Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat will look to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night when they battle the Boston Celtics at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat breezed by the Celtics fairly easily in Game 1, winning 93-79. Miami relied on the tried and true formula of staying out of the way of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and letting them carry the team and the role players contributing in a big way.
For the Celtics, they had problems matching up with Miami’s more athletic roster throughout the game and shot terribly from the field. The Celtics were already down a man heading into the series and now it looks like they may have more problems with Ray Allen.
The sharpshooter came into the series with a bum ankle and he said Tuesday his ankle is getting to be more problematic each day. Unfortunately, only rest and possibly surgery can fix Allen’s ankle and neither one of those are possible right now.
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday he was considering sitting Allen, but Allen said if he’s able to play he wants to play. But, Allen was awful in Game 1. He’s shooting 39 percent in the postseason and 27 percent from beyond the 3-point line and just 60 percent from the foul line, none of which is typical of his career averages.
Rivers also said that his team was extremely upset about the way they played in Game 1.
“There wasn’t a lot of happy guys in our locker room yesterday or in film today when we start out showing 19 straight layups,” Rivers said.
The Celtics will live and die by the success of All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. He got loose in the second quarter and helped spark a Celtics surge. But in the second half, the Heat used Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to contain him and he was held in check.
Both teams know that things will be different in Game 2. But, Boston looked gassed after an exhausting seven game series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics have to face a schedule in the Finals of games every other day, which could be too much for the elder Celtics to handle.
Still, Rondo wants to make sure the Heat face a tough time getting to the basket. He went so far as to say Tuesday, “Nothing dirty, but they have to hit the deck too,” according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Heat are used to that in the playoffs after a bruising series against the Indiana Pacers saw flagrant fouls, suspensions, and technical fouls called. James and Wade responded to that with shrugs, insisting that’s typical for any series.
“I already think that’s going to happen in every game,” James said. “So I don’t have to prepare for it.”
The Heat expect to face stiffer competition Wednesday night, but the way the entire team is playing; Miami is proving to be a formidable foe for anyone in the Eastern Conference.
“We’re not playing as much hero ball that we played last year,” LeBron said. “We’re getting off the ball. We’re penetrating. We’re trusting each other a lot more. It comes with time. In the fourth quarter we believe in each other, and that’s been a success for us.”