(Series Tied 2-2)
Well we have now both series of the Conference Finals tied up, and I think both teams that were down 0-2 have a good shot at winning the series. The Celtics last night took care of the Heat in quite an entertaining game. There will be a few things to talk about as we recap this one, but first I’ll re answer the questions I threw out yesterday for the preview.
1. Can the Celtics lob it to Garnett all this game?
The Celtics didn’t get to Garnett as much as they did in the last game, but he still got 17 points, and looked to be a focus point. I think the Heat will try to get Chris Bosh in the line up for game five to play on Garnett, but how effective will that be? Garnett should continue to ask for looks in the post because the Celtics have the edge there.
2. Can Rajon Rondo bring another gigantic effort like in game two to help the Celtics tie this series?
We can say this much about Rondo, boy did he take a shot at the Heat when asked what the Celtics did to get the lead. He said something to this effect “They’re complaining to the refs and we’re running in transition.” He was referring to the Heat team complaining after most calls, which is something that is seen in all NBA games. On the Dan Patrick show today, they were discussing it and Dan Patrick says “Once, I want to see a guy say I did it. I fouled him.” Wouldn’t that be a concept? But back to Rondo’s play in this one, there was a clear moment when I realized he was like a quarterback out there and it wasn’t even that big of a moment. The Celtics were going in transition, and Rondo has the ball with Paul Pierce coming down. Pierce stops at the three point line, but Rondo saw that Pierce had an open lane and literally points out to him to run down the line. It was quite an aggressive move by Rondo, but Pierce cuts down the lane and gets a step on Lebron James for an easy lay up. That’s the type of point guard you want for your team. Rondo may be a hot head at times, but his game definitely speaks to what he can do out there.
3. Can Dwayne Wade get back on track?
Wade got his 20 points, but it was on 7-22 shooting. 2-6 from three with that missed three pointer at the end to win the game. That will be a point that could be debated. I actually like it more when teams go for the win like that instance, but then again, the Heat didn’t want to get this series tied, so maybe they should have just looked for a two pointer. Wade got a good look at it as he pumped faked and let Marquis Daniels fly by. I wonder if maybe he wanted to push himself into Daniels for a shooting foul, but that didn’t happen. With Lebron James out of overtime with fouling out, it was up to Wade to will the Heat to a win, and he wasn’t able to do that. In overtime, really neither team did much as it was 4-2 in favor of the Celtics. But those four points were enough for the Celtics. Wade will have to improve upon that shooting if the Heat want to keep moving along and win the next game.
4. Can the role players of Miami step up?
Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem each had 12 points, but it wasn’t enough to help the Heat win this game. Lebron James and Dwayne Wade are still the main focus as James had 29 points and Wade had 20 of his own. That’s almost half of the Heat’s total points. It’s tough to win when the other guys aren’t playing that much. It’s easy to just stand there and watch Wade or James do what they can. But at times, those guys will have to get the other players involved in some way. James did pass off to Haslem for a potential game winner at the end of the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t exactly a clutch play. James will of course get some flack for that. Haslem didn’t make a good attempt at all either. He might not be a pure role player, but I think the Heat will try to get Chris Bosh back for the next game. They can use him in some form on defense on Kevin Garnett.
Bonus Question: Who won the game and how did they do it?
Boston wins this game in overtime, but probably should have won it in regulation. They had all the momentum going in the second quarter, but were only up single digits in the third when it felt like they should have had a 15-20 point lead. They left some possessions out there where they could expand the lead. But they got enough done in overtime and Dwayne Wade’s miss to win the game.