Posts Tagged ‘NBA playoffs’

Heat knockout the Celtics in game 5, series over

Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh and the Heat deliver the knockout blow to the Celtics in game 5

1st Half

The game has started, and Dwayne Wade is fouled by Pierce. He went to the line and hit 1 free-throw. Boston’s offense didn’t look good to start. They were just throwing up lame jumpers, and not sinking them. The Captain Paul Pierce was the only guy who looked ready to play. Luckily the Heat weren’t performing well either. James and Bosh had nothing going early. But Boston would run into trouble, as Pierce was forced to foul James in transition. He had 2 personal fouls before the midway mark in the 1st quarter. Garnett had stepped up though, hitting 3-4 midway through the 1st quarter. Boston had a slim 11-7 lead. The only reason the Celtics were up is because of the poor performance by the Heats starters. Wade was performing, like he has all series. He had 11 points and 3 rebounds. Bosh was invisible, like he has been all series. He had 2 points in the 1st quarter. James was the surprise though. He was a measly 0-4, with just 1 point off a free-throw. KG and Pierce looked good, carrying the Celtics to a 24-16 lead at the end of the 1st. KG accounted for half of the Boston lead, scoring 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist. The 2nd quarter stared with James draining a 3. Not a good omen for the C’s. Miami would proceed to go on a 7-0 run to cut the Celtic lead down to 3. This is the problem the Boston faced. The only reason they exited the 1st with a lead, is because of how poorly the Heat were performing. Now that they have come alive, Boston needs to push back with its own strength. And that is something that has not appeared in 3 out of 4 games so far. But Boston comes back with 6 quick points. Paul Pierce had a 3 point play, and then a 3-pointer from Allen. The lead was back up to 7. LeBron came alive in the 2nd though, and Wade was on fire. Wade had scored 23 already by the end of the 2nd. The Celtics started to get some play from Allen though, showing some life. Allen was 4-6, including 3-5 from 3-point range. That gave him 11 points heading into the half. Garnett only scored 1 point in the 2nd, but he improved to 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Boston was able to maintain a 49-47 lead at the end of the 2nd. Boston needs the Big 3 to keep scoring, and they need to keep James and Bosh off the board. Wade can’t beat them himself, so keeping the other 2 off the board should be their top priority heading into the 2nd half.

2nd Half

Boston got off to a good starting the 3rd, with Jermaine O’Neal getting a 3 point play. Allen hit a ridiculous 3, with Dwayne Wade in his face. He’s leading the Celtics with 15 points now. Boston looked like they might win this game, Ray just had to keep draining those shots. Boston was up 63-57 midway through the 3rd. Some hard play by KG, denying a dunk by Juwan Howard. Garnett passed ahead to Pierce, who was then rejected by Bosh. Boston had upped the physicality, but Miami was responding. The bench for Boston was again providing little support. Wade was torching the Celtics, scoring 30 points at the end of the 3rd. James had 20, and Bosh was again invisible. Somehow though, Boston was able to maintain a 73-71 lead entering the 4th, and possibly last quarter of this Celtics season. Boston had a 4-1 run to start the 4th, and that gave them a 7 point lead early. The bench had started to come alive. Green added his 9th point of the night, and West just slammed down a dunk in Chris Bosh’s pansy face. Boston had this game in their pockets. But, they had game 4 handed to them, and couldn’t close the deal. Boston was up 83-79 midway through the 4th. They have the game in hand, they just need to close it out. A 3 from James Jones brings the Heat back to within 2. The once ol’ reliable Celtics have become the old unreliable Celtics. The offense had stuttered, and the Heat were taking advantage. A 3 from James, and the Heat take the lead as the 2 minute mark hits. It was 90-87, and neither team could hit a shot for the next minute. Finally LeBron James breaks the ice with a 3 pointer, and there is now just 40.4 seconds remaining in the Celtics season. The Heat would add a couple more points, and game 5 has ended with a 97-87 win for the Heat. The Boston Celtics have been eliminated from the 2011 postseason by LeBron James and the Heat. I think I just threw-up a little.

Post-Game Discussion

For the 2nd straight game in a row, the Boston Celtics could not close out a game. It was the Miami Heat who closed the game. LeBron James was held in check in the 1st quarter, but came alive in the 2nd quarter, and that led to a great 2nd half for him. James ended the night with 33 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Wade was again the leading scorer on the Heat, scoring 34 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Bosh was able to put together 14 points with 11 rebounds. Not great, but decent enough to help the Heat win. This game was less about the Heats triumph, and more about the Celtics falling flat on their faces.

