June 7, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) reacts to a call during the third quarter of game six of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Roundhouse: Heat, Celtics Head to Fateful Game 7

Hey, remember when I said I had no idea what to make of this Heat-Celtics series anymore? Yeah. Still don’t. In fact, I’m even more confused now than I was before.

Miami Heat 98, Boston Celtics 79: Series tied 3-3

June 5, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is guarded by Boston Celtics small forward Mickael Pietrus (28) during the first half in game five of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2012 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

Hey, so it turns out that this LeBron James guy is pretty good. Who knew?

Seriously, when you drop 45-15-5 on 19/26 shooting in an elimination game, on the road, that’s pretty special. And, of course, Skip Bayless still thinks LeBron isn’t clutch. But screw him. The other thing is that had the game been remotely close down the stretch, LeBron could conceivably gone for 50+ against the second best defense in the league in an elimination game, and I cannot emphasize this enough, on the road. Of course, he played every single one of the first 45 minutes of the game, so who knows if he would’ve been fresh enough to keep going, but still.

My silver lining from Thursday night is that at least I’m not getting déjà vu any more from this series. As I mentioned in the piece linked earlier, the conference finals had been mirroring each other the whole way, and when Miami jumped to a big lead behind a single player’s dominance, it almost seemed preordained that the Celtics would come back, imitating the Thunder’s comeback the night before. LeBron, playing the role of Tony Parker for the Heat, would be unable to keep up his torrid output and Boston would come charging back. Instead, Boston looked old and the second half went down pretty much just like the first. Ah well, at least we have game seven to look forward to.

The problem for the Celtics was that pretty much everyone sucked. Rajon Rondo had 21 points and 10 assists, but also turned it over 7 times. Mickael Pietrus, who nailed several big threes in the Celtics’ game five win, missed all three of this threes in game six. Kevin Garnett scored but 12 points with a measly 5 rebounds. And then there was Paul Pierce, who just plain stunk. He scored 9 points on 4/18 shooting. Missed all six of his threes. That should pretty much explain it all.

Let me put it another way: When Brandon Bass is arguably your best player and he only has 12 points and 7 rebounds, something went terribly, terribly wrong.

Anyway, Game Seven is tonight in Miami. I’m not going to bother to make a prediction since, as I said, I no longer understand this series in any way, shape or form. And I’m sure that no matter who I picked, the other team would win anyway. So expect a grinding, ugly game that goes right down to the wire. That’s all I’m gonna say. Oh, and Dwyane Wade will need to play better than he did, and most likely will. LeBron’s not going to drop 45 that effortlessly again.

Saturday, June 9th:

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat Game 7, 7:30 PM, ESPN

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