Found May 29, 2012 on
Despite injuries, age, and inconsistency, the Celtics managed to ride another Rondo triple-double to a game 7 win at home last night, giving themselves a mere 24 hours to prepare for an Eastern Finals match-up with the defending conference champs, the Miami Heat.Although most experts are picking Miami in 5 games, I'm going to go rogue here and predict a full blown 6 game series with Miami squeezing out a game 6 victory on the road behind their two superstars, LBJ and DWade.Similarly to the Indiana series, I foresee Miami losing home court advantage early on because Miami is a reactive squad rather than a pro-active squad, meaning that the Heat don't always come out prepared and hungry, and sometimes they just need a wake-up call for their coaching staff and personnel to get focused and get down business. We saw this after the Pacers took the series lead 2-1 in the conference semifinals following an extremely embarrassing game three performance for the Heat. However, Miami got it together and closed out the series in 6 games behind a respectable three game winning streak led by DWade and LBJ who averaged 33 and 36 ppg respectively over that 3 game span.Those are unbelievable stats.Anyways, I know that the Heat have definitely found their stride recently, but Boston is one of only a handful of teams that know how to beat them (OKC, SAS).In the regular season, the Celtics took the season series 3-1 behind their pesky trademark defense that took Miami out of their game and held them to almost 8 points under their season average on a pedestrian 43% from the field.Interestingly enough, Boston actually put up 8 points above their season average and shot the ball over 50% from the floor against Miami in the regular season. Who knew?Anyways, even though Miami has gotten the better of Boston in the playoffs in recent years (4-1 series win for MIA in the 2011 NBA Eastern Semi's), I am having a hard time buying into a "quick" playoff series prediction because Boston is just too scrappy and too smart. Don't forget, this is practically the same veteran group that took the title a few seasons ago, and they've been doubted as a team before. Also, even with Avery Bradley injured, they are getting major contributions from F Brandon Bass, and Ray Allen has yet to play his best basketball of the playoffs. Furthermore, Doc Rivers is a top-5 coach in this league, and KG has shown some promising signs of youth lately (19 ppg over his last three games).Also, Boston has a history of frustrating superstars into bad games and bad series.Lebron James famously had problems getting past the Celtics in the playoffs up until recently, and according to NBA.com, the Boston defense held DWade to under 20 ppg and under 43% shooting from the field during this season.Ouch.Given that all the regular season statistics point towards a favorable series for Boston, we should put this year's postseason into its rightful place in the prediction picture also.It took 7 games for Boston to beat an inexperienced, over-matched Sixers squad that Miami massacred four times this year, by an average of 13 points per contest (I know MIA was rooting for Philly).The Celtics have also dealt with two 7 game series in a row, which brings fatigue and bench depth into the equation. Neither of these factors are going to be favorable for Boston.Also, with arguably the tougher defensive playoff match ups this postseason (IND, NYK), MIA's offensive numbers are much more impressive than Boston's. They've not only averaged 10 more ppg than the Celts, they've also grabbed more boards, shot a better FG%, and forced more turnovers than Boston during the playoffs.Regardless, the Celtics can hope to frustrate Miami's superstars into turnovers, and force their role players into beating them, but when all is said and done, I think Miami is too fast and too talented to lose this series. Without Avery Bradley, the Celtics don't have enough speed on the defensive end to hold Lebron and Dwyane at bay, and unless Ray Allen gets hot soon, they won't have enough offensive firepower to keep up.If Rajon Rondo can't put up at least four triple-doubles over the course of the series, it'll be Heat in 6 games.Enjoy your evening,The MattmanMatt Silverston is a columnist for FootBasket. He also runs the basketball blog, Mind of Mattman. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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Your asking this young man [Rondo], who played one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen in my life [game 2], to score 44 points again. …Magic Johnson on Rajon Rondo in game 2 The greatest compliment to a point guard? I’d say so. The greatest compliment to a basketball player? Quite possibly. Rajon Rondo [...]
Ok here's the situation: Last year Rajon Rondo was voted to the NBA All-Defensive 1st team (2nd only to Dwight Howard in overall votes). There wasn't a guard in the league considered a better defender than Rajon Rondo. This year Rondo was bumped down to the NBA All-Defensive 2nd team, partly because he missed games to injury and partly because Avery Bradley became known...
The Celtics need to be zoned in for 48 full minutes (or reasonably close to it) to beat the Heat. They need Rajon Rondo to play like a superstar. They need to rebound and rotate on a string and move the ball sharply.None of that happened tonight, so the Celtics trail 1-0. This is their first double-digit playoff loss, so we’ll see how they adjust and respond on Wednesday. I...
Rajon Rondo was held to 16 points and seven assists as the Heat made sure to have help defenders in the paint waiting for him.
Rajon Rondo had a brilliant 44 points to go with 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals in Boston's 115-111 Game 2 loss at Miami.
Despite Rajon Rondo’s 44 points in Game 2, the Celtics are in a 2-0 hole against the Miami Heat
Game 2 was supposed to be the game that the Celtics come out and respond to their game 1 loss to the hated Miami Heat. After all the technical’s, fouls, and other help from David Stern’s angels the Celtics were able to keep pace up until the 4th quarter of game 1. This game...
Doc Rivers has had a front-row seat for the finest Celtics performances of the past eight years. Because he is usually preoccupied with several different things in the course of a game, though, Rivers often misses the finer points of those performances until he watches them later on film. That was not the case with Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, when Rajon...
The Boston Celtics finished off the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday in dramatic fashion, winning Game 7 by a 10-point margin. The game was in the balance until the final moments, when the Celtics heated up on offense, shooting just over 69 percent in the fourth quarter. Rajon Rondo filled up the stat sheet in the closing moments, collecting 11 of his 18 points inside the five-minute...
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The general manager of the Boston Celtics was trying to understand how LeBron James could get to the free-throw line those 24 times, and so Danny Ainge stood in the hallway recreating a clear-path foul call...
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Everything that needs to be said or written about Game 2 of the Celtics-Heat series has been said or written already. Nonetheless, a few thoughts:
1. Any pro sport that features officiating that is chronically suspect is a sport that is going to lose fans. At any level, players should get to play within the rules and officials should do their best to enforce those rules without...
To quote Avery Bradley, “dang.” I’ve spent the last few weeks constantly talking about the Celtics toughness, and last night’s game was a perfect example. I’ve also been saying for quite a while that Rajon Rondo can shoot the ball; perhaps now the world will believe me. Shortly after the game my dad texted me: “That performance tonight by Rondo may have been...
The Miami Heat know what's coming from the Boston Celtics.
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That's what usually happens when one team is fighting to save its season - and in this case, the Big Four era in Boston might be at stake as well.
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Boston Celtics (8-6, 0-1) at Miami Heat (9-3,1-0)
Playoff Game #15 – Road Game #8
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
8:30 pm ET
TV: ESPN, TSN
Radio: WEEI, 790 AM, ESPN Radio
American Airlines ArenaReferees: Ken Mauer, James Capers, Tom Washington
The Celtics looked slow and old in the second half of game 1. They allowed way too many dunks and open layups. They had their...
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Monday, May 28
8:30 PM ET
Playoff Game #14 Road Game #7
TV: ESPN, TSN
Radio: WEEI, 790 AM, ESPN Radio
American Airlines Arena Referees: Ed Malloy, Dan Crawford, Jason Phillips
The Celtics finally have made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. There were times against the Sixers when it seemed like they might...