As everyone knows, Shaq was not in the lineup for game 5. But, that had no bearing on the game. Shaq contributed nothing offensively in games 3 and 4, and was basically used to just foul people in the paint. Garnett started the game with 12 points in the 1st quarter. He added just 3 the rest of the game. Pierce started hot in the 1st quarter, and ended with just 12 points on the night. Allen was the Celtics leading scorer with 18 points. The fact that Boston was even in this game without a player reaching 20 points is shocking to me. The man whose name didn’t come up once the entire night though, and probably the reason the Celtics lost is… Rajon Rondo. Rondo was pathetic, but rightfully so. The guy is playing with one arm! Rondo ended the night with 6 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 3 assists. Awful night for him. The bench came alive in the 2nd half, and that is what kept Boston in the game for so long. But without the Big 3 doing anything in the 4th, this team never stood a chance.

What now? Going into this year, everybody felt that the Celtics would be Finals favorites. Boston LA seemed almost inevitable. But along the way, something went wrong. The Heat came out with their Big 3, but no matter what, they were frowned upon. They will never beat the Celtics, they will never be a team with so much emphasis on their superstars, they can’t finish, they will just never win. But it looks like all of that just ain’t true. Well, not for now anyways. The Heat have overcome their biggest hurdle thus far in their quest for a championship, but still face plenty of questions. If the Heat don’t win the championship this season, they can still hang their heads high on the fact that they have exercised their demons, on Wednesday May 11, 2011. Boston now will face a tough offseason, full of questions.


Celtics drop game 4 in OT, face daunting 3-1 hole

James tears up the Celtics for 35 in overtime win

1st Half

The game is on, and yes, Rondo is in the game. Rajon Rondo dislocated his left elbow in game 3, and also tore 2 ligaments in his arm. He’s wearing a brace to prevent any more damage, but he’s in the game. The game started with a Chris Bosh miss, and then Garnett getting fouled. He hit both free-throws, and Boston had the 1st points of the game. Rondo gets a transition lay-up. Reassuring the team and the crowd that he can play tonight. Boston went on a 7-0 run just 2 minutes into the game. The Heat come back, off a flagrant foul by Jermaine O’Neal on James. He hits the 1st free-throw, and Bosh scored a jumper off the 2nd miss. A 5 point swing for the Heat, and they tie the game up. Bosh looks real bad early. Just midway through the 1st quarter, Bosh is a mere 1-5 with 1 rebound. If he doesn’t play better, the Celtics could be looking at a game similar to game 3. And that would most likely result in a win. Miami has missed 5 straight shots, and the Celtics lead 18-11. Rondo makes a crazy behind the head pass to Garnett with his left hand, and Garnett picks up the foul. He hit 1 free-throw, and Boston takes a 8 point lead. But a big 3 hit by Chalmers, then a steal by Chalmers leads to an easy dunk for James. Rondo brought the ball up court, and Chalmers just runs him down, bumping him to the ground. He landed right on his left arm, but he’s back up. Such a classless move by Chalmers, intentionally taking out Rondo. James just runs over Rondo, knocking him square in the chest onto the court. James picked up his 1st foul, and the Heat are just showing a carelessness about attacking Rondo. Pierce made a very nice cut to get in-between the 3 Heat defenders, and hits a lay-up. That gives him 14 points already, leading all scorers. Boston takes a 31-28 lead into the 2nd quarter. The 2nd started with a Jermaine O’Neal bucket off a West feed. Then West stole a pass on the ensuing play, and hit a jumper. James followed that up with a 3, to keep the Heat in this game. Jeff Green hits his own 3, and Boston takes a 7 point lead. Delonte West was very hot in the 2nd, and Boston had the lead out to 11. Bosh finally comes through with a big bucket and 1. Miami had closed the lead to just 3, going on a 9-1 run. LeBron James gets a steal, and slams down a dunk. That would give the Heat their 1st lead of the game, up 46-45. Pierce hits a lay-up with just seconds remaining. Wade brings the ball up court for a long 3 attempt, but it did not fall. Boston took a 53-50 lead into the 3rd quarter. Boston has well outplayed the Heat. James was the only guy scoring for Miami in the 1st half, with 20 points. Wade came alive in the 2nd, scoring 10 of his 14 points. Bosh was invisible again, going 2-8 for just 5 points. Miami’s bench provided just 7 points. Pierce was the leading scorer for the Celtics, with 19 points. 4 other players had at least 5 points. Another team effort by the C’s, and a superstar show by the Heat. The Celtics should be able to pull this game out. They just have to keep up the teamwork, and make sure that LeBron is the only Heat player to hurt them.

