Friday, April 22, 2011

Sixers-Heat Game Three: Steak For Chicken

In the TNT pre-game, Charles Barkley buries the Sixers and gives them no chance to win this game. Well, great. Glad I'm making time to watch this. And while the Chuckster routinely says silly things to get a rise out of people, he's right here; the Heat are a turrible matchup for Philly, in that they only really lose when you go slow and ugly with superior interior defense, and that's just not the Sixers. There's also much discussion of Doug Collins post-Game 2 comments, in which he scandalously acknowledged reality of how the Heat are a better team. But you never know, right?

And the 9-0 run to start the game says exactly that, with Andre Iguodala hitting a big 3, and fellow goats Spencer Hawes and Elton Brand making baskets. This, despite the fact that Jrue Holliday is the only place that they are better than Miami. (Um, have you seen Miami's coach or bench?) And after the early run, the bench helps to keep it, with Lou Williams doing something good for the first time in a month. 29-21 after the first, and while Miami clearly has another gear they haven't touched yet, I'll take any plus quarter.

In the second, Brand keeps it up and Chris Bosh struggles, but the whistles still go the Heat's way, the team leaves points on the free throw line, and killshot threeball opportunities miss. For a team that seems to be playing well, they leave points on the table. Iguodala's passing helps the team look less helpless in half court, but only just. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sounds disgusted at the start of things; that's kind of fun... and the Heat are turning it over more than they are used to. But man alive, Iggy just can't shoot worth a damn. So sad. It's like playing 4-on-5, and the missing guy is someone you can't take off the floor. When James connects with Wade on the full court score, it makes it 43-40 with 3:24 left, and most of the good work has been erased. Honestly? The Heat look bored... but Jodie Meeks answers with a three, forcing a Spoelstra timeout. Wildly important shot, that, but Wade continues with hotness, and despite being in cruise control, it's just a 2-point game at the half.

In the third quarter, the game gets tighter... and I'm going to confess something that I've never said, or done, in a game blog before. I had to turn it off. Why? Well, the Shooter Wife needed time, and discussion, and my marriage is more important than this game. Especially as it started to go south, with the Heat stars making the plays and the Sixers starting to squeeze the ball, it wasn't that hard to turn off. The game recaps tell me that James fought off an injury, and Wade fought off migraines, and the fact that the Big 3 combined for 75 of the Heat's 100 points means that, well, they won the way they usually won. And while there is small beer comfort in some of the useful minutes that Evan Turner played, or that Holiday hasn't shrunk in the limelight, the plain and simple fact is that this feel good year is going to end in four or five games because they just don't have enough talent, and all of the heart in the world can't overcome that.

It's sad. It's predictable. It's something you can turn off. So I did. And my only regret is that I picked the Heat in six, because there's no way this is going past five, especially with Boston and Chicago both unbeaten in their series. Miami's flaky, but competitive enough to want to keep pace.

And I don't really know if the Heat are that good, or the Sixers that limited, or if I missed anything of any real importance. There was a time when I wouldn't have had the conversation with the wife, and just stood my ground that game was game and life would happen after that. Not tonight, not at this age, not with this team, not against this other team. I don't know if that's wisdom or defeatism. But it felt a lot more like wisdom. I guess I'll watch Game 4 on Sunday, just to see if they end with honor. But if there were another game on at the same time, I'd be watching that. This series just isn't any fun.

So play us out, Moldy Peaches. Because this team sure as hell isn't steak.

1 comment:

Atlanta Roofing said...

Were starting to see how running the offense through Wade is going to make Miami almost unbeatable in the playoffs. Watch out Boston, Chicago, and LA.

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