DENVER – Observations and other notes of interest from Sunday night’s 111-108 NBA Finals victory over the Denver Nuggets:
– Say this about Gabe Vincent, he’s not afraid.
– Oh, and he’s going to be paid.
– There was a time when Vincent stood as the Heat placeholder at point guard.
– Now he essentially is irreplaceable.
– Basically picking up in this one with his 3-point shooting where Max Strus left off.
– Not, not your traditional assists point guard.
– But that is not the need with this team.
– It’s the shooting.
– Because it will take big shooting games for the Heat to conquer the Nuggets...
DENVER — The Miami Heat’s shock and awe continues.
This time at altitude.
And with an attitude.
Until Sunday night, visitors were 0-9 against the Denver Nuggets this postseason at mile-high Ball Arena..
Of course, prior to this season, no No. 8 seed had made the NBA Finals during an uninterrupted season.
For the Heat, just another step forward on this unlikeliest of playoff rides, turning thin air in a breath of new life with a 111-108 victory that evened the best-of-seven championship series at 1-1 heading into Wednesday night’s Game 3 at Kaseya Center.
Seizing control in the fourth quarter,...
DENVER – The Miami Heat now will have to flip the script.
Having won their opening game of their first three series during this underdog run to the NBA Finals, the Heat for the first time this postseason will have to play from behind.
Three days after an emotional Game 7 road victory to push past the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, the Heat had the look of a team short on energy, height and shooting, falling 104-93 Thursday night to Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.
With their fourth loss in their last five games, the Heat were unable to rekindle the East finals...
BOSTON – Observations and other notes of interest from Monday night’s 103-84 NBA playoff victory over the Boston Celtics:
– At one point in the Eastern Conference finals, the question was if Heat forward Caleb Martin was the best value player in the series, in light of the three-year, $20.4 million contract he signed last summer.
– By the end of the East finals, the question was whether he was the best player in the series.
– As in a series that also included Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
– Remarkable stuff.
– Sometimes it’s about more than star power.
BOSTON – Six weeks after standing within minutes of missing the playoffs, the Miami Heat are headed to the NBA Finals for the seventh time in the franchise’s 35 seasons and the sixth time since 2011 under coach Erik Spoelstra.
The improbable, implausible, seemingly impossible rolls on, next stop a Rocky Mountain high for Thursday’s start of the league’s championship series against the Western Conference champion Denver Nuggets.
Making their most emphatic statement of a postseason that already had ended the seasons of the No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks and No. 5 New York Knicks, the Heat went into TD...
BOSTON – Observations and other notes of interest from Thursday night’s 110-97 NBA playoff loss to the Boston Celtics:
– Erik Spoelstra doesn’t panic.
– But he does read the room.
– And the situation.
– Unemotionally and detached when needed.
– This is one of those times.
– With all due respect to what Kevin Love has offered since his February arrival.
– Heat-Celtics has become a scramble.
– A scoring scramble.
– And that requires mobility.
– Something Caleb Martin offers in overdrive.
– And something Love, at 34, lacks.
– Before Love’s arrival, Martin was the starter.
– With the Heat with a...
MIAMI – Observations and other notes of interest from Tuesday night’s 116-99 NBA playoff loss to the Boston Celtics:
– The Celtics looked like the Celtics.
– Playing defense.
– Making 3-pointers.
– With Jayson Tatum scoring when needed.
– The concern meter still is mitigated by the Heat’s 3-1 series lead.
– But Boston finally has regained its stride.
– This is a team that came back from 3-2 the previous round against the 76ers.
– It would be that again with a Heat loss on Thursday night at TD Garden.
– Panic? No.
– Urgency? Yes.
– Because this constant pushing of Jimmy Butler takes a toll.
MIAMI – In a nothing-is-simple season, the Miami Heat were unable to push the easy button on Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics.
So no sweep by the No. 8 seed in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals, just a 116-99 loss that sends the series to TD Garden for an 8:30 p.m. Game 5 on Thursday. Without a win there, the Heat would return home for an 8:30 p.m. Game 6 Saturday.
With the opportunity to earn a week off before the June 1 start of the NBA Finals, with the Denver Nuggets already resting for that series after completing a 4-0 sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the West finals,...
MIAMI — The improbable, seemingly impossible, is now one victory away from reality.
The team that finished in seventh place in the Eastern Conference and entered the playoffs as the No. 8 seed is now one victory from the NBA Finals.
All while doing it in emphatic fashion.
Sunday night, it was a tour de force, with the Miami Heat thrashing the Boston Celtics 128-102 at the Kaseya Center.
And, so, make it a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, with no NBA team ever having overcome such a playoff deficit.
The difference between this and the first two victories in the series at TD Garden was that...
MIAMI – Observations and other notes of interest from Sunday night’s 128-102 NBA playoff victory over the Boston Celtics:
– The decision entering the night seemingly was whether Kevin Love would remain a Heat starter with the Celtics moving to small ball with their first five.
– It turns out that Love made the decision for coach Erik Spoelstra, when he was forced out by an ankle injury with 4:47 remaining in the opening period.
– In this game, it did not matter.
– And might have been beneficial.
– With Caleb Martin playing so well.
– (Is there a better value contract in the league at the moment...