2nd Half

The 3rd quarter started out with a jumper by Ray Allen, who’s been very quite in this game. That gives him just 6 points so far in the game. But, he then misses a wide open 3, and Miami came back with a floater from Wade to tie the game. Bosh followed that up with a tip-in, and Miami had their biggest lead of the night, up 59-57. Ray Allen came back with a dunk in the face of Bosh to tie the game. He gave some life to the Celtics faithful, but Bosh hit another jumper. Bosh was hot to start the 3rd, which is not good for the Celtics. Boston all around looks slow, and they were not hitting any shots. Miami went on a 10-2 run to take a 4 point lead in the 3rd. James has yet to score midway through the 3rd, but Wade has added 4 to his total, and Bosh has added 6. Allen hits a huge 3, and that ties the game at 65. Off a Biby 3-point miss, Garnett comes up with the rebound. He passed up to Big Baby Davis, how tried to make a dunk. Biby on the back pressure, gave him a bear-hug, and took down Davis. No flagrant foul though, as his was in the motion of shooting according to the officials, which took his lane away. Boston had the lead back 69-65, with 2 minutes left in the 3rd. The bench gave Boston some life, as they went on a 11-0 run. James scored his first 2 points of the 3rd, by driving in a lay-up with under 30 seconds left. Pierce just missed a 3 as the buzzer sounded, but the Celtics closed the 3rd on a 14-6 run. It was now 73-69 Boston, headed into the 4th and final quarter. The 4th started with an offensive foul by James. Boston followed that up with a bad lay-up by Davis, trying to avoid a shot-clock violation. Rondo gets into double-digits, hitting an uncontested lay-up to give Boston a 4 point lead. Boston missed back-to-back 3’s, and are now a miserable 3-9 from 3-point range. Midway through the 4th, Boston had just a 1 point lead. Miami had come back to take an 81-78 lead. West nailed a huge 3 though, and the game was now tied. And then a huge rebound by Garnett, and Allen hits a 3. The crowd came alive, and Boston had taken the lead back. LeBron hits his own 3 to tie the game, and he quieted the house. The game is under a minute to play, tied at 84. James hits a lay-up with 48 seconds left, and Miami goes up by 2. Pierce splits James and Bosh, and hits a tough lay-up to tie the game. LeBron had the ball entering the paint, and he just lost control of the ball. Ray Allen picked it up, and was immediately fouled by James Jones. Boston called the time-out with 19.5 seconds remaining. The game was tied at 86, so this would potentially be the last possession of the game. Rondo inbounded the ball to Allen. He dumped off to Pierce, who just held the ball. With under 3 seconds, he made a quick drive to the paint, and got off a fadeaway shot. But it hit the rim, and did not go in. Looked like a broken down play by the Celtics, and a very unfortunate result. So we headed to overtime, 86-86.


Garnett won the opening tip-off, but Rondo missed a pass in the paint. So Miami came back with a jumper by James. That gives him 35 on the night. Allen missed another 3-pointer, and Bosh came back with a dunk. Quickly, Miami had a 4 point lead in OT. West missed an open 3, but Wade just missed a lay-up. Pierce would run into James coming up-court, receiving a charging penalty. James had a 3 go in and out, but Boston turned the ball right back over. Wade drains a jumper, and Miami was now up by 6 points in overtime. Finally Boston got on the board, as Garnett hit 2 free-throws. Chalmers kicked the ball out-of-bounds, giving Boston a chance to get back into this game. But Garnett missed an easy basket over Wade, making him now 1-10 on the night. Garnett then picked up a foul as he denied Wade a dunk. He only hit 1 free-throw, and Pierce ran down the court and hit a tough lay-up. James hit the rim on a jumper, but Bosh got the tip-in. The game was now virtually over, as the Heat led 95-90 with under 30 seconds to play. Another miss by Boston, and Wade came up with the ball. He was fouled, but hit both free-throws. Then Delonte West just lost control of the ball, and Bosh would come up with the ball. He was fouled, hit 1 free-throw, and that would end the game. Miami had stolen game 4 in overtime, 98-90

Post-Game Breakdown

This was a tough one to swallow for Boston. They led virtually the entire game, and had the lead at the end of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd quarter. James took apart Boston, scoring 35, and getting 14 boards. Wade had 28, with 4 assists and 4 boards. What killed them was that Bosh started scoring. He ended the night with 20 points, and 12 rebounds. Through it all, the game fell right into Boston’s lap with 19.5 to play. James just lost control of the ball in the paint, and Allen picked it up. Boston called a time-out, came up with a play, and it stunk. Whatever play Doc had, was a bad one, or it was poorly executed. Pierce just held the ball for about 10 seconds, and then threw up a duck! The Celtics completely fell apart in overtime. Rondo missed a pass on the opening play, and Miami capitalized. Bosh made the biggest play of the night though, hitting the tip-in off the James miss. If he doesn’t make that play, Boston is only down by 3 bringing the ball up court. Although, nothing would make me think that they would hit a 3, as Allen was just 2-5 from 3-point range. Boston as a whole was 5-16 from beyond the yard.

