NBA Fast Break: Miami Heat Battle For Greatness, Lakers And Jazz Battle For 9th Place

The Boston Celtics are the biggest teases in the NBA. They just look so damn good against Miami each year that an upset win in the playoffs never seems far-fetched. Take last night for instance: A Garnett-less Celts was the better team for 47 minutes with Jeff Green going for 43 points (that makes two 40-point scorers OKC has let go in the last couple of years. Imagine Jeff Green and James Harden still playing for the Thunder). The Celtics once again looked like a team that could give Miami fits in the playoffs.

I can’t help but wonder if this is all fool’s gold and we’re all just getting pulled in. The Celtics may just be the modern-day Knicks to Miami’s Bulls – always putting up a tough fight but ultimately coming up just short. But damn, the Celtics looked like a team that could at least take Miami to seven.

But this is about last night. And last night, Miami pulled out a victory they shouldn’t have thanks to a monster night from LeBron James, including that obnoxious oop on Jason Terry, god bless his soul. Action LeBronson had 37 points and 12 assists while nailing a go ahead jumper with a few seconds remaining. This marks the 23rd straight win for the Heat, the second-longest in the NBA after surpassing the Rockets former spot. Aside: Shane Battier was on both of those teams. Do with that what you will.

Meanwhile, LeBron’s fourth quarter ills from earlier in his career will probably be something nobody even remembers by the time his career is over. While I’m not even going to broach the Bron vs. MJ debate, I do wonder if the distance between LBJ and the second-best player in the league is greater than any distance MJ had from the second-best player in the league at any point in his greatness. It just seems like nobody is even close to King James’ level in 2013.

Quick Hits

— Los Angeles, this is your future. A Kobe-less Lakers squad managed to put together 10 whole fourth-quarter points as Dwight Howard made Louis Scola look like the second-coming of Hakeem. Olajuwhite scored 14 points and 9 rebounds in the fourth while Dwight put up 16 points on 6-18 from the field for the game. Good thing he doesn’t want to be the top scoring option any time soon, right?

— The Utah Jazz must have made non-refundable vacation plans for April because they clearly have no interest in holding on to the 8th playoff spot. After blowing games against the Cavs and Bulls to let LA back in, they failed to capitalize on a suddenly-putrid Knicks squad and lost 90-83. Go home, Utah. You’re drunk.

— I was able to scoot over to the New Orleans arena last night and catch the Warriors manhandling the soon-to-be Pelicans. A classmate of mine happened to be there. He dropped 30. Davidson, bish. (Marquette, we comin’ for you, n*gga!)

— The second-best game of the night came from Chicago and Denver. The two teams made it to overtime, only for the Bulls to get totally hosed by the refs. Joakhim Noah tipped in a game-winning basked with 1.7 seconds left only to have it taken away on a phantom goaltending call. With 45 seconds left, Denver tipped in a clear goaltend but the refs said they couldn’t review it because it wasn’t called goaltending. However, they were able to review Noah’s for some reason and reverse it after the fact.

Despite the horrible ending, both teams showed how great NBA games can be even without a marquee star (WTF alert: Nate Robinson scored 34). Don’t look now, but Denver has won 12 straight.

— The Michael Jordan Bowl was last night as the Washington Wizards played the Charlotts Bobcats. Obviously it’s called that because much like MJ’s illegitimate kid, the less said about it the better.

LeBron James Bangs Home An Alley-Oop On Jason Terry