There are a lot of reasons the Miami Heat lost to the Boston Celtics Tuesday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, putting the team down 3-2 heading back to Boston for a potential series clincher. Dwyane Wade got going too late, our role players can’t live up to their roles, Chris Bosh’s torn tummy, Paul Pierce’s unlikely tre in Lebron James’ face, Eric Spoelstra’s questionable coaching, the Heat weren’t getting back on defense late in the game (even after scoring!), and my leading candidate: the Heat’s lack of identity, a debilitating weakness when the going gets playoff tough and a problem that the Celtics clearly don’t have.
It’s painful to watch, but this is the play the Heat players need to watch — over and over — to get riled up for Game 4 following their loss in Boston Friday night to let the Celtics back into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Disclaimer: I’m a huge Heat fan who is emotionally invested in this playoff run to an embarrassing degree. That said, with seemingly every sports writer/analyst in the world crying foul about an alleged no-call when Dwyane Wade, with 1:33 left in overtime of Wednesday night’s game, defended a layup attempt by Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, who had one of the best playoff performances in Celtics and perhaps even NBA playoff history, I seem to be the only one who thinks the refs made the right call, that is, by not making a call. Admittedly, from the baseline angle, it looks like Wade rakes his hand across Rondo’s face. But from the sideline angle it seems possible that not only did Wade not whack Rondo — he didn’t even touch him. Fast forward to 1:02 of this video: Does Wade pull his hand away at the last millisecond? Further food for thought: Isn’t falling to one’s knees and throwing up one’s hands a flopper’s calling card? You tell me.