Boston should have won this game, and they now face the daunting task of coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Not only that, but they must win 2 of the 3 possible remaining games in Miami. If there was anything I was sure of, it was that Boston would win the games at home. Now, I don’t see how they can come back and win this series. Miami should win game 5, and close out the Celtics. If not, then they will most likely do it in 7. I just don’t see the Celtics winning 2 games in Miami. This team looks old, tired, and unable to keep up with the Heat. The Heat will win this series, and it’s a shame, cause Boston had the chance to tie it right in Paul Pierce’s hands.

Celtics drop game 2, down 0-2 in Heat series

picture courtesy of

LeBron plays keep-away with the ball in game 2

1st Half

The game started with the crowd singing the national anthem as one. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The game was slow to start again. Both teams weren’t hitting a lot of shots. Boston had built a 9-4 lead. Biby hit a 3 for the Heat, to give them 7 points. Pierce followed that up with a 3 of his own. Boston had a 12-7 lead midway through the 1st. But the Heat battled back to tie the game at 12. Off a Heat free-throw attempt, Pierce would step awkwardly and roll his ankle. He would leave the game. LeBron missed back-to-back shots, and then Chris Bosh was called for goaltending on Boston’s following possession. That gave the Celtics a free 3 from Jeff Green. Garnett was giving the Celtics  lift, going 2-5 with 4 rebounds, 9 minutes into the 1st quarter. Both teams found another gear, and the buckets started falling. Biby hit a long 3 as the shot clock was winding down. Miami had a 24-21 lead with 1:30 to play in the 1st quarter. Miami went into the 2nd quarter with a 27-26 lead. Jeff Green was huge in place of the injured Pierce. Miami started the 2nd quarter with a 3 from Miller. Boston came back with a miss by Big Baby Davis. It was kind of pathetic to watch that shot. Miami missed a lay-up shot though, and then Delonte West hit a 3. Pierce was back in the game at the 7:30 mark. His left ankle was tapped up, but he was playing at least. Rondo was setting up the offense, when LeBron took a swipe at the ball. Instead, he hit Rondo on the head, and picked up his first personal on the night. Ray Allen knocked down a 3, to give Boston a 36-34 lead just passed the midway mark. Miami would go over 5 minutes without a basket, before James made a lay-up. But the Heat offense would get hot. The Celtics would then go 5 minutes without a basket, being 0-7 in that stretch. Rondo finally broke through with a floater, to get the Celtics to within. After a Dwayne Wade lay-up, Rondo would take the ball up court. The 2nd quarter was about to end, so he tried to get a shot off. He bumped into James Jones, and flopped up a shot from mid-court range. The refs determined that Jones had fouled Rondo, but he would not be awarded 3 free-throws. Instead, he would be awarded 2 free throws for the Heat maxing out on fouls. He hit both, and Boston went into the 2nd half down 47-42. Boston only had 3 points from their starters in the 2nd quarter, and that was a 3 by Ray Allen. Jeff Green was leading all Boston scorers with 10 points.

2nd Half

The Heat came out strong to start the 3rd, stretching their lead out to 8. The ever resilient Celtics though closed the gap to 3, midway through the 3rd. Kevin Garnett was able to hit his first basket since the 1st quarter. Rondo was getting hot, and started feeding to Garnett. He hit 4 shots in a row.   LeBron came back, by hitting 2 consecutive 3’s. Miami would go on an 11-5 run to close out the 3rd. The Celtics ended the 3rd down 72-67. Rondo went out early with an apparent back injury. A huge loss for the Celtics. Big Baby Davis started playing very aggressive, getting points on the board. Boston had closed the lead to 74-73 early. The Celtics bench was outscoring the Heat 25-7 early in the 4th. Midway through the 4th, Chalmers hit a 3, and gave the Heat an 83-80 lead. On the ensuing possession, he would go down at mid-court, and started writhing in pain. It appeared that a falling Big Baby Davis would land on Chalmers ankle, and he turned it funny. However, he would be back out on the court after the injury timeout. The Heat would go on a 14-0 run, now with under 5 minutes to play. The game appeared to be over for the Celtics. Finally Garnett got a bucket, and the game was 94-82. Boston would go on a 11-6 run as the 30 second mark approached. Boston couldn’t muster any offense though, and was forced to foul Wade as he came up with a rebound. He would hit both, and the Heat would leave game 2 with a win, 102-91.

Post-Game Breakdown

This is a game the Celtics should have won, and let slip by. The bench was great, outscoring the Heat bench 27-12. The Heat’s big 3 scored 80 points, with LeBron leading the way with 35. The turnovers were almost even, 12 for Boston and 10 for the Heat. Boston out-rebounded the Heat 11-7. This came down to the last 5 minutes in the 4th quarter. Boston had tied this game at 80, when the Heat went on a 14-0 run. That is what killed the Celtics. The defense could not keep them in the game. Everything they did was not working. And the few chances that the C’s had, they couldn’t score to end the run. It was a rough 5 minutes to watch. Boston needs to play a similar game in game 3, but they need to close it out. And that could be a very frightening thing to say. The Heat, not the Celtics, closed this game out. I still feel confident going into game 3 for the Celtics. The Heat do not play well in the Garden, and the Celtics should own them. If the Celtics lose game 3, then it will say a lot about these losses in Miami. If they win game 3, and then game 4 to even the series, then there is nothing to worry about.

