Rajon Rondo, after dropping 10 assists in the first half of the Celtics’ Game 4 win over the Heat, spoke to ESPN reporter Doris Burke for the standard halftime interview. And took a shot at the Heat right off the bat.
“They’re complaining and crying to referees in transition.”
That’s pretty succinct.
Rondo’s correct in that assessment. He was able to get out and slice through the defense at will, because the Heat were stunned at how the game was being called. Unfortunately for Rondo, the Heat responded in the second half, closing an 18-point lead to take the lead in the fourth quarter. They didn’t hold on, but definitely responded. But Rondo got the win, and the Heat were left whining about officiating after the game when LeBron James fouled out. The call was bad. Many of the calls were bad.
It could happen, they are certainly contenders. But two things need to happen.
The big one is their defense, which was middle of the pack last season, needs to move into the top 10 (and DeAndre Jordan needs to play consistently like a guy who is third in Defensive Player of the Year voting).
Second is the new and improved bench unit of Lance Stephenson, Josh Smith, and Jamal Crawford (he’s not new) need to mesh into a unit. Those are three guys who like to create for themselves and make questionable shot choices, getting them play well with others could be a bumpy road.
Stephen Curry gives high five while his shot is in air (video)