Last night’s 78-66 Junior Varsity victory by the Celtics over the Heat was one of the most brutal games I’ve ever been too, but it produced some interesting stats. The fact that Sasha Pavlovic was the leading scorer with 16 points is pretty telling in itself. Boston trailed 11-0 before making their first basket of the game with 5:45 to go in the first quarter. At the half Miami led 34-28. Mid way through the 3rd the Heat extended their lead to 46-36. And that was when it began to get ugly for Miami. By the end of the quarter the C’s had tied the game at 50.
To start the 4th, Doc Rivers emptied his bench (literally) and ran out a lineup of Marquis Daniels, the two Purdue rookies JaJuan and E’twaun, newcomer Sean Williams, and Sasha. Then he took off his tie, called it a night, and walked out of the building. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but he might as well have, because he never made a substitution or called a timeout the rest of the way.
Meanwhile Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was still trying to win the game. He played 8 guys in the quarter, including regular starting point guard Mario Chalmers, sometime starting center Joel Anthony, and normal rotation guys Mike Miller, Norris Cole, and James Jones. He called a timeout to try to stop a Celtics run. He subbed in offense for defense with his three point shooters. But it kept getting worse for Miami, and over a 17 minute span Boston went on a 42-14 run to build a 78-60 lead with 60 seconds to go.
The Celtics scored just 28 in the first half, but also 28 in the fourth quarter using only the last 5 guys on the end of the bench. Miami’s scoring breakdown by quarter: 17-17-16-16.
And finally, Boston beat the Heat all three times they played this month. NOBODY saw that coming.
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