Following a very eventful and intense Game 1, the Miami Heat will look to take a 2-0 series lead over the Boston Celtics tonight when they'll host Game 2 at the AAA. The major component to Miami's success throughout the first game was their relentless defensive effort, which came from just about everyone on the lineup. The most surprising defense came from Mike Bibby, who actually looked quite good as he hustled his ass off trying to keep up with Rajon Rondo.
Someone who has been providing great defense throughout the playoffs but hasn't gotten much attention for it is James Jones. He has always been known as a solid defender but nothing that reaches out and grabs you, especially considering that he is almost always judged based on his outside shooting. After starting the season on a nice hot streak, he cooled off quickly and at times was almost forgotten in the Heat's rotation.
Jones used a late season surge to get himself back into the fold, shooting the lights out and almost forcing his way into the playoff rotation. Over the last 8 games of the regular season, JJ shot 52.6% from the field and a ridiculous 64.2% from downtown, making 18 of his final 28 regular season 3-pointers. The way that he goes about his offensive game is something that I really admire. He isn't the kind of guy who just chucks the ball up whenever it comes his way. He is a shooter, don't get me wrong, but he is also one of the smartest guys on the floor and rarely makes a bad decision.
That earned him a consistent spot in the 1st round series against Philly, and Jones certainly showed why he eared his spot. Granted, his shooting wasn't as insane as in those final 8 games, he still hit 48.2% from the field and 42.1% from downtown while playing stellar defense and more then doubling his regular season rebounds per game stats. He continued to get his minutes in Miami's first game of Round 2, and we all know how that turned out.
Other then James Jones' five 3-pointers, the part of Game 1 that got the most attention, and rightly so, was the ‘chippiness' between the two teams which ultimately led to the ejection of Boston's Paul Pierce. NBA had a chance to review all the happenings and while no suspensions or fines were handed out, the league made a few changes to what the on-court officials called.
On the play where James Jones came down hard on Pierce, which led to the Celtics forward pushing his head into Jones' face, the game official called double technical fouls. The league rescinded Jones' T, instead handing him a flagrant-1, but the tech called on Pierce stood. The league also changed a much less memorable call, downgrading the flagrant foul called on Jermaine O'Neal early in the 3rd quarter to a plain ol' personal foul.
- Mike Miller played more minutes during Game 1 against Boston (8:22) then he did the entire series against Philadelphia (6:11)
- Dwyane Wade has 26 career playoff games that he has scored at least 30 points.
- Wade has now also scored 30 or more points in 4 consecutive playoff games against the Celtics.
- In their history, Boston is 1-7 when dropping the first two games of a playoff series.
- Miami is 30-8 in its last 38 home playoff games.
- In his last two games, James Jones has hit 8-of-13 from downtown in 27.5 minutes
- Game 1 was only the 6th time in franchise history that Miami had 3 different players score at least 20 points (D-Wade, LeBron, James Jones).
- Between the regular season and now the playoffs, Ray Allen has hit 25-of-36 from beyond the arc against Miami.
- Udonis Haslem (foot) is now listed as questionable.
- As for Boston, Shaquille O'Neal (calf) is also questionable.
Tipoff from the AAA is set for 7pm and the game will be nationally televised on TNT. If you want to go to the game but don't have tickets, don't forget about Peninsula Is Mightier's partnership with TiqIQ that not only helps you get tickets right here on PIM but they also search through several ticket selling websites and finds you the best deals out there. Click here to see what's available.
If you are attending the game, make sure you bring your singing voice. The Heat are not having any one person performing the national anthem, but instead will ask all who are in attendance to sing the Star Spangled Banner together.