Ira Winderman: Heat-Celtics a rivalry of meaning, mouth, melodrama | Basketball Ncaa
That the fate of the 2021 Miami Heat playoffs may well be decided in Boston shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Heat-Celtics have a way of raising the stakes.
Last season, it was the Heat eliminating the Celtics in the Eastern Conference final.
A decade earlier, it was the Heat putting an end to the Boston Big Three era after creating their own Big Three.
As the Heat approach their Sunday and Tuesday games at TD Garden which will impact both play-in races and the playoffs, a reminder of how we got to this stage of a rivalry of meaning, mouth and melodrama.
What is Heat-Celtics? That’s it:
1. Game 6, 2012 Eastern Conference Finals: 3-2 in the series, the Heat, a year after a humble 4-2 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals in the first year of the LeBron James’ Big Three, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, arrive at TD Garden facing yet another humiliating death.
Instead, arguably the most career-defining game for James’ Heat, with 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in Heat’s 98-79 win. The Heat would go on to eliminate the Celtics in Game 7 at the AmericanAirlines Arena and then capture the first of their two Big Three championships.
2. The Bam Block: With 3.7 seconds left in overtime in Game 1 of the 2020 Eastern Conference Final, Heat Bam center Adebayo blocked a potential tie-dunk attempt by Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, sealing the Heat’s victory and triggering the 4-2. series victory.
“The best defensive play I have ever seen in the playoffs!” says no less than Magic Johnson.
3. Wade’s Wish: Sometimes a loss to a rival can be crucial. This was the case with the elimination of Heat’s Game 5 from the first round of the 2010 playoffs at TD Garden.
After that loss to the Celtics, Wade vowed, “This will be my last outing in the first round for a while. I can tell you that. “
Just over two months later, the Heat added James and Bosh. . . and that all changed, with the Heat qualifying for the NBA Finals in each of the following four seasons.
4. Benedict Allen: Not only did the Heat knock out Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, but just over a month later, Ray Allen went from the Celtics to the Heat during free agency, with his miraculous Game 6 3 points in 2013 The NBA Finals helped carry the Heat to this title.
To this day, the scars remain from the defection, with Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett over the years calling out Allen, still a Miami resident, for disloyalty.
5. Hey Danny …: A rival dating from his days with the Los Angeles Lakers, Heat president Pat Riley has made little effort to hide his exasperation with the Celtics’ Danny Ainge.
This included when Ainge, in his role as Celtics general manager, dared to question James’ refereeing in 2013.
“Danny Ainge needs to shut down the f — up and manage his own team,” Riley said in a statement issued by a spokesperson for Heat following criticism of Ainge. “He was the biggest crybaby when he played and I know that because I trained against him.
6. Jason Terry, RIP: No, James didn’t quite understand the bravado expressed by Jason Terry when Terry’s Mavericks beat the Big 3 in the 2011 NBA Finals.
So on March 18, 2013, with Terry then on the Celtics and the only player between James and the rim, an alley pass from Mario Chalmers and. . . annihilation through devastation.
“Glad that happened to him,” said James.
Almost immediately, even if only temporarily, Terry, still very much alive, saw this listed as the date of his death on his Wikipedia page.
7. Your Set: Even before the Heat’s first playoff series against the Celtics, there was an invigorating rebuke from Heat captain Udonis Haslem to then-nemesis and now Pierce.
In short, after the Celtics beat the Heat at the start of the 2010-11 season, Pierce, mocking James’ announcement a few months earlier, posted on Twitter: “It was a pleasure to bring my talents in South Beach. ”
Haslem replied, “Man, nobody’s paying them attention, man.” Do you know what a studio gangster is? Look for that, look for the definition of studio gangster.
8. The Race: The Heat laid the groundwork for what would follow the next playoffs not only by eliminating the Celtics in five games in the second round of 2011, but by closing the series by scoring the last 16 points of the Finals of the series in a 97 -87 victory.
“It was a series that we all really wanted from training camp,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
9. Tone set: After ousting the Heat in the 2010 playoffs, then seeing the Heat catch the offseason thunder with the Big Three signing, the Celtics overtook the Heat, 88-80, on the night opening in 2010-11.
The game ended with the TD Garden singing who serenaded the Heat with chants of “Overvalued!”
10. Even Now: And if you think the antipathy is over, consider Haslem’s words last week, when asked about the impending induction of Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
“I would probably say I consider two of these guys tough, and it’s harder mentally. And one of those guys does a lot of things, ”Haslem hinted at Garnett while making a talking gesture with his fingers. “It’s not at all difficult.
“The definition of badass doesn’t go through the guys who do that [talking motion]. You know. You probably want to take KG off that badass list. “
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