- A shame that the Heat couldn’t have locked up the #2 seed right away with the victory but that’s what happens after giving away games to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks.
- Enough talk about the 0-3 start to the season series, let’s not forget how early in the season the first two games were and how different a team this Boston Celtics team was before the trade deadline.
- Kendrick Perkins wasn’t available the first two games of the series but he was the difference maker in a tight 85-82 victory in Boston with 15 points and six rebounds while anchoring the interior defense in tandem with Kevin Garnett. Together they were a fearsome duo. Now the Heat were facing the likes of Jermaine O’Neal and Nenad Krstic in the paint while Shaq appears to be frozen in carbonite back up north with the optimistic hope of saving him for the playoffs. Little wonder the Celtics could only secure three offensive rebounds on side of the floor and yield 44 points in the paint on the other end.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of this game (as the players on both teams did afterwards) should the Heat hold on to seal the home-court advantage against the Celtics in a potential second round matchup. The Heat wouldn’t have won a game seven in Boston. Come to think of it, if Jermaine O’Neal continues to log heavy minutes there likely won’t even be a game six.
- How huge was the bench’s contribution? It was the headline of a game that featured LeBron James filling up the box score with 27 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, 5 rebounds. Wade and Bosh combined for 27 points, which normally would have led to a loss given how little the bench has helped out this season. But having Joel Anthony and Mario Chalmers be productive on offense was the key to the game considering it was also their best defensive lineup. Leaving Joel Anthony wide open by the rim actually led to points this time around. Who would have thought that?
- Mike Miller was held out for the second half with a sprain on his left hand, his non-injured one, but traveled with the team to Atlanta anyway.
- Mike Bibby only connected on two triples out of seven attempts but no shot was bigger than when he extinguished any hope of a comeback after getting to within ten points late in the game.
- As for the Celtics bench and their overrated depth, the Heat fans should have cheered for Troy Murphy for not signing with the team even while completely forgetting that Carlos Arroyo was in the American Airlines Arena again after being cut in favor of Mike Bibby.