They lost by not one, not two, not three, but 19 POINTS last night in Indiana, and in the process, provided the Heat Haters with ammunition for days. Or at least two, at which point Miami will re-take the court and either right their shaky ship or slam into an iceberg.
Right now, it certainly feels like theyre heading towards the latter, but we all know better than to assume that much. The way things go, Miami's just as likely to re-group and win a title as they are to choke away another post season. And as fans, the best thing we can do is borrow a mind eraser from one of those million Men In Black 3 ads, take it to the head and move on with clear, unbiased conscience.
However, there was one aspect of Miamis Game 3 debacle that especially as it relates to the Celtics is worth a closer look.
The third quarter altercation between Dwyane Wade and Erik Spoelstra.
If you didn't catch it, here's the video. In it, you'll see Wade and Spo on the sidelines, face-to-face in a heated conversation. After a few seconds, Wade dismissively nudges Spoelstra aside and walks away with his recently trademarked sourpuss. At this point, Spoelstra shoots out one more verbal dagger, which clearly hits home, and leads Wade to circle back around to get in his coach's face. Thankfully (for the Heat), team grandfather Juwan Howard intercepts Wade, and the Captain settles on bitching out his coach from a far.
And that's a wrap. It was a beautiful thing. Just another step in Wade's transformation from the only likable piece of Miami's super team to the main source anger and hatred. Congrats, Dwyane!
Anyway, I said I'd bring this back to the Celtics, so here we go: At this point, it's obviously too early and altogether ridiculous to speculate about a CelticsHeat Eastern Conference Finals. It seemed so easy before the second round got under way, but now that we're in the thick of things you know, both teams have other stuff to worry about.
BUT, we're human. Even if both the C's and especially the Heat have their hands full, you can't help let your mind wander to that would-be ECF. I think it's still the most likely match-up. Deep down, I think it's still the outcome that we all want to see.
Miami vs. Boston.
One last hurrah. And if we ever get there, here's one undeniable advantage in the Celtics corner: The relationship with their coach.
As we're well aware, the Celtics would do anything for Doc Rivers. They'd take a charge. Run through a wall. Would they kill a man? YES. Anything. And when the game, the season, contracts, careers and legacies are the line regardless of any sort of drama that may be swirling around the locker room the Celtics believe in their coach.
And while one ugly incident doesnt say everything about the relationship between Dwyane Wade and Erik Spoelstra, or Spoelstra and the rest of the team, it does say a lot.