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Celtics find their offense in Rondo, Heat still pull out OT win

May 31, 2012, 12:51 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

There are occasional games where the Celtics offense looks good. Games where Rajon Rondo looks like the best point guard in the land, driving the lane and knocking down threes. Games where the Celtics and passing and cutting and scoring with the shots they want.

Boston had one of those nights Wednesday. In a series where they were expected to struggle to score Rajon Rondo dropped 44 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds. He scored all 12 Celtics points in overtime. Ray Allen was knocking down threes. Paul Pierce had 21. Boston put up 111 points. Their offense showed up.

And the Heat still won in overtime 115-111 to take a 2-0 series lead heading back to Boston.

“It’s tough to have (Rondo) play that way and not win the game,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said afterward. “He basically did everything right. We had a lot of opportunities to win the game.”

This one is a punch to the gut for Boston. This was the game they needed to win. They played with the energy and resolve of a younger team, they were physical and just took the game to the Heat. Boston pushed Miami off the spots on the floor they wanted to be, Boston cut off the penetration. It worked.

They led by 15 in the first half, and while you knew a Heat run was coming the Celtics fought those runs off and had chances to win it. They will regret not doing so.

In the end, the Heat made plays. Miami showed the kind of resiliency we usually just credit to veteran teams like the Celtics. LeBron James got the offensive rebound on his own miss at the end of regulation robbing the Celtics of a last shot. (LeBron would miss a second attempt to win in regulation, a 20-foot jumper over Rondo when he should have attacked more. Then late the Celtics struggled to stop the LeBron/Dwyane Wade pick and roll. Wade attacked and got a key and-1 over Kevin Garnett. On the whole Boston did a good job on Wade, trapping on the pick-and-roll with bigs and trying to take the ball out of his hands. It’s why the picks set by LeBron worked so well — you can’t trap off him. Wade finished with 23 (LeBron had 34).

The Heat kept attacking — they took 47 free throws as a team. It’s a sign they were trying to get to the rim. LeBron took 24 free throws alone and helped Paul Pierce to foul out.  The Celtics as a team only took 29 free throws. They think they got robbed (and they did at a key point in OT when Wade fouled Rondo on the head and it was not called).

Udonis Haslem stepped up with some timely key shots, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Boston just does not have people they can turn to for that kind of bench scoring — the Celtics had 7 bench points. It’s not enough. That kind of effort from the starters and to not get a win hurts.

Boston heads home and needs to replicate that offensive performance — their offense has been a roller coaster all season but this time the Celtics have to find a way to do it again. And a little better. Get a few more calls at home and make it stick.

Because now they have to win 4 of 5 from the Heat. And with their athletes, you know the Heat will keep making plays.

  1. bozosforall - May 31, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Wait for all the crybaby Bosthug Celtrips fans to whine about the refs. As if they never get calls. Heat won. Suck eggs, crybabies.

    • bbgraf08 - May 31, 2012 at 1:22 AM

      Celts lost game 1 on their own.

      The Heat were helped out immensely by the refs in game 2.

    • andyhr17 - May 31, 2012 at 5:41 AM

      You really have nothing better to do at 12:58 AM than come on a blog and comment on a post about the Celtics how much you hate them?

      • bozosforall - May 31, 2012 at 10:39 AM

        FYI, I was watching the Yankees WIN their game last night, a game that was played on the West Coast.

        Looks like YOU dont’ have anything better to do at 5:41 AM then follow me around like the little puppy dog that you are.

        I OWN YOU

      • andyhr17 - May 31, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        Yeah, there are other people out there who wake up early in the morning so they can go to work. It’s called a job.

  2. scalfor3 - May 31, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    the officiating in that game was terrible. try to pretend the lakers never get calls either

    • bozosforall - May 31, 2012 at 1:21 AM

      Who said anything about the Lakers?

      Suck eggs, crybaby Bosthug Celtrips fan.

      • andyhr17 - May 31, 2012 at 5:45 AM

        Bosthug Celtrips? You truely are an artist painting with your words.

        I also didn’t know that people still used the insult “Suck eggs” anymore. Sit on it, Bozo!

      • bozosforall - May 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        I’ll leave the “sitting on it” to you, Potsie. And we all know what it is you like sitting on, poofter boy.

      • andyhr17 - May 31, 2012 at 5:45 AM

        Bosthug Celtrips? You truly are an artist painting with your words.

        I also didn’t know that people still used the insult “Suck eggs” anymore. Sit on it, Bozo!

  3. finsfan71 - May 31, 2012 at 1:21 AM

    I can understand the C’s fans being ticked, after all, when you root for a team identified by a four leaf clover and a leprechaun, you expect all the luck…..and all the calls.

    • jjordannba - May 31, 2012 at 2:25 AM

      the Celtics actually use a 3 leafed clover for their logo

      • finsfan71 - May 31, 2012 at 7:45 AM

        That’s too bad. The C’s are gonna need a four leafer to pull this series out.

