Blog Entry

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Posted on: May 2, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 6:42 pm
MIAMI -- Paul Pierce will not face further disciplinary action for his altercation with James Jones in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, a league source confirmed Monday to Whether the rest of the Celtics will show up with him for Game 2 against the Heat remains to be seen.

After reviewing the incident that resulted in the first of Pierce's two technical fouls in Miami's 99-90 victory in Game 1, league officials decided Pierce's actions did not warrant a fine or suspension. Before practicing Monday at the University of Miami, Pierce said he was "definitely worried" about how the league would view the incident, but the Celtics clearly have more problems to worry about as they try to avoid falling behind 0-2 in a playoff series for the first time in the Big Three era.

"I was surprised at getting kicked out, yeah," Pierce said. "I didn’t think what I did warranted an ejection. But sometimes, players get caught in the heat of the game and sometimes the refs do, too."

Pierce and Jones received technicals after Jones wrapped Pierce up as the Celtics star pump-faked him into the air with 7:59 left Sunday. Pierce and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Monday they believed that play, as well as a later altercation between Dwyane Wade and Pierce, should have resulted in flagrant fouls on the Heat. 

Instead, Pierce was assessed his second technical foul after Wade tried to run through him on a screen with 7:00 left. Referee Ed Malloy gave Pierce a technical, and crew chief Dan Crawford explained after the game that Pierce received it -- and the accompanying automatic ejection -- for a "verbal taunt." 

UPDATE: After reviewing the incidents Monday, NBA officials rescinded Jones' flagrant foul from the Pierce incident but charged him with a flagrant foul, penalty-one for striking Pierce around the neck. In addition, the league office downgraded Jermaine O'Neal's flagrant-one with 2:30 left in the third quarter to a personal foul. The call was devastating to the Celtics, resulting in a five-point swing when Jones made both free throws and Mike Bibby added a 3-pointer that gave the heata 72-58 lead.

While Rivers disagreed with the explanations given by Crawford after the game, he expertly turned the tables on his team Monday -- essentially taunting his players for allowing the Heat to dictate everything in Game 1, including the physical tone and an aggressive defensive posture that forced the Celtics into a timid, impatient offensive approach.

"Miami wants to show us they’re physical," Rivers said. "That’s cool with us. And we just want to play the way we play. I honestly don’t know if that’s physical or not. That’s for everyone else to say. But at the end of the day, they’re going to play their style, we’re going to play our style, and somebody’s style is going to win."

This is the fourth time the Celtics have trailed 1-0 in a playoff series during the Big Three era; they've yet to lose a Game 2. In 2009, Boston lost Game 1 of the conference semifinals to Orlando at home and lost the series in seven games. The other two instances came on the road during the 2010 playoffs: against the Cavaliers in the conference semis (Boston won the series in six games) and in the NBA Finals against the Lakers (Boston lost the series in seven).

"This is the first time we’ve been in the playoffs with this team," Rajon Rondo said. "It’s different. Obviously, the Big Three have been here. But it’s only five guys now -- myself and Baby (Glen Davis) -- and everyone else hasn’t been in a playoff series with them. So it’s a different team. But we’re confident that we can win Game 2."

How do the Celtics avoid falling behind 0-2 for the first time since Pierce teamed with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007? Five things:

1) Listen to Rivers and be the aggressor: Rivers has such a good feel for the personality of his team, and he knows how insulted his players will be when hearing him belabor the point about how Miami dictated the physical tone in Game 1. Look for the Celtics to come out much more assertively at the start. This means A) clean but hard screens and fouls from the get-go from the Celtics, and B) the officials will have their hands full even more than in Game 1. If you thought that was physical, chippy, cheap, or whatever, just wait until Tuesday night.

2) Channel the aggression into better execution: It's not enough to be aggressive. It has to come with a plan. Rivers has needled his players in recent days by publicly stating again and again how much more athletic the Heat are, saying at one point that if this were an Olympics, Miami would win. That may be true, but this is a basketball game. Rondo has to be in attack mode, but under control and with a purpose. He also has to limit his turnovers; he had five of Boston's 13 in Game 1. The Celtics have to get into their offensive sets early, and stay with them long enough to get to the second or third option instead of letting Miami's athleticism break them down into isolation or desperation -- or worse, turnovers, which activate Miami's unstoppable transition game.

3) Find James Jones: In the film session at the team hotel Monday morning, Rivers highlighted how Jones got free for seven 3-point attempts (he made five) without being forced to take a single dribble. "That's poor defense," Rivers said.

4) Win the matchups they should win: The Celtics actually got decent production from the bench (23 points), but they need more from Rondo and Garnett -- especially when both teams' starters are on the floor. Rondo vs. Mike Bibby and Garnett vs. Chris Bosh should be clear-cut advantages for the Celtics, but Rivers admitted they got away from going into the post to Garnett too early in Game 1.

5) Hope the Heat shoot too many jumpers ... again: The Celtics actually should have been pleased with Miami's shot selection in Game 1. Especially early in the game, Miami fell in love with the jumper. According to Synergy Sports Technology, 43 of Miami's 68 field-goal attempts were jump shots. That plays right into the Celtics' hand. Unless, of course, they go in.


Since: Jul 24, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:01 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

   A 32 -18 advantage in free throws for Miami. 32-18! The powers that be better take care to let these games play out naturally. The ref should not have set up the scenario to throw out Pierce. I get sick and tired of seeing NBA games being influenced by giving the home teams big advantages in fouls and free throws.
   One other point : Danny Ainge should have his a** kicked real good for breaking up the Celtic lineup and trading Perkins. There was NO ADVANTAGE for Boston to do that - and every reason to keep the lineup intact for the playoffs.
    I'm so angry at Ainge, I could kick his a** myself. I hope he is drummed out of the Celtic front office.

