by Brett Edwards
There was a lot to digest after that awesome Game 5, so here are a few more thoughts:
- Gary Payton is going Robert Horry this series for the Heat. He made a tough layup near the end of OT in Game 5, and made the game winner at the end of Game 3. Payton's had a Hall Of Fame career, but he's never really been thought of as a clutch performer, and in fact was particularly un-clutch in his stint with the Lakers. Although it's worth mentioning that he was the only one to play all 82 games for a team that had the best record in the regular season in 2004. Nice to see him coming up big.
- Avery Johnson went to the ol' hack-a-shaq late in Game 5. It worked too, as Shaq was missing his free throws. Not sure why he didn't continue it in the overtime. It was suggested that it was a pride thing, that he didn't want to resort to playing that way. I doubt that's the case, I think he just didn't want to risk giving up any free points in a game that could have been (and was) decided by a single point. I wonder if in hindsight he might reconsider, considering the unstoppable performance from Wade.
- Entertaining press conference moment. Avery Johnson was asked about the final play, and he basically turned the tables on the reporter. He asked him repeatedly "what did you see on that final play?" and when asked again he responded, "you tell me!" He then told the reporter not to stutter, and reminded him that people all over the world are here waiting for his answer. The reporter kept deferring to Avery and refused to respond, but it was very entertaining and reinforced why I like to watch these so much.
- I mentioned this already, but I can't stress enough how much of a non-factor I feel Josh Howard's botched timeout call was. His two missed free throws, however, were a total choke job. Wade is making his free throws in crunch time, and right now that's the difference in the series.