Anatomy of a Loss

Facts is facts and the fact is that was a BAD loss last night to the Heat by the Boston Celtics.

The Heat showed up in Boston riddled with injuries and dressing only 9 players. And the guys they were without weren’t just scrubs. Winslow, Dragic and Whiteside – that’s the bulk of the Heat production right there.

The Celtics were coming off an emotional rollercoaster ride last second victory over the Pacers that frankly should not have come down to needing last minute heroics from Kyrie and Rozier. The game should have been an easy cruise control win.

But we are finding with this group of Celtics nothing is ever easy.

Boston started the game hot, Jaylen Brown grabbing 12 of his 16 points in the first frame. That’s a nice start for the J-Train but he basically disappeared for the rest of the game.

The third quarter is when the rest of the team decided to disappear. The third quarter is Second Unit time. And the Second Unit stink stank stunk. Goose eggs on the night from Semi, Rozier, Larkin and Theis. Yabu was 2-2 from 3 in an eight minute cameo and he was the only bench guy besides Marcus Smart to score. And if you are relying on Smart to shoot the team out of trouble, well you may get a night like last night when he goes 5-9 from three but that ain’t happening most nights.

So you start the Third up 8 and now you’re starting the Fourth down 3. And oh yeah Kelly O. is having the revenge game of his dreams. Good on Kelly for getting that contract from the Heat basically off one great playoff game. So he returns to Boston, gets a nice little tribute video and says “Hey I’ m back now watch me go 6-8 from 3 and drop a career high 32.”

Big Al was 2-10 and had a rough night with the refs, eventually fouling out. And really the C’s just had a tough time getting stops. Every time they started clawing back the Heat hit a dagger three. Eventually it takes Kyrie grabbing the Celtics Offense by the balls and they have a chance to win.

The final shot starts at the 2:15 mark. The Celtics get the clear out for Kyrie and he starts to shake his man but as he goes up Johnson slides in for the double team. Here’s a freeze frame with 1.8 sec as Kyrie goes up for the off balance shot:

Clearly there’s an open man in the corner. 1.8 seconds is plenty of time for a pass and shot. It’s a toss up. Kyrie passes and the shot is made – great play. The shot is missed – Why didn’t you shot it yourself Kyrie? A damned if you do damned if you don’t situation. And 9/10 times Kyrie hits it. Just the way the ball bounced.

All that being said, it was the terrible Third Quarter that put the Celtics in the position to need a late rally and Kyrie heroics again.

Can’t play that song too many more times. Need to change the tune.

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