Originally written on Celtics 24/7  |  Last updated 3/20/13
If I were to ask you at the beginning of the year, if the Celtics could beat the Heat without Rajon Rondo or Kevin Garnett, I am certain that most of you would say no. These are two fundamental players that drive this team and without them, it would be difficult to beat the best of the best. Yet, this past Monday, the Celtics came three points away of ending the Miami Heat’s historical run. When a hero falls, another must rise up. If not, the city will fall. Kevin Garnett may not have played Monday night, but Jeff Green did. In fact to say that Jeff Green played, is probably an understatement. Green had a career-high 43 points, plus 7 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Green flat out went off. This was key. The Celtics led by 12 after the first quarter, however, they were outscored in each quarter that followed. They shot the ball well, but were too sloppy at points. The problem is that the Celtics got into a shootout with Miami. Rather than winning the defensive battle, they challenged Miami in an offensive battle. No team, as far as I’m concerned, can beat Miami this way. However, you can win, IF you challenge them to a defensive battle. This is how the Celtics can beat the Heat. That’s where Kevin Garnett comes into play. Kevin Garnett is a defensive genius. With Garnett’s defense along with Bradley, the Celtics provide a deadly defensive combo. Defense is the Celtics forte. If they can lock down and force the Heat into tough shots, into turnovers, they can win. No matter how old the Celtics may be, they can still play defense, which is a skill that most teams don’t excel in.
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