Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: Celtics look to flip momentum

Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:21 am
Edited on: May 3, 2011 12:44 pm
 
The Boston Celtics look to even their Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.  

pierce-game-1

MIAMI LEADS 1-0


One Big Thing:  Game 1 win was all about the Big Mo: Momentum. It was the perfect, confidence-boosting start for the Heat. Their dominant, level-headed performance in a physical game went a long way in answering questions about whether they'd fall apart or get bullied in the big moment. The Heat's bench production -- spearheaded by James Jones -- proved they're capable of playing a full 48-minute game against Boston. Game 2 should serve as a hinge on the series. If Miami can repeat -- or approximate -- their Game 1 performance, Boston will be facing an inordinate amount of pressure when the series returns to Massachusetts. If Boston manages to even things up, all of Miami's old doubts -- Are we deep enough? Are we tough enough? Can we win on the road? -- will arise again.

 The X-Factor:  Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo has been identified as the single X-Factor in the Eastern Conference playoffs since back in early April. That's only more true now that the Celtics are staring at the potential of an 0-2 deficit. In Game 1, Rondo was limited by foul trouble and shot poorly, finishing with eight points on 3-for-10 shooting. The Celtics never need him to be a go-to scoring threat, but he should dominate his match-up against the likes of Mike Bibby and Mario Chalmers. But sometimes it's as simple as staying on the court. Rondo played just 32 minutes, making it difficult for Boston to establish its offensive rhythm and dictate tempo, especially given the emotionally charged Game 1 atmosphere and the fact that Dwyane Wade was having a Supermanlike game for the Heat. 

The Adjustment:  I hate to make this one about the officials, but the biggest adjustment will be in how these two teams are treated by the zebras. In Game 1, four technical fouls and a flagrant foul were dished out, but the league office stepped in after the fact to downgrade and rescind some of the harsher in-game rulings. Boston, clearly, is hoping the game is whistled a bit more loosely, so that there isn't a repeat of Paul Pierce's needless ejection. 

The Sticking Point:  Will Wade fall back to Earth? And, if so, how far will he fall? He was dominant with the ball and with his play-making. He set up LeBron James beautifully on multiple occasions while making Ray Allen's life miserable. This is where the whack-a-mole Magic of the Big 3 comes into play. Should the Celtics devote more attention to Wade, they'll be opening doors for James, who had an off night by his standards, scoring 22 points on 19 shots, and Chris Bosh, who was big on the glass but provided little scoring pop. Miami needed every last Wade bucket on Game 1. He did his part. Who's up next?


Comments

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:39 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Celtics look to flip momentum

Soooo to summarize this article says Boston should beat the Heat and change momentum if they, wait for it....PLAY BETTER! wow, i think that's what every 0-1 team goes in saying. There's no doubt they can win if they play better, it's a question of if they CAN play better. They need to keep the big three down, but stay out of foul trouble. They need Rondo to do well, but they need another player to step up for points...They need to stop Wade but stop Lebron as well AND not foul too much. There hard part here is that there is a lot of things to change from game 1...but every one of those changes depends on another thing happening as well for it to be effective. They need to play better as a whole team in every way...that's all the article had to say...rhyme!



Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:34 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Celtics look to flip momentum

So many experts are on this site, and the ball hasn't even been tipped yet!  Why doesn't everyone sit back, relax, and wait to see what happens.  If the Heat win, they're up 2-0, and if they lose, the series is tied.  That's the ONLY logic that can be stated right now.



Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:26 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Celtics look to flip momentum

Bibby is going to shine in the clutch at least one time before this series is over, and might even win a game in the clutch before the end of the playoffs.  The guy shines as bright as the spotlight on him, always has,



Since: Dec 4, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:23 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Celtics look to flip momentum

3ofCrubbys:

You logic is so flawed, I do not know where to begin. You say that James Jones cannot duplicate his performance again. True, but I also do not think Bosh will only score 7 points again....

Also, James Jones is the best 3 Point shooter in the NBA this year. He is the champ.



Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posted on: May 3, 2011 6:08 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Celtics look to flip momentum

Quit disrespecting Bibby.



Since: Jun 12, 2007
Posted on: May 3, 2011 5:45 pm
 

Playoff Fix: Celtics look to flip momentum

I don't see Boston making any serious adjuxtments in game two with the Heat.  They need to show up from the opening tip and Rajon Rondo has to stay out of foul trouble.  He is the unique piece to their puzzle.  James Jones probably cannot even come close to duplicating his game 1 performance.  I really can't see Boston diverting moe defendsive resources to hom at the expense of attenetion to the Miami triad.  Their gameplan is sound if they show up at the starting gate, and avoid foul trouble.  Boston has a great shot at game 2.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com