Neal, the second highest paid player in the NBA after Kobe Bryant, just needs to play for pride (and a new contract) right now. With his shooting percentage at .161 from going 5 for 31 in the series, O’Neal has a chance to have the worst shooting percentage in the history of the NBA Playoffs if he continues at this pace for today’s game. Carlos Arroyo needs to provide the steady hand and leadership he has provided since Rafer Alston went AWOL. Michael Beasley doesn’t necessarily have to be the Michael Beasley from Kansas State a short couple of years ago (though it would help) but he needs to continue building from his noticeably improved play from game 3. And Wade has to find a way to be aggressive and get to the free throw line without running out of steam in the 4th quarter. Wade has started hot in the first quarter and third quarters, averaging 23.3 points thanks to a sizzling 70% FG shooting (50% in the 3-point FG percentage) in those quarters in the series. The problem is that the Celtics are wearing him down as his numbers drop off a cliff in the second and fourth quarters, with only 6.3 points averaged off of 36.4% FG shooting (11.1% in the 3-point FG percentage). Can the rest of the Heat provide enough support for Wade and live to see another day? It hasn’t happened yet so far this series but the answer will come soon enough. *Statistics courtesy of ESPN and the Elias Sports Bureau