|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
The Celtics have had their success so far this season against the Miami Heat, but Sunday night was a whole different story. With Chicago clinching the No. 1 seed in the East, the Heat and Celtics are now battling for the second and third seeds heading into the playoff.
Miami definitely seemed to have more fire in this one as they blew out the Celtics 100-77. Lebron James led the Heat with 27 points while his counterpart Dwyane Wade had 14. Paul Pierce was the Celtics’ leading scorer with 24 points and Kevin Garnett also played well, finishing with 21 of his own.
The game started and finished with all the emotions and intensity that comes along with a playoff-like atmosphere and both teams knew how important a win was. With only a few games left in the season, Miami’s magic number is now down to only 2. The Celtics do not want to enter the playoffs as the No. 3 seed, but if they don’t finish out strong, it looks like they may. The game started out in Bostons favor, as they scored the game’s first eight points, but it didn’t last long. Boston went scoreless for over six minutes, and Miami took the lead and never looked back.
With about four minutes left in the second quarter Jermaine O’Neal fouled Lebron James pretty hard as he was going up for a layup. A lot of pushing and shoving followed, and it resulted in multiple players getting techinal fouls, and O’Neal getting a flagrant called.
Doc Rivers was quoted after the game in regards to this event saying, “I thought it was all theatrical, all the crap. I guess that’s called toughness these days. Two guys run into each other, we’ve got to call a flagrant foul, which I thought was a joke. And I thought the reactions by both were a joke.”
Garnett was also questioned about the game and he responded by stating:
“What else do you expect? It’s Boston-Miami, “Supposedly it’s two of, if not the top two, teams in the East. You have to expect that. You have to expect that coming in here you’re not going to get the call. You had to expect their passion — a team you have beaten three times.”
Miami pulled out just their third win in the last 21 meetings with the Celtics, but it was a huge one. With the potential of seeing eachother in the playoffs, Miami had to prove that they will be able to hang with Boston when it comes to a series of seven games. Boston’s last two games are Monday against the Wizards and Wednesday against the Knicks.