While watching Game 1 of the Miami-Boston series, one thing was painstakingly evident: the Celtics, as stubbornly grizzled as they are, simply aren’t in the same class as the Heat. While no one should ever put too much stock into the first of a seven-games series, the Heat looked like they’re operating in fourth gear, while the Celtics are struggling to get out of second. It seemed like every 50-50 ball ended up in a possession for the Heat, with at least six loose balls going their way. Miami also snagged 48 rebounds (13 offensive) to the Celtics’ 33 (10). Poor officiating aside, the Celtics couldn’t get to the rim, and even when they did they found their shot either bouncing off the iron or re-directed in mid-air.
While most of the headlines this morning are revolving around LeBron’s boisterous chuckles in the fourth quarter, the truth is that the Celtics just can’t generate enough against the Heat’s hyper-athletic defense. The Celtics have two clear mismatches offensively — Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo — yet in different ways neither one has been consistent this postseason. How many times have we heard Doc Rivers insist “We have to Kevin going”? It seems every sideline or postgame comment starts with something about building their offense around getting Garnett going on the block. The problem is that KG has to get KG going on the block. Often the ball goes there, but it usually just moves right back out and rotated to a perimeter player. Boston might not have made it out of the opening round without Garnett this postseason, yet he has to get to his spot and be willing initiate the offense on the block rather than relying on his jump shot.
Rondo’s mismatch is another prime example, but candidly, I can’t write any more about his inconsistency. You have to give the Heat credit. They’ve thrown multiple looks at him, different schemes on the pick-and-roll, different matchups, and forced him to settle for jump shots. The Heat did it all in Game 1. If Boston is going to make this a series, Rondo is going to have to exploit the mismatch he has with the Heat’s backcourt. And with Miami trapping Pierce on the perimeter and forcing him into mistakes, the only way to bring LeBron off of Pierce and onto Rondo is for the Celtics’ premier player to assert his will more consistently.
Credit has to be given to the Heat. Wade and James are both shooting over 50 percent from the field, making circus shots look routine, and are incessantly attacking the hoop. LeBron James put up another monster stat line last night, and while +/- can be somewhat misleading, you can’t overlook that the Celtics as a team were a -18 when James was on the court last night, and a +36 when he was on the bench. LeBron has already begun to put his DNA all over this series, and with Ray Allen’s jumper looking flat, Pierce unable score, and a depleted bench, this could be a rough series for the Celtics.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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