The NBA Playoffs: Celtics Make it a Series

Kevin Garnett had his game face on for the Miami Heat.
He scored  24 points and had 11 rebounds for the win
(Photo by Getty Images)
 #nosweep #itsaseries
There will be no sweeps in the conference finals. A day after the OKC Thunder defeated the Spurs to avoid a potential sweep, the Boston Celtics pounded the Miami Heat to cut the deficit to 2-1. The Celtics opened with a lot of energy and intensity as they raced to a 13-point lead at halftime. The Celtics dominated the third quarter, 30-21 and had its biggest lead at 24 points. In the past two games, the Heat had dominated the 3rd quarter and those resulted in Heat wins. It was a different story in Boston as the Celtics took over in that period and never trailed again. The Heat knew that the Celtics would be more aggressive and more physical early. The Heat was unable to match their effort and focus. Ball movement was stagnant and the Heat relied on too many isolation plays for LeBron and he settled for long jumpers.

#Big3 #RondosTeam
The Boston Big3 (Garnett, Pierce, Rondo) all had big games for the Celtics. Garnett had another double-double while Pierce had 24, 4 and 4. Rajon Rando was busy facilitating and making amazing passes. He did not score as much like what he did in Game 2 (21 points) but he played exceptional in leading the transition chances and passing the ball to the right player and location. Rondo kept the Heat defense on their heels as he did whatever he wanted on the court, no look pass, fake behind the back pass and layup, etc. Rondo even made a couple of jumpers from the perimeter again. It might be time for Coach Spo to change his strategy regarding letting Rondo take uncontested jumpers since he has been making them in the last 2 games.

Dwyane Wade struggled to contribute on offense early.
He was a non-factor and the Heat lost Game 3
(Photo by Getty Images)

#noWadenoWin #noshow
Dwyane Wade did not play like he was the 2nd best player on the floor. To me, he was the 5th best player on the court (James, Garnett, Pierce, Rondo). He started slowly on offense plus his defense was spotty. He was a step too slow on his defensive rotations. Wade paid more attention to bitching and whining to the referees when he missed shots that he felt he was fouled on. As a result, Wade hardly runs back on defense when asking for whistles. That attitude cost the Heat on defense since the Celtics capitalize by going on transition. Wade was actually lucky that he did not get a technical foul from all his incessant complaining. I dont even see the rational of asking for whistles when the play is going the other way already. There's absolutely no way that the officials will call a foul that late. The Heat need Wade to play excellent defense and to support LeBron on offense for them to win. Wade was a no-show and the Heat lost.  

#FTwoes #homecooking
Miami has struggled shooting free-throws in this series. The extra number of foul shots dont matter when you cant convert the freebies. They went 10-20 last night with  their team average hovering around 60% for this series. The Celtics complained about the lack of fouls and free-throws from the last game. Guess what happened in Game 3? The Celtics shot more free-throws, 26-20 and they limited James to 1-5 ft while Wade did not even take one foul shot. The free-throw disparity was to be expected because the Celtics brought that to the officials' attention. I did not expect the Heat to comply to the Celtics by not attacking the paint more often. They settled for jumpers that do not get rewarded with free-throws.  

#Tweet of the Night

Wade was right to not bother running back on defense, because he didn't get the call and that was more important.

#Stats #News

  • Last time Wade did not attempt a foul shot in the playoffs, 2004 vs the Hornets
  • Rondo "only" played 43 minutes
  • Garnett was +27, Celtics -17 when KG sat
  • Battier was held scoreless in 38 minutes
  • Heat used a lineup of Miller, Wade, Chalmers, James, Battier who did not play together before 
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