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Blog Entry

Playoff Fix: The Celtics' line in the sand

Posted on: May 7, 2011 9:25 am
Edited on: May 7, 2011 2:35 pm
The Celtics need someone to step up in a big way, and for Shaq to make an impact, and to create more turnovers, and... you get the idea. 
Posted by Matt Moore

One Big Thing: The time for equal contributions has past. The Celtics need a hero. Someone has to step up and lead the way for Boston, because for the first time, Ubuntu may be outmatched. Offensive distribution and suffocating defense are both great plans in 99 percent of all matchups, but for whatever reason, the Heat have stormed the barricades in this series. Now the Celtics are going to have to fight them out and, to do so, someone's going to have to set the example. Whether that's Paul Pierce having a game befitting his status as one of the greatest true Celtics ever, a bully-in-the-schoolyard rampage by Kevin Garnett, or Rajon Rondo getting back to being the brilliant distributor and triple-double machine he can be, someone's going to have to put in a special type game. It's not that the other Celtics can't contribute. It's that they have been and the Celtics are still losing. It's time for someone on Boston to make a statement that says "We're still here, and we're not going down like this."

The X-Factor: Shaquille O'Neal is expected to play Saturday for the first time in the playoffs and what feels like the first time in a decade. O'Neal isn't going to save the Celtics. But he can come out and set the tone. In reality, O'Neal's no longer the defender or rebounder he once was. But he can, surprisingly, score. And there's no one on the Heat that can handle his girth. O'Neal's going to take more possessions than he really needs to, but if he can bring out the old bull in a china shop act for a few drop hooks, that could get the crowd, the energy, and the momentum on the Celtics side. O'Neal can't lead the Celtics through the gate. He can bust the gate open with his backside, though. 

The Adjustment: The Celtics' defensive principles all revolve around position. Get to the spot before your man does. Get a hand up where he wants the ball to go. Contest, contest, contest. But with the Heat having turned the ball over on less than 15 percent of all possessions in this series, the time may have come to start attacking the ball. The Celtics need to disrupt the Heat's offense and get easy buckets of their own. In short, things have got to come a little easier for the Celtics and be a little more frustrating for the Heat. 

The Sticking Point: The Heat are doing it. They're winning with huge contributions from the Triad, playing great defense, and getting the wins. We've yet to see a Heat team really close when down in the 4th to a great team, but the Heat are starting to change the narrative about them in regards to their ability to step up in big situations. Game 3 in Boston will be the stiffest test yet. 

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 11:29 am

Playoff Fix: The Celtics' line in the sand

There was nothing dirty about that play Wade was falling down and was trying to hold himself up. If Rondo was'nt trying to elbow him in the back of the head maybe he would've had 2 hands to break his fall. Rondo is a tough little guy and I was suprised to see him come back. But he was'nt the hero KG was, he looked like KG of the T-wolves. Boston responded with heart and passion the Heat did'nt mainly LB and Bosh. I doubt if LB has another bad game like this one. Heat in six.

Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 11:06 pm

Playoff Fix: The Celtics' line in the sand

Rondo's ONE-ARMED performance was as HEROIC as it gets.   After DIRTY WADE pulled him down the the court and Rondo dislocated his elbow, Rondo returned to action and was a key player in the 4th quarter.   Only question will be if Rondo can play after this game cuz that injury looked nasty.   If Pierce got thrown out for just setting a hard pick, Wade certainly deserves to get suspended.   The Celts showed the league what HEART is all about tonight and are still very much in this series as a result.  Props to KG and his MONSTER game as well.  GO CELTS!!!   

Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: May 7, 2011 10:13 pm

Playoff Fix: The Celtics' line in the sand

Celtics bench area looks like a MASH Unit.

Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: May 7, 2011 6:55 pm

Playoff Fix: The Celtics' line in the sand

Harry:  I don't think you are totally correct in your assesment of the Celtics.  You should worry about Ray Allen getting hot, but the key for the Celtics is getting back to a balanced team game.  The article questions who the hero is going to be, but it's really about Doc Rivers keeping the "team" focused on playing together, sharing the basketball and not settling for just jump shots.  The beginning of NBA games are about as irrelevant as Shaq has been for the Celtics.  It will all come down to the 4th quarter and who makes less mistakes.  I didn't expect the Heat to control the first 2 games as they did, but it's just 2 games.  Until the home team loses a game, the series hasn't even started.  Boston is in a must win scenario for games 3 & 4.  The series will be over if Miami takes 1 of the 2 games, but if Boston holds serve the pressure will severely shift back to the Heat.  It should be an interesting game tonight. 

Since: May 4, 2011
Posted on: May 7, 2011 4:51 pm

Playoff Fix: The Celtics' line in the sand

I think Shaq can help the Celts with a couple of hard fouls but ultimately I think the will prove to be to good at the 2 and 3 positions. Honestly my biggest fear as a Heat fan is Ray Allen getting hot from downtown. As long as the heat play with focus and Lebron and D-Wade stay in attack mode we should see more of the same things we saw in the first 2 games. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Heat come out and play on the road. Boston will hit hard early but if the Heat are still standing Boston will unravel and start pointing fingers again.

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