Last night's game reminded me of many Celtics games from the early-to-mid 80's, except that back then, it was the Celtics who would start slow and then recover to defeat overmatched opponents. Miami played horrible in the first quarter, looking disinterested and unfocused. In contrast, the Celtics were on fire, making up for their lousy shooting night in Memphis and sprinting to a 16 point lead late in the quarter. Ryan Gomes had 8 points in the first period, twice as many as he had in the entire game against the Grizzlies.
But even though Pierce and Szczerbiak each scored 30+ points, the Heat had too much Dwayne Wade, and still won 107-104. It was obvious early on that Shaq and Alonzo Mourning could do anything they wanted inside against the trio of LaFrentz, Perkins, and Jefferson, and they repeatedly embarrassed the young players in particular. Hopefully nights like this will pay dividends down the road, but it was one more reminder that the Celtics are not making the playoffs this season.