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NBA PLAYOFFS Game #5: Miami Heat (1-3) vs. Boston Celtics (3-1)

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Dwyane Wade says everything will be O-K
Dwyane Wade says everything will be O-K

Dwyane Wade and the rest of his Heat teammates hope that this trip to Boston isn't the last one, but they have a lot of work to do if they want that wish to become a reality.  I'm certain that we'll get another amazing effort from Dwyane Wade, but his supporting cast is going to have to step up again if Miami is going to have another home game. 

Last game, it was Quentin Richardson and Michael Beasley who provided just enough support...but really, it wasn't enough.  The only reason it passes as suitable effort is because of how D-Wade carried the team to victory.  Had Dwyane not turned into a scoring machine, the lack of support would have been much more magnified. 

But now the Heat players not named Wade have a second chance to show they can in fact provide Wade the support needed for an NBA ‘team' to win in the playoffs.  If Jermaine O'Neal can somehow find his touch again, that would be huge.  He has been getting his usual looks but just cant hit the shots.  If they can start falling for J-O, things would suddenly look very good for the Heat.

I'm sure the Heat realize that they are going to have to play a more sound game if they want to beat the Celtics up in their barn.  I sincerely doubt that Boston will be turning the ball over the way they did in Game 4, and I think they will come out with a little more focus as well.  One thing I'm curious about is how they will handle Dwyane Wade. 

Doc Rivers had been saying that he wanted to shut down everyone around D-Wade because Wade was going to get his, one way or another.  But after his explosion in Game 4, one has to wonder how many double and triple teams will find their way around Wade.  That's the only thing the Celtics probably aren't confident about.  They know they can score, and they play some amazing defense...but stopping Dwyane Wade is a major issue for the C's.  Doc Rivers sums it up pretty well:

"He's dominating the series right now.  We have to do a better job on him, if we can."

GAME NOTES

  • Miami has lost 7 straight games in Boston.  The last time they won up there was in April of 2007. 
  • The Heat's 28 points off of 16 Boston turnovers in Game 4 were a franchise playoff record. 
  • D-Wade has scored 25 or more points in 7 straight playoff games.  That's the longest active streak in the NBA.
  • Miami has shot over 50% in their last two games. 
  • Quentin Richardson has an MRI on his bruised right hand that showed no damage.  He is officially listed as probable for Game 5, but you can bet that he'll be in the starting lineup. 
  • Both teams struggled from the foul line in Game 4, as the Heat made 60% of their free throws and Boston hit 59.3%. 

Once again the Heat have their backs against the wall.  We'll see if they can play with the same effort and intensity on the road as they did at home with 18,000 fans behind them.  Tipoff from the TD Garden will be at 7 and for those of you outside of Miami, the game will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV.    Lets go Heat!!