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Boston far from dead, but they better get well fast

May 2, 2011, 12:30 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

This series is far, far from over.

Miami set the tone in Game 1. They got the big game they needed from Dwyane Wade, the Heat were more physical, the Heat bench stepped up and most surprisingly it was Boston players that lost their composure. (That said the second technical on Pierce was just bad — are you really going to start T’ing up every guy who swears at an opponent on the court?). Miami looked better, Boston looked dead.

But Boston has been dead before. It was just one year ago to the day when LeBron James and his Cavaliers dominated the second half (58-39) and won Game 1 at home of a second round series against Boston. Pundits started putting nails in the Celtics coffin.

We remember how that turned out.

Boston is not dead this time either. There is a lot of this series left and they have made it to the finals two of the last three years because they know how to adjust. And while they can take a couple positives from this game, they have a lot of work to do if they are going to win it.

For positives, Boston did a solid job keeping the Heat out of the paint. They even forced Dwyane Wade to take a lot of midrange shots, but he hit 6-of-12 from there (all from the left side of the court). LeBron got some tough shots to fall. Boston can hope that the Heat will not shoot that well from the midrange again. Boston also can do a better job contesting the three-point line and maybe not losing track of James Jones. Boston’s defense was not as good as it normally is and it had nothing to do with Kendrick Perkins. It was in areas the Celtics can improve.

On offense, Rajon Rondo must have a better game — him against the Heat point guards is the matchup the Celtics need to dominate. Rondo must have big games, but in Game 1 he basically played the Miami point guards to a standstill. That can’t happen, the Celtics offense goes as he goes.

Also, for a game Glen Davis was wrong — Miami’s bench was better. Much better. Boston’s bench shot 34.8 percent. The Heat’s bench has been playing pretty well through the playoffs and it had Jones in this game. Boston needs to swing that.

Boston can adjust. Boston can play a lot better. Its stars can play with more composure. They can be smarter.

They will have to. Miami has compiled a team of sharks, and they taste the blood in the water.

But don’t think Boston is done. Not yet.

  1. goforthanddie - May 2, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    “Also, for a game Glen Davis was wrong — Miami’s bench was better. Much better.”
    Umm, really? James Jones was better, and hats off to him. Otherwise, the Miami bench played like…the Miami bench.

    • hnirobert3 - May 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM

      Aside from Big Baby, exactly what bench do the Celts have? Troy Murphy? Delonte? Krstic?

      I’ll take Chalmers, James Jones and Joel Anthony.

  2. keyshawn22 - May 2, 2011 at 6:06 AM

    Miami played about as well as they can possibly play with the exception of Bosh who KG routinely makes invisible anyways. The Celtics on the other hand played about as poorly as they can play other than Ray Allen and still lost by only 9. James Jones isnt going to score 25 points again, Pierce isnt going to miss most of the 4th qtr again and Shaq (finally!) should be back by game 3. Looks alot like the 2nd round last year…Celtics in 6!

    • hnirobert3 - May 2, 2011 at 8:03 AM

      Funny how that works. The Heat can be together for 15 minutes and barely lose to the Celts in their first two match ups and it’s a great accomplishments for the C’s and damning proof that the Heat “suck”… but now the Heat have won two straight against the C’s in a pretty established way, out playing them in every aspect of the game, and the C’s excuse machine gets cranking.

      And you even went with the Shaq will be back line…

      Heat in 5.

      • andyhr17 - May 2, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        If you’re going to completely dismiss the first two games because apparently three of the top players in the game don’t know how to play team basketball and need months to come together…then you need to dismiss the last game of the season when the Celtics traditionally quit playing basketball. Take out those games, and the season series is 1-1.

      • andyhr17 - May 2, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        Excuse machine? You just started out your statement with an excuse why the Heat lost the first two games!

  3. davidly - May 2, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    And in related news: the Heat have yet to beat Boston’s starting five that the Lakers have yet to beat.

    • hnirobert3 - May 2, 2011 at 8:07 AM

      Stop drinking Bill Simmons’ Kool Aid. For all the talk that nobody had ever beaten the C’s starting five (Rondo, Allen, Pierce, KG, Perk) when healthy, you only came away with one championship 3 YEARS AGO.

      • davidly - May 2, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        Do I really have to type a wink and a smiley?

      • aqzi - May 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        hnirobert: what he means by the smiley comment is that he was being sarcastic.

      • passerby23 - May 2, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        Are you really lambasting the Celtics for “only” winning one championship in three years? Minutes away from winning Game 7 on the road is a pretty damn good accomplishment and KG being out of the playoffs the year prior and pushing an Orlando team that ended up going to the Finals to 7 games is also pretty impressive.

      • hnirobert3 - May 2, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        davidly, you got me. Kinda hard to read sarcasm on a blog post without the wink smiley.


  4. jrmcool20 - May 2, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    look people its only game 1 of a 7 game series lol, not the Cs or the heat are winning this series thr easy way , this series will go 7 games and who wins ? what ever them wants it the most .. the Cs are a veteran team and they are not going away easy ,, and the heat are not going out easy they got somthing to prove , this series should be the ECF , this is going to go back and forth till the end ,but to think thats this series is over in 4 or 5 games lmao NO WAY !! its just getting started , so sit back and enjoy it cuz its going the entire 7 games for sure !!! …….

    • davidly - May 2, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      WRONG! Boston is in big trouble; until they win game two; then Miami better figure somthin’ out! Then, when the Heat take one in Boston, the Celts ‘ll be faced with a MUST-win situation; and if they don’t win, then they’ll be faced with another must-win situation, but this time, back in Miami. Of course, if Boston wins that game, then they’ll have the Heat on the ropes! Whatever happens back in Miami, we can say we knew it all along – or that somebody got cheated.

      • hnirobert3 - May 2, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Ehhhh. As a Heat fan I’m not going to fall asleep on the Celts until the series is over… and then I’ll start stressing Rose and the Bulls.

  5. hnirobert3 - May 2, 2011 at 2:08 PM


    What I was commenting on is the lack of credit the Heat get when they win and how they get crucified if they lose. I’m Mr. Excuse Machine, trust me. However, I can also give credit when it’s due.

    • andyhr17 - May 2, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      You mean exactly what happens to the Celtics? When they win, people say they played dirty, the refs gave them the game, and take some shot at Pierce about being in a wheelchair or flopping…Then when they lose people say they’re old and washed up, overrated, and then take some shot at Pierce about being in a wheelchair or flopping. That’s the price that comes with being an elite team.

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