Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“Patience,’’ Rondo said, trying to explain it. “Knowing what’s about to happen. Seeing the play before it happens. It’s not easy. That’s the kind of chemistry [we have]. I know where Ray’s going to be, I know where he wants the ball. I can almost throw some blind passes once in a while.’’
“He had so many big plays with his passing,’’ said coach Doc Rivers. “The handoffs. He’s faking and throwing balls. He does things that you just don’t see with the ball. His vision is amazing.’’
It’s all instinctive.
“It’s a quick trigger when I find guys, but I pretty much know where Ray’s going to be, I know where Kevin’s going to shoot his shots. I know when [Pierce is] going to shoot. It’s just the luxury of playing with the guys so long,’’ said Rondo. “That’s why I’m glad everyone came back this year.
"I think it's a reality now," said [LeBron] James. "Right now, we are talented enough to play against these teams, but the chemistry right now isn't up to the level of some of the better teams. That's why it's kind of difficult for us to stay on point throughout the whole game."
It doesn't all come down to chemistry… but it really plays a big role.
I said last night on Twitter that Rondo looked like Tom Brady bouncing around in the pocket just waiting…waiting… and then checking down to a running back for a big gain. If he knows where everyone is going to be, then he can just wait… throw a fake or two… and then find the guy he wants when he gets open.
Meanwhile, LeBron only seems to know that when the excrement hits the spinning blades, he needs to put his shoulder down and bull his way to the hoop. (seriously… how is THIS not an offensive foul every time?) People have joked that in both games against the Celtics, LeBron has turned the Heat into the Cavaliers… and they're right.
Will time turn that around? Probably. Of course, the Celtics also have the advantage of Rajon Rondo running the show as opposed to Carlos Arroyo. Arroyo is a bit of a problem for them so they're going to be pulling the whole point-forward routine all year. But regardless, time together will help their situation. As for the whole weak point guard/front line issues…. Miami's on their own there.
All I know is the C's can be a half step quicker than Miami because they know what their teammates are going to do all the time… and often even when plays break down. Last night, the C's executed some gorgeous plays where the ball was whipped around the court in a blur leaving guys WIDE open for perfect shots. It was a clinic at times. And that's what chemistry can do for you.
On Page 2: Woj eviscerates LeBron again
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
With two horrific losses within three days at American Airlines Arena, the Heat are mortified to find themselves fighting to stay above .500, and Spoelstra is getting to know his superstar,LeBron James. Chris Bosh came and went, Dwyane Wade stood in the corners and watched. Most of all, James found himself in postseason shape, closing a loss to the Boston Celtics with a missed layup, two missed free throws and a corner 3-pointer off the side of the backboard.
The world’s bearing down, times are tumultuous, and James is the one Heat star in playoff form.
“For myself, 44 minutes is too much,” James declared. “I think Coach Spo knows that. Forty minutes for D-Wade is too much. We have to have as much energy as we can to finish games out.”
There you go, Coach Spo.
Get to know him well.
Two days earlier, James had done nothing in overtime and ultimately decided the difference was a Hall of Fame coach, Jerry Sloan, who knew exactly what the Heat were going to do. James never takes responsibility, never says, “I’m the MVP and I need to do more.” He didn’t do it in Cleveland, and he’s never going to do it in Miami. Now, 44 minutes in a grudge game with the Celtics is too much. Always an out, always an excuse.
Here's what seems to be happening with the Heat:
Their best leader is Dwyane Wade. Their best player is LeBron James. So when the Heat need someone to lead them in the tought times… they're in a bit of a quandry: Do you give the ball to your best player and watch your leader stand off to the side? Or do you give the ball to your leader and have your best player stand in the corner?
They haven't learned how to be unselfish yet. They're being unselfish bad spots. They're being greedy for too long.
And in the end, you can't change who these guys are at this point. Bosh is going to be soft. LeBron is going to blame everyone but himself. And if you can take Wade out of it… then you're going to be in a good place.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Morning snapshot: Day at the beach | First impressions | WEEI: Ainge on Big Show: Health of O'Neals "a concern" | Fast break: C's beat Heat | Celtics make a statement | Herald: Celtics have a ball in Miami | Ray Allen right on course | Banged up crew works interior | O'Neal's timing Jermaine to this decision | Globe: Allen, C's beat Heat | Some bumps in the road for Miami's big 3 | Not easy being Green | CSNNE: Pierce tweaks LeBron on Twitter | They're cool on the Heat | Heinsohn: I'm so tired of watching LeBron