Reporting Tim Kephart
I don’t want to say the Miami Heat are playing in a gear that not many teams can hang with, but yikes. Plus, the Marlins keep on winning in May and FSU keeps denying the assumed interest in the Big XII.
Quote of the Day:
“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.” – Voltaire
Celtics fans have to be in a full state of panic right about now.
Last night in Game 1, the Celtics couldn’t get anything going offensively.
It was a combination of factors that hurt the Celtics.
1. Miami is simply the more athletic team
2. Boston was completely gassed throughout the game
3. LeBron is playing at another level right now.
When I was watching the game, I couldn’t help but see the Heat just running circles around the Celtics.
From LeBron making back door cuts to the basket to Dwyane Wade getting past the defenders not blocking out the help side, it was total domination.
I remarked several times watching Kevin Garnett and others lumber up and down the court that the C’s just didn’t have the stamina to hang with the Heat.
KG got his and was pretty dominant with his jump shot, but he simply wasn’t enough.
The Heat used a combination of people to shut down Rajon Rondo with size and long arms from both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
The Celtics really missed Avery Bradley, especially on the defensive end of the floor.
I think it was also a testament to the Heat’s defense which hit the high gear after the first half of Game 4 against Indiana.
Miami held Boston to just 39.5 percent shooting, 29 percent from behind the 3-point line, and Boston hit only 11-21 free throws.
The last number has to be the most troubling and is often a sign of teams with no legs under them.
The Heat completely dominated the rebounding battle 48-33 with Battier and James both having double-doubles.
Speaking of LeBron….
I’m running out of superlatives to describe just how well he’s playing.
He was 13-22 last night from the field and finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocked shots.
Combine that with Wade’s 22 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocked shots and you see why we call them the Big Two.
Paul Pierce did his best to cover LeBron and typically he’s one of the better defenders against James, but even he couldn’t shut him down last night.
Now, that all said, I think the Celtics will play better in Game 2.
I think they’re going to try to ride Garnett more down low and hope that Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo can shoot better than 9-27 from the field.
Boston was getting open looks at time, but with Allen unable to hit, the open looks were essentially worthless and the Celtics were typically one and done.
For the Heat, they got 28 points from Battier, Chalmers, Anthony, and Miller.
That’s a recipe for success going forward.
If the role players can give them that kind of output every night, the Celtics don’t stand a chance.
I’ll stick by my original call of Heat in 5 games.
Miami Marlins: (vs. Washington Nationals, 7:10 p.m. Fox Sports Florida)
The Marlins are going to hate to see the calendar turn to June.
The Fish are 19-8 in the month of May and have been knocking the cover off the ball in several of those games.
Last night, the Fish used the long ball again to knock out first-place Washington, 5-3.
I don’t want to sing the praises of Mike Stanton too much, but wow.
He’s brought his average up to .291, which is second on the team, and he leads the team in runs, home runs, and RBI’s.
He’s got 12 homers this season, with 11 of them coming in May.
Over his last 10 games, Stanton is hitting .33 with 4 homers, 12 RBIs and 12 total hits.
Looks like that small tweak in his swing worked wonders for him.
The Fish will send out Anibal Sanchez tonight who’s looking to finally get on track after a strong start to the season.
Over his last 3 starts, Sanchez is 0-3 in 19.1 innings pitched and has an ERA of 4.66 during that span.
His last start against the Giants saw him last until just the 6th inning and he gave up 7 hits and five earn runs.
The Nationals will send up Edwin Jackson who has a 3.55 ERA in the month of May and is 1-2 on the young season.
Jackson went seven innings his last outing giving up 3 earned runs.
(FYI: an earned run is one that the pitcher directly gave up, for example a home run. An unearned run is one that came in but wasn’t the fault of the pitcher, so a fielding error gets a man on base and he eventually scores would be an unearned run.)
Just in case you were wondering….ESPN.com projects Stanton to hit 40 home runs this season and drive in 119 runs.
Conference Realignment Part XLVIII:
Well he started, and now the chair of FSU’s board said there has been no contact with the Big XII.
BUT…..He did say this
“If anybody approaches us, we are certainly going to listen to them. We have an obligation to Florida State to listen. You can’t close the door.”
Hey Big XII, make us an offer we can’t refuse!
And that’s currently where we are right now.
FSU’s board and fans want to talk to the Big XII.
The Big XII is scheduled to have their annual meetings this week in Kansas City where expansion will come up.
Texas, which is basically in charge of the Big XII, doesn’t seem to keen on adding any schools.
But I ask the other members this…
If you could trade Texas A&M and Missouri for Florida State and Miami/Clemson, wouldn’t you do it?
Expand your geographic footprint.
Tap into Florida TV money.
Truly compete with the SEC for recruits in Florida?
The thing FSU would have to understand is that there’s a pecking order in the Big XII.
It’s Texas, then Oklahoma…..then way down the list is everyone else.
As much as FSU would like to be UT or OU, they couldn’t be that at first.
Now if they come in and dominate the conference that’s another thing.
But in reality, right now, FSU would be trading being ruled by North Carolina and Duke to being ruled by Texas and Oklahoma.
Follow me on Twitter @timkephart33