Tag: Celtics Heat Game 3

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Three

Video: Kevin Garnett’s “Army/Navy style” knuckle pushups


I’m not sure that pushup form would have been approved my Mr. Loveless, my freshman PE teacher, but it worked for Kevin Garnett. And the Celtics players and fans ate it up.

KG brought real energy in the paint, he brought the early post position (and great finishes off impressive passes from Rajon Rondo when Garnett was fronted), he brought the defensive presence. With that comes all the other Garnett things — the trash talk, some elbows that lead to technicals, some colorful language in his postgame interview. And now knuckle pushups.

But the Celtics will take all that to get the energy again in Game 4. Because they are going to need that and more against a Heat team that will play like the one from the fourth quarter, not the first three.

Miami flips the switch to off for Game 3, can they turn it back on?

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Three

Let’s give all due credit to the Boston Celtics — staring in the face of a must win night they brought it like you expect of a veteran, battle-tested team. Kevin Garnett was fantastic in the paint, Rajon Rondo controlled the flow. Their defensive intensity was stepped up. Boston won 101-91.

But this was another one of those nights where the Heat looked like the Cavaliers. There was a whole lot of LeBron James — 34 points and 8 rebounds — and nothing else. The rest of the Heat must have missed the flight.

And so Game 4 becomes a real test for the Heat. They have played these playoffs like a team that thinks it can just flip the switch. So far they have. But it’s a dangerous game because some day the power is not coming back on.

Can Miami get back to being a two-headed monster with Dwyane Wade and LeBron both attacking and aggressive? Because when they do that the role players — Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, et al — find their comfort level as well. Like we saw Mike Miller do in the fourth quarter.

Wade is the real key here — he looked like the guy from before he had his knee drained, the guy from Game 2 of the Pacers series. Wade had no free throws in this game. He didn’t attack and get to the line once. Miami needs the aggressive Wade back.

If he shows up and if the Heat can beat a rejuvenated Celtics in Game 4 there is a lesson to be learned — the Heat can’t do this anymore if they want a ring. Not against a resilient Celtics squad that they have given new hope to; and especially not against the Spurs or the Thunder next round. There the Heat are the underdogs and there is a very small margin for error. They can’t take another night off.

Miami was pretty much terrible all the way around the block from the end of the first quarter on. They got outrun in transition by the old legs of the Celtics. Their defensive rotations fluctuated between slow and nonexistent. They kept switching on picks then the Celtics would expose the mismatch. Rondo came off those picks and there was nobody between him and the basket.

You run off your defense — there are no easy buckets or impressive alley-oops for Miami if they keep taking the ball out of the basket. Meanwhile in Game 3 the Celtics ran a lot, because they were getting stops.

Miami needs to flip the switch back to on for both Wade and their defense it before the next game. Boston is a team with confidence now, they are champions playing with desperation, they will be a tough out.

And Miami had better leave the switch on for the rest of the playoffs because if it gets switched to off for another game — this series or the next — they will find the power is not going to come back on.

Rondo gets some help, LeBron doesn’t so Celtics win Game 3

Heat Celtics Basketball

Rajon Rondo didn’t put up 44 points in Game 3 because he didn’t have to — he had help this time.

But if the Heat were going to win Friday night LeBron James would have needed to put up huge numbers because his teammates didn’t bother to show up until the fourth quarter.

The result was Boston playing like the Big Three we have come to expect, a vintage virtuoso performance controlling the game most of the way with their defense, leading by 24 at one point and holding off a Miami fourth-quarter run to win its first game of the series 101-91.

Miami still maintains a 2-1 series lead and Sunday’s game in Boston now looms large.

Boston had pretty much everything go its way Friday night, even the calls from the referees (LeBron and Dwyane Wade combined to take just five free throws). The only questions are can the Celtics replicate it and how will they deal with the Heat bringing much more energy and aggressiveness next game?

