The NBA Playoffs: Celtics Tie the Series at 2-2

Paul Pierce was left scratching his head in disappointment as
he fouled out again for the 3rd time in the last 5 games.
(Photo by Getty Images)
#homecooking #almost 
The series is tied 2-2. The Celtics escaped in overtime, 93-91 after Wade missed a bad three-point shot. LeBron James and Paul Pierce both fouled out on offensive foul calls. No one has won a game on the road, same with the Spurs and Thunder series. The Heat were down big early by 18 and clawed their way back in the fourth. That comeback forced James and Wade to play the second half without any rest. The Heat owned the 3rd quarter and had a chance to win in the fourth but a bad sequence on the last shot ensued. James had the ball and was unable to do anything as the Celtics trapped him and James passed to Haslem with barely any time left, thus a bad shot from Haslem that had no chance of going in plus there was no more time left. The Heat lost this game early by starting out flat and being down big early. They knew how important this game was but there was no effort, no defense and no Wade for most of the game. 

#rondo #courtgeneral 
Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists. These were low for his standards but his leadership on the floor plus his wonderful passes were key to the Celtics building that big lead. Rondo got everyone involved early, even Keyon Dooling made 3 threes and had 10 points. The Celtics had balanced scoring with all starters in double figures and they were scorching hot in the first half with 61 points. Rondo led them in transition with precision passes to the trailing guy or to the open shooter. The Heat gave him so much space in the first half, leaving him for open jumpers and  protecting the paint against his drives. That strategy has not been that effective as the extra space has allowed Rondo to take his time in orchestrating their offense. The lack of ball pressure has given Rondo lots of time to make the right decisions and deliver the ball to the right player at the right location. The Heat made the adjustment to finally put more pressure on Rondo and that resulted in a comeback for the Heat in the 2nd half. 

LeBron James and the rest of the Heat have been arguing and whining over
missed calls and bad calls including the sixth foul on LBJ in Game 4
(Photo by Getty Images)

#nowadenowin #heroball 
The Heat and Wade were sputtering in the first half. Wade has started slow in all of the four games. A growing trend as he struggled against the Celtics. His first half no-shows continued in Game 4. He had turnovers, missed shots and spotty defense. Wade woke up in third quarter but he did not get his rest in the second half as the Heat made their comeback. He played with better effort especially in defense as he got deflections and blocks. But with no rest and all the energy used in the comeback, Wade had nothing left in the fourth and overtime periods. He did not make a shot and he was unable to drive. On the last play in overtime, Wade decided to run an isolation. Big problem, he could not penetrate or he would not. There were no picks for him and Wade settled on a three-point shot. A bad shot for a bad three-point shooter. Of course it did not go in and the Heat lost. He was not gonna pass on that play even if Chalmers, Battier or Haslem was open. That was hero-ball at its worse. Now, all the pressure is on the Heat to recover in Game 5. 

#fouls #flop 
Two players fouled out on offensive fouls. Pierce and James got whistled on separate incidents. Pierce got tagged on a charge call against Battier. Shane is one of the better guys at drawing a charge. On that play against Pierce, PP wanted to drive after a pump fake but Battier was able to anticipate his move and went to the spot where Pierce was going. Pierce gave a little shove to Battier and the result was an offensive foul. Was it the right call? Im not 100% sure but I think it was the right call. If the referees called it a blocking foul or ignored the situation, I would have been okay with whatever the call was. For the offensive foul by LeBron on Pietrus when LBJ was battling for position in the post, Im not so sure it was the right call. I have no problem with the foul because earlier in the game, Garnett was tagged with an offensive foul on LeBron on a similar situation. The main difference was that KG held LeBron's arm on that one. My main gripe about the foul calls was the double foul given to LeBron and Garnett in the 4th quarter when KG was battling for post position. It appeared that KG shoved or threw LBJ to the ground and that should have been an offensive foul or a no-call if referees thought LBJ flopped. There was no way that James committed a foul there. That foul was his fifth. 

#Tweet of the Night

Wade (a 29% 3-pt shooter) called the final attempt a "50/50 shot." I guess "29/71 shot" doesn't have the same ring to it

#Stats #News
  • LBJ fouled out for the 1st time in a Heat uniform
  • Rondo tied Bob Cousy in 10+ assists game in the playoffs
  • Wade had 1 point in the fourth and overtime periods
  • Pierce has fouled out in 3 of the last 5 games
  • Garnett had another double-double, tied for 1st in the playoffs
  • Game 5 winner of tied series, moves on 80% of the time
  • Chris Bosh might be available for Game 5

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