If you ignored the actual action and deferred to the box score, it's possible you made sense of this game. LeBronJames dropped 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Dwyane Wade posted 21 points on 8-14 shooting.Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis combined to score 15 points on 5-22 from the field. Chris "Birdman" Andersen did his Birdman dance. LeBron even talked the referees into rescinding a technical foul. Of course Miami won by double digits again.
However, if you watched Game 2 of this NBA playoff series unfold, many of the developments probably confused you. Despite the poor box score stats from Jennings and Ellis, Milwaukee managed to muck the game up and pull within three points by the end of the third period thanks to 31-50 shooting from the role players. Ersan Ilyasovadominated his matchup with Chris Bosh for most of the night, while J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy both played less than 15 minutes over the first three periods. The Bucks had a serious opportunity to win this game...then the fourth quarter happened.
Jim Boylan started the final period with a lineup featuring Ish Smith, Brandon Jennings, Marquis Daniels, MikeDunleavy and Ekpe Udoh. Smith struggled to initiate the offense and in a blink Miami transformed a tenuous 68-65 lead into a commanding 80-65 advantage. Redick did not play a single minute in the second half, and by the timeMonta Ellis returned to the lineup it was already too late. Mike Dunleavy played an excellent fourth quarter to cap off a very solid effort, but his best production came during low-leverage situations when Miami had already pulled away.
Through two playoff games, Redick has now played just 24 TOTAL minutes and scored eight points. He hasn't been used very much, and we can't seem to figure out why. He has plenty of playoff experience -- including time in the NBA Finals with the Magic -- so Boylan's decision to turn to Ish Smith at the start of the fourth quarter had us scratching our heads. I joined Frank and Jake for a podcast recap of the game and a discussion about Redick's usage:
It's hard to say if the way game two played out was by design or accident. The Heat had no obvious qualms with letting Jennings and Ellis chuck up shots for 48 minutes while locking down their teammates on Sunday, so the relative success of Milwaukee's supporting cast on Tuesday is a bit puzzling. The Bucks' ball movement was far improved in the first half, leading to some open looks around the basket, even if a few came off of chaotic (broken?) plays. But they were also sloppy, committing turnovers on almost 19% of their possessions. They also got crushed on the boards again, grabbing only 4 offensive rebounds all game and giving up 12. And when Miami turned up the temperature in the final 12 minutes, the Bucks largely fell apart.
For all the adjustments from the Bucks, they came away with another disappointing loss to the defending champs. Just as Milwaukee was about to make a real game of it, the Heat went on that 12-0 run and closed the door, much to the delight of LeBron: