In Boston’s 92-71 win over Miami on Sunday, the Celtics opened the game and took their will to live. Rajon Rondo decided from the outset to destroy the Heat and did so, slicing in-between and through the Heat. There’s a lot to be said about Miami’s effort, cohesion, and generally disturbing level of terribleness. But let’s talk about Boston.
The Celtics put up a 100 efficiency against one of the better offenses in the league, and in the third quarter posted a 127 offensive efficiency and, wait for it… held Miami to a 50.5 offensive efficiency. That’s horrific. That’s terrible. That’s terrible in every way for Miami. And it’s how Boston ripped them apart.
Boston was phenomenal in its execution, finding open spots consistently. They targeted Joel Anthony early and often, relying on his inability to rotate effectively to get to the rim. Rondo found teammates open on the perimeter, open underneath, open cutting to the lane. It was a massacre.
Is Boston saved? Is this the team that will be there in the playoffs? Can they make one more run with the Big 3?
It’s a tall task. They had everything go for them Sunday, and everything fall apart for Miami. This was their finest performance of the season, and this was without Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus. But there will be questions about their effectiveness in the playoffs. Remember, there will back-to-back games in the playoffs and on those old legs, it might be an issue. But what Sunday says is that Boston can do what they need to in order to find their confidence. In reality, they need to believe they are better than they are. That’s when Boston’s dominant. They have to convince themselves they have an edge over whoever they’re playing, regardless of who the more talented team is.
Boston was talked about as done, that they needed to blow it up. One game doesn’t change the concerns, and they could very well go on a three-game losing streak now.
But one thing is certain. As opposed to Miami, Boston shows up when it needs to. If they’re going out, they’re going out tying.
(Statistical support provided by NBA.com.)