      • mikeytalks - May 31, 2012 at 8:16 AM

        Good one.

  4. dirtyjerseysports - May 31, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    The NBA…. Where fix happens

    • bozosforall - May 31, 2012 at 2:09 AM

      Yeah, the Philly series was fixed. Glad that at least one Celthugs fans is willing to admit it.

      • dirtyjerseysports - May 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Sorry from NYC and cant stand Boston

      • bozosforall - May 31, 2012 at 1:29 PM

        Good for you.

  5. diablito0402 - May 31, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    I hate boston, but damm, 24 freethrows by king without a crown james… Rondo gets slapped in o.t and no foul, hmmm NBA where mediocre refs happen,,,

  6. jjordannba - May 31, 2012 at 2:23 AM

    Rondo got hacked in the head by Wade while laying it up that was not called with over a minute to go 105-105. Thats BS i dont know how the refs could miss that call but there’s no excuse for 3 stooges to all miss it. That would have put the Celtics up 107-105 but instead it puts them down by that. & don’t tell me Rondo would’ve missed them anyway because he’s not Lebron or Wade. He was hot from the line all night and only missed 2 which were in the 1st half. That could have changed the WHOLE series and that’s BULL

    • angulocarlos1 - May 31, 2012 at 2:44 AM

      womp womp

  7. bearsstillsuck - May 31, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Nba- because the wwe isn’t staged enough.

  8. heathater4lifeson - May 31, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    Spurs 16-0 baby!

  9. mgarten33 - May 31, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    They want lebron to have a championship so bad its sickening, stern will find shady refs to make this happen

  10. mlhlite - May 31, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    id love to see heat with Rondo as point gaurd and Javel? McGee as the center

    • turnmymicup - May 31, 2012 at 5:04 AM

      Rondo on the Heat would be EPIC lol Could you imagine him running the break with Wade and LeBron on the wings? Brought a chill down your spine didn’t it. Well since thats not happening we have to continue to pressure him. Rondo put up amazing numbers the boy was working hard. Really Hard. Miami did all they could do with him. Great team defense. Go Heat!

    • rooney24 - May 31, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      The Heat would have no cap room. How do you plan on Rondo ending up there?

      • turnmymicup - May 31, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        Of course the Heat don’t have the cap room genius. I clearly said “imagine” meaning paint a mental picture. You must lack the creative tools to do so.

  11. luckisanexcuse - May 31, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    The thing that people seem to forget is that the Celtics are not a driving team. They rarely even attack the basket, the foul disparity is not even noteworthy.

    What is noteworthy is the hit on Rondo; but only to a degree. Did you guys not watch the same game I did? Every single time DWade or Lebron drove the line they had insane amounts of contact. Half the time they aren’t getting the calls either. What about the play at the end of the game where Garnett knocked it out of bounds but they called it out on Anthony?

    There wasn’t anything unfair about the way this game was ref’d, it’s simple mathematics. You get some calls, you don’t get some. You have to win regardless of that.

  12. lancer255 - May 31, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    As a Sixers fan I don’t understand how the national media was pulling for the Cs. My Sixers are not very good and they took Boston to 7. Boston is old and banged up team right now not that my sixers had a chance but I do feel the games would have been more competitive.

    • tfoz5150 - May 31, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Maybe. The sixers just play an ugly brand (no pun intended) of basketball, though. Plus, they haven’t beaten the Heat since one game in the playoffs last year. I think they need to go back to the shop, get some changes done and see what rolls out next year.

    • andyhr17 - May 31, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      More competitive? The game went to overtime and the Heat won by 4 on their home court. How much more competitive do you want?

  13. iowahbr - May 31, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    The big issue is that was a performance for the ages by Rondo and because the Celtics lost most fans will forget it by this Friday. I feel lucky that I got to see it. And to think there was all that trade talk about him 6 months ago?

  14. packhawk04 - May 31, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Lebron takes a great pass from wade and can take the late lead and…

    Misses a layup.

    Nice brick to remind us once more what youre not.

  15. acdc363 - May 31, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    Very entertaining game.

  16. ezmagic - May 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    When Garnett hit lebron in the face rondo already had the ball tied up for a jump ball. That’s why there was no call.
    I’m not a Celtic fan…. Just HATE the heat more..

    ALL YOU FAKE ASS BANDWAGON HEAT FANS ARE GOING TO JUMP OFF WHEN YOU DON’T WIN NOT 1, NOT 2, NOT 3, NOT 4, NOT 5, NOT 6 CHAMPIONSHIPS. you can only win most close games with ref help. No way you can beat the spurs. Keep having that wet dream.

  17. rooney24 - May 31, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    I have seen plenty of complaining about the refs. I have not seen any mention of the fact that the Celtics need to play smarter. Pierce needed to know he had 5 fouls and not challenge that shot late that got him his 6th foul. If you hope to draw a charge on that, get in there and hold your ground. I have never seen a charge called when the player jumped as well. Whether the call was right or not, Pierce has to know to stay out of that situation. I have to believe that having Pierce for the end of the game and OT may have made a difference. Even if they don’t like the calls, the players need to adjust to the way the game is being called to keep themselves on the floor.