Celtics drop game 1 99-90

D-Wade drives to the net

D-Wade leads the Heat to a game 1 win vs the Celtics

1st Half

The game started out kind of strange, with both teams missing their first 2 shots. Dwayne Wade finally broke the ice with a long 2. This game was very low scoring to start, just 6-6 halfway through the 1st. The Celtics were 2-10 from the field, and the Heat were just 2-11. Pretty pathetic offensive showing. It was a very physical game from the start, something we did not see against the Knicks. LeBron tried to make a play in transition, and Rondo just grabbed onto him and carried him out of bounds. Pretty interesting play. Wade and James were the only 2 scoring for the Heat, with Wade scoring 13 of their 20 points. Ray Allen meanwhile, had 8 of Boston’s 13 points. The game was 20-14 at the end of the 1st quarter, in favor of the Heat. The Heat started the 2nd quarter hot, but it was the bench getting most of the production. It was now 29-19 as they approached the midway mark in the 2nd. Boston started to make a run, closing the gap to 4. But, the Heat were just to strong. James Jones had 4, 3-point buckets in the 1st half. Dwayne Wade was carrying the team, scoring 23 points as the end of the half approached. The Celtics were just 14-39 from the field, with 5-8 coming from Ray Allen. It’s not looking like this will be a good one for the C’s. The 1st half ended with a 51-36 Heat lead.

2nd Half

The Heat started the 3rd quarter on a 4-0 run. But, ever resilient, the Celtics came back with a 12-0 run of their own. They had closed the gap to 9, and at least stopped the bleeding. These teams are playing pretty chippy, getting in each others faces. Pierce and Wade have been going at it hard all day. O’Neal laid a flagrant foul on James Jones, and Miami was able to get the lead back up to 11. The Heat would go on a 9-0 run at the end of the 3rd quarter, before Pierce hit a 3 at the buzzer. That would give him just 12 points on the day. It was 76-62 heading into the 4th and final quarter. Boston came out firing, getting a 7-0 lead at the start if the 4th. Boston just couldn’t sustain any of this pressure. They kept making mistakes and turning the ball over. The Miami lead was as much as 17, but Boston kept battling. Unbelievable play though just about midway through the 4th. Pierce executes a great pick on D-Wade, but gets called for the foul. He looked at the official, said something, and then gets his 2nd technical and is ejected from the game. That was insane! Pierce made a perfectly good pick, Wade just ran into him a bit hard. How is that Pierce’s fault? And then to throw him out of the game was just crazy. This ref is out of his mind. Boston is now down 13, and without Pierce. This would be a tough one if they were going to pull it out. Wade then nailed a 3, making it a 90-74 game. Boston had some life though, and it was Ray Allen. He seemed to be the only guy scoring for Boston, and he has hit 5, 3-pointers. The Celtics had closed the game to 90-82. But the Heat was just too much. They had a 10 point lead with under a minute to play, and would not let this one slip away. The Heat win game 1, 99-90.

Post-Game Breakdown

This was a very bad game for the Celtics. Ray Allen appeared to be the only guy scoring, and whenever they got a sustained run, they let Miami get a run of their own. Boston continuously made mistakes with the ball, and could not hit shots all night. I am very surprised the game ended up being as close as it was. Dwayne Wade led all scorers with 38 points. LeBron had 22 on the night, but the unsung hero was James Jones. He had 25 points off the bench, including 5-7 from 3-point range. Bostons leading scorer was Ray Allen with 25. Pierce’s shortened night resulted in 19 points scored. Him getting tossed in the 4th was just ridiculous. That ref needs a talking to on the rules. Boston had chances in this game to catch-up, but they blew them consistently. There were plenty of runs that the C’s had, but the could never sustain anything. Miami would come right back with a run of their own, to push the lead back up into double digits. Heading into game 2, there aren’t many things to say to improve the Celtics effort.

Score, it’s as simple as that. They just have to score more points, and make less mistakes with the ball. The Celtics can easily steal one in Miami, and they might as well do it now, because the Heat are going to have a tough time playing up in Boston. The hecklers will be out, and LeBron and company will not have a warm reception in the least when game 3 rolls around. If the Celtics lose game 2, I still feel that they can win this series. Mostly, because I feel confident that the C’s will win every game in Boston. If the C’s win game 2, but lose game 3, I’d be more worried than if the lose game 2, and win game 3. Home court is huge for the Celtics, and LeBron will not be looking foreword to coming up to play in a very hostile environment.

