Welcome to the weekend, Boston Celtics fans!
If those of us who really don’t care for the Miami Heat are lucky, the 2014 NBA Finals are just one game away from being decided. Cross your fingers! In order to get primed for the action, head over to NBA.com and check out this video preview of Game 5. The statistic you need to know: the San Antonio Spurs have won the last 7 games in which they have had a chance to close out a series at home.
The biggest reason we’re even talking about the Heat being on the brink of heartbreak is the Spur’s precision offense, I know – but lost in the shuffle is the fact that the Spurs are playing very, VERY good team defense right now. Head over to NBA.com, again, to read this Film Study of how the Spurs are putting the clamps on the Heat’s scorers. Then, hop over to SI.com to read a bit more on why the Spurs’ D deserves praise:
This beautiful, airy offense deserves that celebration and more. It would be a shame, though, if the Spurs’ defensive triumphs were buried by that acclaim. In its 107-86 victory, San Antonio held Miami to 17, 19 and 21 points in the only three quarters of consequence. Miami’s offensive efficiency in those 36 minutes was 89.8 points per 100 possessions — far below even the 76ers’ NBA-worst mark (96.8) in the regular season. This was a true unraveling. The Spurs tugged at all the right strings until an opponent that ranked second in regular-season efficiency and first in postseason efficiency (entering Thursday) fell apart.
I know the argument: don’t count out the Heat just yet. After all, the Heat do have the greatest player in the NBA, LeBron James, starting for them. True – but it’s become clear that the Heat are not the same team that won consecutive titles – and because of that, big changes may be looming:
Now, Miami turns its focus to trying to salvage this series from the rubble of this homestand, going to San Antonio for Game 5, but for the bulk of the NBA, attention turns to the future of the Heat in general.
After all, this is a team that has exactly one player locked into a guaranteed contract next year, backup point guard Norris Cole. Everyone else is either unsigned or has the option of going into free agency.
Of course, that includes the Big Three of James, Wade and Bosh, who joined forces here four years ago. They have been wildly successful, going 224-88 in the regular season and reaching four straight Finals, an accomplishment in its own right. But they are on the brink of splitting those Finals, and four years of dominating a weak Eastern Conference and then going 11-11 against quality opponents in the Finals does not a dynasty make.
Turning our attention to the Boston Celtics, it appears as if the Cs are about to lose well-respected assistant coach Ron Adams, who is rumored to be interviewed by the Golden State Warriors:
During his first season in the NBA, Brad Stevens leaned heavily on veteran assistant Ron Adams. But the Boston Celtics head coach could soon need a new right-hand man.
According to multiple reports, the Celtics have given Adams permission to interview early next week for a place on Steve Kerr’s Golden State Warriors staff. Though Adams has not decided to move on, he wants to explore his options and could prefer working for a contender as his coaching career approaches its conclusion.
Mind you – Adams may not wind up going anywhere, because it’s not like he desperately wants out of Boston:
Have also heard that while Adams likes C’s, he would be strongly interested in going to a non-rebuilding team, i.e. a competitor like GSW.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 13, 2014
This may not be as sexy a story as the Kevin Love rumors, but given how heavily Brad Stevens relied on Adams last season, it would be a big blow to the Celtics if Adams did, indeed, jump ship. We’ll follow this story as news surfaces.
Enjoy your Saturday!