  18. cidminion - May 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    For all the guys crying foul for Rondo, how many times has he flopped at half court or in the lane? Yes they missed the call but let’s be real there have been far worse calls for Rondo. None the less the guy had one of the most amazing games I have ever seen and Boston played an amazing game but truthfully this game shouldn’t have been close. The heat missed 17 free throws. I don’t read into the whol being tired talk because I think Boston wins game 3. Let’s hope the heat dont take this win for granted, they dodged a bullet.

    • turnmymicup - May 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      The Heat missed 17 free throws and won the game. If you call that dodging a bullet then the Celtics were a train wreck. When a player has a game like Rondo’s the opposing team doesn’t leave with a win. Better team effort from Miami. Looking forward to taking Game 3 in Boston. Go Heat!

  19. ceschatz - May 31, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    So the Celtics come out before this game talking crap about how physical they are going to play this game compared to game 1and all you people can do is blame it on the refs? Wonder if you heat haters really know how pathetic you and your cheesy conspiracy theories sound.

  20. truthhurtstoo - May 31, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Is that all ya got Celts? Everything went your way and you still lost. Looks like your best days are far behind you.

    GO HEAT!

  21. borderline1988 - May 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    The Heat missed way too many FTs…this game should not have been this close.

    Boston basically played as well as they possibly could (they literally couldn’t miss shots from anywhere on the court…Rondo had the best shooting night of his entire far) and still lost…Miami is just a better team right now.

    I know that Wade and Lebron always get mentioned after the game…but how about some love for Mario Chalmers? Where would the Heat be right now without him?

    Also, I can’t stand Rondo and have always been critical of him b/c he’s such a headcase, but the thought of him hitting consistent jumpers is scary. With a reliable jump shot, he’d vault to being the best PG in the league. I’d take him over Rose b/c the defense, passing, and rebounding are all better.

  22. mstrshake - May 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    So the refs blow one call and it was fixed? I guess blaming the refs is the easy thing to do when your team cough ups a lead…

  23. mstrshake - May 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    BTW, Chalmers got murdered under the rim and he got little to nothing. Stiesma was lol to watch. I loved his sneak elbow pushes…

  24. Chris Fiorentino - May 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    They played 53 minutes and the refs missed one foul that should have put Rondo on the line for 2 FTs. How anyone can think that affected the entire outcome of the game is beyond me.

    Two things I learned from this game:

    1) The Celtics can make as many runs as they want…if they don’t play EPIC defense for 48 minutes(plus OT if needed) they are not going to win a game.

    2) LeBron James has maggots drawers in the 4th quarter. There is no question about it. Between all the missed FTs, not taking Rondo down at the end of the 4th, missing shot after shot…he simply looks scared in the 4th. Yeah, he got his own missed layup rebound…so what. He is the biggest, strongest, and probably one of the quickest guys on the court. He should be able to score or get fouled WHENEVER HE WANTS!! And he takes a pull-up 20 footer on Rondo to win the game? And bricks it? I have never seen a more hollow 34/10/7 line in my life.

    I am sure he will eventually get his ring. I doubt it will be this year as the Spurs are just too strong a TEAM for the Heat to beat in a 7 game series. But I have doubts as to whether LeBron James will ever be THE key cog on a team that wins a title. If he had even HALF the heart of Allen Iverson, he would have won multiple championships by now.

    • borderline1988 - May 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      He absolutely already is the ‘key cog’. He’s a 3 time MVP and clearly the best player in the league.
      He’s just not as skilled of a one-on-one, score at all costs with time ticking down and double teams likely to come at you forcing you to take a 17 foot fadeaway jumper with a hand in your face type of player.
      Neither was Duncan or Shaq. Yet they have 8 championships between them.

      Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan had both mastered that skill – good for them. It’s doesn’t necessarily make the difference between winning a championship or not.

      Lebron is still incredible in the 4th…just that those last second shots seem to get into his head. He often takes low-percentage shots..Lebron’s mid-range game is very underrated…I don’t know why he didn’t take Rondo to the FT line area and just shoot over him.

      That being said, the Heat will win the championship this year, regardless of whether Lebron hits a few game-winners or not. He’s simply too good not to. The guy is literally involved in every play on both the defensive and offensive end, it’s like he’s everywhere all at once.

  25. jkaflagg - May 31, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Forget the game – when did the Celtics begin wearing those puke green clown suits instead of their iconic green and white ? Don’t they understand ” iconic” and “timeless” ? It’s as though the Yankees decided that pinstripes just don’t work anymore, or the Canadiens taking the “H” out of their logos because fans don’t know what “habitants” means…..very sad. They deserve to lose the series just for those unis alone…..

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