Celtics cruise by Knicks to complete the sweep

Boston swept their first round playoff matchup against the New York Knicks, by the game 4 final score of 101-89. Boston dominated most of the game, except for the final 6 in the 3rd, and opening 6 in the 4th. Boston had a 22 point lead at one point, and the game was never really in jeopardy. Chauncey Billups was out again due to injury, and Amare Stoudemire was a pathetic 5-20 from the field. The Knicks only offense was, again, Carmelo Anthony. Boston had contributions from every one of the “Big 4”, and the bench provided 25 points. It was a good game for Boston, but another terrible game for New York. So how exactly did this game play out?

1st Half

The game started with a charging penalty against Stoudemire. New York had a much better tempo to start this game. The Knicks were battling early, and the game was tied 10-10 just 4 minutes into the game. In those 4 minutes, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo came up limping after being tripped up. Both players would be fine though, which is a huge sigh of relief for this team. They can’t afford to lose anybody with the way the bench has played. Another scary thing for Boston, is that Amare looked good early. He started looking like himself, and like his back wasn’t going to hinder him. He wasn’t scoring, but he was at least playing more physical. This game looked like it would be a tough one for the Celtics to steal at MSG. Rajon Rondo has been pretty dominant in the 1st quarter, scoring 9 points and getting 5 assists. Carmelo was carrying the Knicks, scoring 15 of the Knicks 23 points. The 1st quarter ended with a slim 29-23 Boston lead. Glen Davis was hot to start the 2nd quarter, hitting his 4th of 5 shot attempts. If he can get going, then Boston might have a man on the bench to provide some life. This would be huge going forward for the C’s. Amare was 0-7 to through the 2nd quarter, which is not good if the Knicks are going to extend this series. Then, off a break, Larry Fields had a chance for a bucket. He was fouled hard by Delonte West, and then he stood over him for a moment underneath the bucket. Stoudemire came in and gave him a shove, and double technicals were issued. Hard fouls are a part of playoff games, but please, don’t stand over the guy like your such a bad man. Just pathetic Delonte. He needs to start scoring some more, and then I won’t care if he decides to take a picture over the next guy he fouls hard. Halfway through the 2nd, Boston went on a 9-1 run, and had a 42-28 lead. The Knicks went around 5 minutes without scoring a bucket. The Knicks look terrible, and Carmelo is the only Knick doing anything. He has 19 points and 5 rebounds, and Amare is just 1-10. Rajon Rondo is leading the Celtics with 13 points and six assists, while Big Baby Davis is providing points off the bench,with 12 points and five rebounds. The 2nd quarter ends, and Boston has a commanding 55-38 lead.

2nd Half

The Celtics started fast in the 3rd quarter, going on a 7-3 run. Boston pushed their lead to 21. KG was looking great, going 5-6 in the game. The Celtics were cruising in the 3rd, maintaing a 20 point lead midway through the quarter. Carmelo also had 21 points at the midway point. New York got a couple fast breaks off of Boston miscues, and went on a 6-0 run. The Knicks were able to close the lead to 10. New York was able to end the 3rd quarter on a 31-18 run. The Boston lead was 82-72 heading into the 4th, and possibly the final quarter in this series. The Knicks continued their hot play in the 4th, and closed the lead to just 4 points. What was once a forgone conclusion, is now turning into a possible collapse by the C’s. Midway through the 4th, Boston started to get its lead back up. After a 3-pointer from Anthony Carter, Ray Allen hit a 3 of his own. Boston was feeling it, and looked like they might close this game out. Rondo goes up for an around the basket lay-up, and instead passes out to Garnett, who drained the jumper. Garnett hit a couple nice baskets, and Boston didn’t let this one slip away. They finished the game (and the series) 101-89.

Post-Game Breakdown

This was a good, and bad game for the Celtics. Boston looked dominant at some points in this game, but in the 4th, New York looked much better. If the Knicks played as hard all game as they did in the 4th, I’m not so sure Boston would have won this game. And if they did win, it would have been by 2, not 12 points. KG and Rondo dominated the game. Garnett had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Rondo had 21 points with 12 assists. Carmelo had a great night, scoring 32 points and 3 assists. Stoudemire had 19 points and 12 rebounds. However, Amare was only 5-20 from the field. If he could have hit more shots, the Knicks would have had a much better chance to win (especially with their 4th quarter surge). The bench ended with a pretty good game for the Celtics. They still have much room for improvement, but it was good to see some production. Especially when that production comes from Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who had 14 points. Following the sweep, Boston is now 20-2 against the Knicks in their last 22 meetings, including 8-0 this season. The C’s have also won 13 straight against New York. The Knicks will have to wait an 11th year to see if they can get a playoff win.

