If you didn’t watch this game, the first thing you should do if find a way to view what just happened.
Rondo was absolutely magnificent; he played all 53 minutes, scored 44 points on 16-24 shooting (the rest of the Cs were 24-57), 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Before this game, only five other players have ever put up 40-10-8 in the playoffs. (McGrady, Barkley, Robertson, Drexler, and Jerry West) And the Celtics LOST this game.
Boston absolutely threw this game away. Rondo was 10-12 on outside jumpers and 10-12 from the free throw line; that will likely never happen again. Miami constantly drove, while Boston continued it’s strange fetish with long jumpers. (Thus the free throw disparity) Boston actually lead this game at halftime by seven, but lost the 3rd quarter 35-22, forcing the Cs to fight from behind the entire fourth quarter. Even though they did fight back and forced overtime on two LeBron misses (of which he had an offensive board in between), the Celtics simply couldn’t overcome the aggressiveness of Miami and Pierce fouling out before the overtime period.
LeBron, Wade, Chalmers, and Haslem all had great games to fuel the Heat. James had 34-10-7, accounting for his 20th 30-point/10-rebound game in the playoffs, the most since he made his playoff debut in Cleveland in 2006. (The next two combined, Howard and Duncan, only have 22) Both Wade and Chalmers shot 50% or better, scoring 23 and 22 points, respectively. Udonis added a 13-11 double-double and had made key jumpers near the end of both the 4th quarter and overtime. Obviously, the Heat still miss Bosh, but they can survive when they have Haslem playing like his old self.
The key thing to look for from this game is how both teams respond in game three and beyond. All of the key players in this game played a gorillion minutes. Not only could this impact Boston’s big three this series, but it could obviously be the detriment to Miami (again) should they make the finals. (again) Even though LeBron stayed in attack mode at the end of the game, his fatigue showed on the last shot at the end of regulation. Is a tired Heat team even going to have a puncher’s chance at a San Antonio squad that has mastered resting it’s players?
Quotes of the game:
According to Synergy, the Celtics played 0 possessions of zone defense against the Heat.” -Couper Morehead, @CoupNBA
Rajon Rondo becomes first player in Celtics NBA playoff history with 40+ points & 10+ assists with tonight’s 44/10.” -NBA
“He showed why he’s one of the best point guards in this league.” -Mario Chalmers
Miami leads series, 2-0. Next game @Boston, June 1st