Don't look now, but the Boston Celtics have been creeping up the standings in the Eastern Conference. Last night, the C's quite arguably had their most impressive win on the season with a 91-72 blowout victory over the Miami Heat.
Boston was in control from the start thanks to a brilliant first quarter from Rajon Rondo. After leading by 5 at the half, the Celtics outscored the Heat 31 to 12 in the third quarter to put the game away.
Rondo had his fifth triple-double on the season with a 16 point, 11 rebound, and 14 assist performance. The Celtics have their toughest stretch of the season with their next six games being against playoff teams including the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and a rematch with Miami.
Since the All-Star break, Boston is 15-5 and surpassed the Philadelphia 76ers in the Atlantic Division. Their play of late has been extremely impressive considering some key players have been missing significant time due to injury. Avery Bradley has been a nice spark in the lineup for the injured Ray Allen. Bradley is considered one of the best on-ball defenders in the NBA as he showed last night with a remarkable block on Dwayne Wade sending the All-Star to the ground.
The starting lineup accounted for 78 points, led by Paul Pierce with 23-points. Brandon Bass chipped in 16-points and Bradley had 13 as each starter scored in double-digits. Boston's defense bothered "The Big 3" all afternoon as Chris Bosh was held to 4-points on 2-11 shooting. Dwayne Wade scored 15 on 8-17 shooting, and LeBron James was a ghost for most of the game, while leading Miami with 23-points he failed to record a single assist for only the second time in his career.
Miami's play of late has many questioning whether or not another team can knock them off come playoff time, as the Celtics play have many wondering if they could be that team. This has been the most intriguing Celtics team in quite some time. No one expected them to still be hanging around in the East being so old and their roster so thin. Just a few short weeks ago many thought it was time to blowup the roster and begin to rebuild. Winning cures all and thats excatly what Boson has done. Come playoff time, this is the most dangerous team out there, they have experience and confidence to compete against anyone. No one will be more important to their success down the stretch and in the playoffs than Rondo. Yesterday, he was the best player on the court, as he usually is in big games. It's when the game isn't on national TV that will make you think he is playing under the influence.
Just when you think they're dead, the Celtics find a way to make you a believer again. It's not always pretty and flashy, but Boston is still able to contend with hard-nosed defense and timely offense. Regardless what happens with this years' Boston Celtics team one thing is for sure and that's they will not give up, even if you already have.
TL;DR The Celtics dominated the Miami Heat in Boston yesterday.
Heat vs. Celtics recap [ESPN]
Posted by Mowry under Sports