Boston has now set themselves up for a likely duel with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals. This would be a very interesting series, and I think this is a series everyone wants to see. All the people in Boston want to see LeBron James take a giant face-plant with his “Super Team” in Miami, and prove that experience and heart beat pure talent alone. Meanwhile, the people in Miami want to prove that LeBron is the greatest player in league history, and is a part of the greatest team money can buy. I personally am looking forward to watching LeBron take a giant dump in his pants when the going gets tough it that series. If that is the series we see, I predict that Boston wins it in 6, possibly 7 games. Boston should have swept the season series, and with the extra rest for their stars, I feel very confident heading into the potential series.

C’s cruise to game 3 victory. Lead series 3-0

There really wasn’t much to report on this game. Boston routed the Knicks in game 3, 113-96. The C’s offense was lead by Pierce, Allen, and Rondo, with the bench being ineffective. Meanwhile, the Knicks had Anthony on offense, and that was it. He was barely there once the 2nd half started. He scored just 5 points in the 2nd half. Stoudemire was active for the game, but very ineffective. He didn’t even reach double-digits in the game. Chauncey Billups remained inactive. Now, on to the game that was.

1st Half

This was not a good game for the Knicks from the get go. It began with a shot clock violation, and then Boston went down the court to record the first basket of the game. Paul Pierce started the game with 7 of Boston’s 9 points. Boston was able to jump out to a 22-5 lead with 4:11 left in the 1st quarter. The Knicks mounted a comeback, and went on a 15-5 run to end the 1st quarter. It was 27-20 heading into the 2nd. Boston didn’t start the 2nd quarter all that well. The bench provided little support. Boston’s once 17 point lead was now just 5. The Boston offense was again only provided by three guys, Pierce, Allen, and Rondo. It’s been the same story in the first two games. Luckily, the Knicks were playing awful. Stoudemire was ineffective, and Carmelo had 10 of the 33 Knick points with 5:25 left in the 2nd. He needed to be more effective though for the Knicks to win this game. Pierce had 17 to end the 2nd, and Ray Allen had 16. If the Knicks were going to win this game, they needed somebody to back up Carmelo’s play. With Billups out, and Stoudemire ineffective, it was not looking good heading in to the 2nd half down 52-44.

2nd Half

The Celtics started the 2nd half with a 3-pointer from Ray Allen, and then Paul Pierce. Quickly, Boston was out to an 11 point lead. Halfway through the 3rd quarter, Rondo scored his 9th point, to go along with 13 assists and 9 rebounds. This was the Celtics show from the get-go. KG summed up the night by slamming home a dunk off a crazy pass from Rondo. They went on a 12-2 run to start the 3rd, and their 11 point lead was now a 21 point lead. Ronny Turiaf scored at the 6:52 mark, and the Knicks went over 4 minutes without another bucket. The Celtics ended the 3rd quarter with a 86-63 lead. The Knicks started the 4th quarter well, going on a 7-0 run. But the C’s did not falter in this game. Ray Allen ended up hitting eight 3-pointers in the game. That was just 1 shy of a playoff record. Anthony ended with just 15 points after scoring 10 in the 1st half. New York looked terrible, and Boston won this game easily 113-96.

Post-Game Breakdown

This one was a laugher at MSG from the start, and Boston made sure to finish this game. I imagine that this is what game 2 would have looked like if they could have finished that game. Paul Pierce ended the night with 38 points on six 3’s, Ray Allen had 32 points on eight 3’s, and Rondo had a triple-double with 15 points 20 assists and 11 rebounds. Stoudemire had just 7 points in the game, and that about sums up how the Knicks played. Boston has weak interior presence, and with Amare in the game it felt like if the C’s were going to win it would not be such a rout. Heading into game 3, I felt that if Stoudemire was in the game the Knicks would win this game. They have controlled the inside in the first 2 games. Amare is obviously still feeling some pain in his back, and the once cool and calm Carmelo Anthony now looks very foolish. To score 42 points in game 2 and almost singlehandedly carry the Knicks to the victory, he was invisible when the going got tough Friday night. What a difference a game makes. I wonder if he’s worried now about the teams chances heading into game 4 down 3-0?

Boston still had no support from their bench. It’s getting to be a reoccurring theme, like the Bruins and their powerplay, or Crawford and his ineffectiveness. Doc has to fix it somehow, if the Celtics want to make a long playoff run. Eventually, their stars will have a bad night, and they will die when their bench doesn’t pick up the slack. As long as the Knicks give up again, Boston will easily win game 4 and advance to the Conference Semi Finals.