Since: Nov 10, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:59 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Yankees - Take your own advice.  Don't talk unless you know exactly what was said.  You weren't there - You didn't hear what he said (or what Wade said for that matter).  But if the refs had called the game evenly/correctly then this T wouldn't have mattered because if they had called the flagrant on Jones - who's to say Pierce doesn't walk away?  Also - had the refs tossed Wade for intent to injure by lowering his shoulder going through the screen - which would have been the correct call - Pierce probably doesn't say a word.  But no they let this escalate and Pierce played right into their trap.  You can't make me believe if the roles were reversed and it was Wade or lebron setting the pick and Pierce trying to blow through it that this wouldn't have been a flagrant.  Pierce would have been tossed if he had done what Wade did. 

Plain and simple the reffing was horrendous in this game.  It's funny how all the BS calls were by the same ref.  Hmmmm.... did he have some money on the game? 

Go Celtics - It's All About 18!!!

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:33 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

The pierce thing was also a verbal threat to wade which calls for a technical foul in the rule one knows what he said so dont talk unless u know the whole story.sorry.go heat!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:31 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

it wasnt what he did it was what he said.they said it was a very hardsh verbal threat which is illegal and in the rule books is cause for a technichal foul.sorry go heat.

Since: Nov 10, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:11 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

No play on the Ball?  Really?  He had his hand on top of the ball and wrapped up with the other.  Go re-watch the play again.  There was no intent to injure - it wasn't even a hard foul.  Come on now - is that all you can find where the refs supposedly wronged the Heat?

Personally, I thought the foul was foolish on Rondo's part because it was his 2nd - but was in no way a flagrant or a clear path because he was able to get a hand on the ball.  Rondo's and Garnett's fouls on LeBron were in no way hard fouls - they just stopped him from dunking by wrapping him up. 

You can't compare Rondo fouling LeBron to what calls the Heat got in this game.  No way. 

Go Celtics - It's All About 18!!!

Since: Mar 6, 2011
Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:10 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Stern wants an LA vs Heat final,everyone knows this. Doesnt mean the refs consciously call it that way, but probably there is a tendency for them to lean in that direction. Didnt work out for LA last night, though.  Boston played poorly, and this isnt the same team that it was before the trade. They miss perkins, say what you will. Im not even saying that was a bad trade, it might have been a neccessary evil. Perkins is aging and has bad knees. He wanted a lot of money next year. Still...they miss him.  The Heat are playing better but I dont see them winning a 7 game series, not with only three players who matter. Bibby is awful, and James Jones can do ONE thing.  Boston does need Rondo. Boy, he better show up or they are sunk. KG is a corpse, so you cant count on him for too much. Its up to Pierce and Rondo, really, and for boston to get back playing tough team defense. Im sure they will. Then we'll see if Miami is a serious contender or not.  Right now, the team looking the best and playing the best is Memphis.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 3, 2011 1:54 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

Oh come on Berger, Pierce was not the only one playing. Ray Allen had a great game for the Celtics too.

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 1:39 pm

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

what about the clear path foul that rondo did on lebron. he was  ahead of him on tje way for a dunk and rondo doesnt eve make a play on the ball. no call two shots and lets move on. but please stoo making excuses, the heat BEAT THE CELTICS fair and square. stop making excuses

Since: Nov 10, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:50 am

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

I don't like to complain about the officiating, and I won't say that the officials cost my teams the game - whether it be in football or basketball.  I also want to say upfront - Boston didn't deserve to win that game mainly because they allowed James Jones to bomb away from the 3-line.  They played rusty - the week off threw their timing off and they were out of sync most of the game.  But like Champions do they continue to fight and try to claw their way back into the game and they did that in the 2nd half.  

 But there was some seriously questionable calls in Game 1 and the timing was crucial in stopping Boston runs.  It was like there was an agenda by the refs in this game. 

The first horrible call was the Flagrant foul on Jermaine ONeal - total BS.  This came when Boston was on a run and had cut the lead down to single digits - but the flagrant gave Miami 2 shots (which they hit) and the ball which resulted in a 3.  That was a 5-Point swing pushing the lead back up to 13 or 14.  Run Stopped - Momentum back to Miami.  The league rescinded this call - basically saying the ref was wrong.  Wow this was a big play for Miami - take those 5 points away.  Would have been ball out on the side so no free throws and definitely no 3. 

Next was the foul by Jones on Pierce - should have been called a flagrant - but mysteriously wasn't.  Pierce reacted - no excuse here - he deserved the T.  Now the league says this should have been called a flagrant so that would have been 2 shots and the ball.  That could have been an extra 2 or 3 points.  Then comes the ejection - Wade instigated the contact - really it should have been a flagrant he lowered his shoulder with intent.  Should not have been any Ts here - very tame what happened after the foul.  This was the biggest momentum changer in the game. 

Would Boston have won - Maybe / Maybe not but we will never know because the Refs interjected themselves into the outcome of this game.  This game would have been much closer down the stretch if these calls had been made correctly. 

Just my opinion - Now I know that all the Miami fans and Celtics haters will come on and try to rip me, but this is just how I (and much of the country) saw this game play out.  Time to move on to Game 2. 

Go Celts - It's All About 18!!!

Since: May 5, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:30 am

Pierce OK for Game 2; will Celts respond?

The 2nd Technical that got Pierce ejected was already 100% BS....SUSPENDED? How is this even a possibility??? 

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