***Disclaimer*** I have never claimed to be a sports commentator, but I think I know enough about the game to say my peace, sound competent and hold my own against any avid NBA Basketball Fan.
Tension was high in my house where I watched the game with one other Celtic fan present and an Orlando Magic Fan that kept hollering “Superman” when ever the enormous “rock em sock em robot” shouldered Dwight Howard dunked. Dwight Howard has an excellent attitude and seems not to be shaken whenever he is beat up under the goal. I appreciate that about him as a player. I am not a fan of “Superman”, but I will give credit where it is due. He played a great game last night. I only wish someone would have told him that he had a white piece of string on his chin the entire second half of the game. Only someone like me would notice something like that. ;-).
Now on to the Celtics…
In my humble opinion, the Celtics lost because of the lack of a true Celtics offensive effort. At times, the Celtics were standing completely still on the court. The Magic set screens and pick-n-rolled the entire game and that can be tiring for the defense. What is amazing is the fact that they were still in the game even when they were not their best. What does that really say about the Magic?
Rondo wasn’t attacking the basket or creating the plays that we saw in Games 1-3. Perhaps the media and back problems combined affected his game. At the close of the second quarter, the camera followed Rondo to the locker room. Rondo had his face covered up with a towel the entire way there. He is dubbed the leader of this Celtics team and that is pressure to have hall of fame basketball players looking to a young point guard. He played for 42 minutes with 4 personal fouls but just didn’t contribute on the offensive end with only 9 points. We need Rondo to show up on Wednesday night.
Paul Pierce, playing a total of 46 minutes with 32 points, stepped up and made things happen like a true vet but grew visibly tired by the time they made it into overtime. The two short 3 point attempts in OT was a picture of a great effort but tired legs. An intense and determined Ray Allen, contributing 22 points, had the midas touch with that quick release from the 3 point line. I expected Kendrick Perkins to step up and contribute offensively but he failed to do so with only 3 points and 1 offensive rebound. We needed Rasheed Wallace to make an appearance as well.
Sidebar-I have a question mark over Rasheed’s head. He’s a Tarheel and Tarheels make things happen, but then again Vince Carter failed to show up for the Magic
I am still convinced that free throws win games.. If I count up the free throws missed by the Celtics (total-7) they add up to be enough to win the game. Don’t get me wrong they shot 76.7% from the line last night, which is good, but close games are often won on the free thow line.
Kevin Garnett has the intensity necessary to keep the team motivated and fired up enough to win. My friend always says when you see KG talking junk to himself, it’s on from that point on. I would like to see fire cracker ignited from the jump ball all the way to the buzzer. He did a good job on the defensive boards, but I’d love to see that performance on the offensive boards. I only saw blue jerseys when the Celtics shot went up. My coach always said that a good shot isn’t necessarily one that goes in. If the guard shoots in a way that doesn’t result in a brick, the big man should be able to rebound it and stick it back. I only recall one brick and that was at the OT buzzer. I want to see the big men put a body on somebody and box out on offense.
Doc Rivers is an excellent coach and I believe that he will lead this team all the way to the finals. The world knows that it is true. This game was agony for me, but the Celtics live to play another day. They are, afterall, up in the series 3-1. Put the Magic out so I can see an old school NBA final. Rest up boys so you can get the eastern conference finals over with on Wednesday night. Celtics vs. Lakers 2010