Miami let Rondo control the tempo from the second quarter on and could not stop Kevin Garnett in the paint, which is what turned the game. Well, really, what turned the game was the 15-0 run that spanned more than six minutes from late in the first quarter through the start of the second. That is when the game and momentum turned.

But during that stretch Rondo made some fantastic post passes to Garnett — some over the top of the defense that allowed Garnett to score at the rim. Boston had 58 points in the paint on the night.

Boston also scored in transition, with Rondo pushing the ball into the paint and kicking out for open 3-pointers.

“The difference was our defensive energy, which allowed us to run,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “We ran into space; I thought we had fantastic ball movement for three quarters.”

Boston got balance this time — Rondo had 21 points and 10 assists, Garnett had 24 points and Paul Pierce added 23. The Celtics also finally got some help from the bench, with Marquis Daniels pitching in nine points and Keyon Dooling adding seven.

Miami looked flat offensively and were getting outworked all night long — they didn’t get back in transition and had Rondo running down behind them and nobody trying to find Pierce or Ray Allen spotting up at the arc.

Everyone on Miami looked flat — except for LeBron. Midway through the third quarter he had half the team’s points (28 of 56). LeBron finished with 34 points and had a game that reminded you of his Cleveland days. Wade had 18 but needed 20 shots to get them.

Still, you knew there would be a Heat run and it came in the fourth, with Miami attacking again (although still doing it too much out of isolation). The Heat started closing off the lane to the Celtics again. They made it interesting at the end, and the loud Garden got awfully quiet. Mario Chalmers had a great game with 14 points.

But it was too little, too late.

Miami will be a different team Sunday, more aggressive and looking to attack off the pick-and-roll. They are going to try to set the tone.

If they can’t, we will have an even series. And you know this veteran Celtics team is not going to just roll over; the Heat are going to have to earn it.

Thunder’s Perkins motivated by Kerr’s correct criticism

Manu Ginobili, Kendrick Perkins

Steve Kerr and the TNT broadcast crew called it like it was — Kendrick Perkins struggled on defense the first two games of the Thunder’s series against San Antonio. He was not able to contain Tony Parker when he showed out on pick-and-rolls, he did not recover fast enough to keep up with a rolling Tim Duncan.

If you watched the broadcast of Game 3, you heard Kerr and the broadcast crew refer to Perkins staring them down and calling them out. From the Oklahoman.

After at least two first-half defensive stops aided by his play, Perkins stared down the broadcast crew.

“Talk about that,” he yelled.

Thing is, Perkins played a lot better in Game 3. Like the rest of the Thunder defense. Because the Thunder switched everything Perkins even got isolated on Parker a couple times and shut the speedy French point guard down. Perkins blocked a Manu Ginobili jumper. That’s not his forte — OKC brought him in because they thought they’d be matching up with Andrew Bynum right now — but in Game 3 he was fantastic.

And the TNT crew acknowledged it.

Whatever you’ve got to do to get motivated. But should we really be blaming the TNT crew here? As KD at Ball Don’t Lie noted and NBA.com reported, Perkins himself admitted after Game 2 he struggled.

“In that last game Parker was able to get in there and get off his shots pretty easy,” Perkins said. “So tonight I said, ‘I want to see what you got.’ ” I wanted to challenge him. I wanted to make him really work for it.”

Game 4 in this series is going to be interesting. Very interesting.

PBT Extra: Talking Celtics/Heat with Jessica Camerato

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Two
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It’s going to be an interesting vibe in Boston Friday night — Celtics fans know that this is likely the last season we will see the “big three” Celtics team together like this. And with the Heat up 2-0 in the series this could be the final home games for these Celtics.

I brought in Jessica Camerato from CSNNE.com — who you should be following on twitter — for this edition of PBT Extra to talk Celtics, Heat, and what Boston has to do to come back in this series. We also talk some Rajon Rondo and what he has to do to lead the team in future years.

By the way, Jessica is convinced Rondo has a jump shot.