When Keyon Dooling hit his second consecutive three pointer (yes, you read that right) with 9:45 to go in the 2nd quarter last night, Boston led 45-28. The Celtics had scored 45 points in just over 14 minutes of game time. In the remaining 39 minutes, they would score just 48 points. In fact, the C’s scored more in the 1st quarter (34), than they did in the second half and over time combined (32). Amazingly it was still enough to win.
I saw two factors that contributed to this: One, the Heat started to double team Rondo at the top of the key, which definitely threw him off. In the second half he was constantly trying unsuccessfully to dribble and turn the corner around two guys. And two, the Celtics looked exhausted. My buddy sitting next to me in Section 8 at the Garden kept saying “They’re done, they’re done, they’ve got nothing left.” Hopefully neither of those things is a trend, but it’s hard to fathom how Boston can keep grinding out wins playing every other day like this. Although with what they’ve pulled off so far, it also seems crazy to doubt these guys at this point.
After the C’s 61 point first half, Rajon Rondo had the greatest mid-game interview I have ever seen:
ESPN’s Doris Burke: “What holes are you guys exploiting in this defense?”
Rondo: ”Uh, them complaining and crying to referees in transition.”
Has he been reading my blog?
Sadly fouls have become a huge story in this series. Paul Pierce fouled out for the 3rd time in 5 games. He’d also fouled out a total of 3 times in his previous 265 games. Lebron James fouled out for the first time since 2008. I don’t think the refs have been particularly bad one way or the other, just way too involved. There is a very simple fix. Call less. A lot lot less. Especially offensive fouls (there were 12 last night). I think the charge should be taken out of the rule book completely. NBA players are enormous strong guys who very rarely get legitimately knocked down. I guarantee they are all way better at standing up than it appears they are.
One final note on Rondo; he should be second on this list by the end of the series:
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