Celtics take game 2 in dramatic fashion, lead series 2-0

1st Half

Before the game started, Chauncey Billups was officially ruled out. This is a huge blow for the Knicks, who are relying on him to get this team further into the playoffs. The first quarter was a back-and forth battle. Boston controlled the early stages, but the Knicks were able to go on an 8-0 run to end the 1st. The Celtics game-plan was get the ball to Rondo. He appeared to be the only Celtic who could score. Rondo had 14 points in the 1st alone. The Celtics took a huge blow though, when Jermaine O’Neal left with 3:44 left in the 1st quarter. Boston would take a 23-21 lead into the 2nd. The Knicks went on a 13-1 run to start the 2nd, but Amare Stoudemire was 0-6. He is somebody who has to score if the Knicks have any chance of winning. With 7:00 to go in the second, Jermaine O’Neal came back into the game. He had an apparent wrist injury, as his wrist was wrapped up tight. The second quarter became the Rondo and Anthony show. They were the only two who could score for their respective teams. Rondo had 18 points in the 1st half, and Carmelo had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics bench is being outscored 15-7.

2nd Half

Amare Stoudemire was out with back spasms in the 3rd, and he did not return to the game. That was a huge blow for the Knicks. Yes, Anthony is lighting up the scoreboard, but they need Amare if they want to close this game out. Pierce had some huge blocks in the 3rd, and Ray Allen started to come to life, hitting 4 of 4 from 3-point range. The Knicks looked awful late in the 3rd. They couldn’t hit any shots, and went over three minutes without a FG towards the end of the quarter. Boston took a 74-68 lead at the end of the 3rd, and it looked like this game was over. Rondo was leading the team with 22 points, and Ray Allen and Paul Pierce came to life with 18 and 16 respectively. The bench was providing nothing, but they were only taking on Carmelo Anthony. He was the only Knick who could score. New York started strong in the 4th. They were able to close the gap to 74-70. The Knicks eventually tied the game, and took the lead 78-76 on a 15-2 run. Anthony had the entire Knicks team on his back, and was doing a great job of getting them back into what had seemed like a done game. With 2:35 to go, Anthony nailed a huge 3-pointer to give him 42 points. New York took a 91-88 lead in the 4th. Pierce drove to the basket, and was fouled. He hit both his free throws to make it a one point game. New York set up in the Boston zone. A pass attempt was blocked, and picked up by Ray Allen. He got the ball to Rondo, who slowed the play down. He passed back to Pierce. With 1:14 to go, KG gets a huge dunk on a nice feed from Pierce. Boston now took a one point lead. But would there D hold it? On a crazy possession by the Knicks, including a missed lay-up by Mason, Jeffries eventually got the ball and put in a lay-up around Garnett. Knicks took a one point lead, 93-92. With 19.3 seconds on the clock, Garnett got the ball, and laid up a hook shot. He drained it, and now Boston was up 94-93. With 13.3 remaining, Mason inbounded and had it passed back to him. Mason got it to Anthony, who instead of shooting, passed it to Jeffries. He had a wide open lane, turned to pass, and KG got in his way. Garnett blocked the pass, and recovered it inbounds. On the floor Garnett was calling for a time-out. The ref came over to KG, and instead of calling a jump ball he looked at Garnett, and then gave him the time-out. That would all but end it for the Knicks. On the inbound to West, he was eventually fouled with just .6 seconds remaining. He hit both free throws, giving the Knicks one last heave. It missed horribly, and the Celtics took game 2 96-93.

Post-Game Breakdown

In a hard-fought game, the Celtics were able to take game 2, 96-93. Neither team looked good early. Boston lost Jermaine O’Neal, although he did come back. Boston also got nothing from their bench. Rondo was basically their whole offense in the 1st half. I don’t mind him scoring a lot, but the rest of the team needed to get involved. Rondo ended the night with 30 points (career high) to lead the Celtics, along with 4 rebounds and 7 assists. New York had only one scorer as well, and that was Carmelo Anthony. He had 42 points to tie his playoff career high. Losing Stoudemire in the 2nd half was huge for this Knicks team. New York could have possibly won the game if he was in the game for the final possession. I would imagine that he would have hit the lane if he were in Jeffries position, and made the bucket. The 3rd period looked like the Celtics would easily run away with this game. But the Knicks came out very aggressive in the 4th. Melo was hitting everything, and it looked like he was going to win this game single-handedly. It was incredible to watch the lead evaporate for Boston. Boston can make a lot of improvements off of this game. They were out-rebounded 53-37, with plenty of offensive rebounds for New York. The Celtics still look like their missing something inside. If Stoudemire possibly gets back for game 3, the Knicks will dominate the inside. They need to do something about that, but I don’t know if they have any answers. Although, if Amare is out for game 3 or more, then Boston could wrap this series up in 4. Going into game 3, Boston looks in good shape to win the series. I think New York will win game 3, but look for the Knicks to come out flat in game 4 as a result. I think Boston will win this series in 5, possibly 6. For the Celtics to make a long run in the playoffs though, they need to improve their inside prescience, and get a better performance from their bench.