Blog Entry

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

Posted on: May 1, 2011 6:59 pm
Edited on: May 1, 2011 7:38 pm
Posted by Royce Young

Saturday, May 1, 2010. The Boston Celtics drop Game 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-96 after a dominant second half in which the Cavs outscored Boston 58-39.

I remember all the reaction after it. LeBron has done it. The Cavs are different. These Celtics are vulnerable. The guard is changing. I remember all the chatter, all the reaction, after Game 1. And what happened next? The Celtics went on to finish LeBron, and the Cavs as we know them, off in six games.

Now. I'm not at all inclined to say the same fate is awaiting LeBron and his new team after their 99-90 win over the Celtics in Game 1 Sunday. And yes, I'm the same dude that just got through writing about how Game 1 could decide this series in the end. (Tone, statement, momentum and all that Jazz was my thinking there.) And I'm not saying it won't.

But let's pump the brakes on thinking at all that the Celtics are overmatched here. Maybe before we all say, "Looks like the Heat are the superior team after all," we let Game 2 happen. This was played on Miami's home floor, remember. And they still have to replicate this three more times to get past Boston.

LeBron's Cavs weren't able to do that. The Celtics are masters of adjustment, and will have a little something different Tuesday. The goal for any road team in the first two games is to win one and claim homecourt advantage. And that opportunity is still there for the Celtics.

A big reason LeBron made the switch to join Dwyane Wade is precisely what happened Sunday against the Celtics. He had a great deal of help, and the Heat were able to put it to the Celtics on both ends. Rajon Rondo didn't control the game and save for some spectacular-but-normal-for-him shooting from Ray Allen, Boston stayed close. Other than that, the Boston offense stalled. The Celtics didn't get to the free throw line (just 18 attempts), shot just 42.7 percent and only had three players in double-figures. Rondo's line -- eight points and seven assists -- really says it all.

It also says to me that the Celtics didn't play their best game. It does feel like there has been a shift in this matchup from the control Boston had in the first three meetings. It does feel like the Heat have found some confidence and swagger against the Celtics. But it also doesn't feel like this series is even close to over. You know that, and I'm insulting your intelligence by telling you, but I feel like I need to say it.

I picked the Heat to win in seven games, and my mind hasn't really changed much from that. The Heat held serve on their end because of 38 from Wade, 22 from LeBron and 25 from... James Jones? See, just that part alone should make Celtics fans feel a bit better. That's not happening again.

Again, I said myself how important this game was. Much more so for the Heat. Lose Game 1 and whoa boy, are they hearing about it. Lose Game 1 and now the Celtics are playing with house money. Lose Game 1, and it's very likely the Heat are in a hole that, mentally, they can't get out of.

They didn't though. They took care of business. But I think the Heat would admit, the Celtics can, and will, play better. It's a four-point game and the Heat scored the first point. I can promise you, Doc Rivers isn't panicking. Neither is Paul Pierce, Allen or Kevin Garnett.

But Game 2 is where the Heat are going to have to make their money. LeBron's Cavs conceded in that situation last year, and it ended up costing them. Boston took its talents to South Beach with a hope to win two, but with a goal to take just one. That opportunity is still there. And it comes down to Tuesday night. After that, maybe we'll be able to draw a real conclusion or two.

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: May 2, 2011 12:12 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

blah..blah..blah..heard that before in Miami and Cleveland..Celts split in Miami..take 2 at home..and win it in 6 At Home

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:15 am

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

Just like these analyst your thoughts well just like these Berger and the crew..How can you say they were hot when Rondo was sitting for most of the 1st quarter with foul trouble.The Heat were leading by almost 15 by half time which means squat for the Heat.The Heat has a tendancy to not be able and close out games as we saw in the 4th quarter.Yes Allen was hot, but if Pierce was there for the last 7 minutes, I think the outcome would be different.Pierce is the C's slasher and driver to the rim.Again the refs play a key role in the outcome. Calling a double T on taunting players.. WTF!!!!!!I did that in high school and our organize league now. It's the PLAYOFFS and refs should not decide the outcome at the end.I can see if Pierce set a hard pick and clothes-line Wade, but no he probably told Wade a 'your mama' type taunt..PATHETIC!!!And budy the played a subpar team in way they are going to pass the Bulls unless Rose sits out the series....Chalk that..

Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: May 2, 2011 9:41 am

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

You crybaby C fans are delusional! You got your asses wooped all over the floor the ENTIRE game. Refs didnt smother your shooters. Refs werent raining threes in all over you. I think you guys have met the team that wont be bullied. And quit crying about refs you little red head, freckle face biatches. Your lucky the refs kept order or your punk hero would have gotten himself suspended. Or gotten himself unconscious.

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: May 1, 2011 9:45 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

Complaining about the refs is so lazy.  The Celtics lost.  They will lose game 2.  The Heat will split in Boston.  Deal with it.

Since: Dec 9, 2008
Posted on: May 1, 2011 9:14 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

Any and everyone saying the Heat got the better of the officiating need to watch the game again. The Heat shot more free throws because they were more aggressive, especially in the first half. James Jones didn't flgrant foul Pierce, he hit the ball well before his other arm got Pierce near his head. Also, he was given a Technical foul anyways so it basically cancels out. And I agree that O'neal never should have gotten a flagrant but one call doesn't make a game. The Heat just played better today. That doesn't mean they will win the series or that the Celtics are done, it just means they came to play more than the Celtics. Blaming officiating is a poor and overused excuse, please grow up, watch the games, and come with some opinions that actually rely on intelligence rather than cliche arguments. 

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: May 1, 2011 9:07 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

I see three major factors in this defeat for the Celtics.  First, the Celtics played the first half like they had been idle for a week.  And they had been.  There is never ending debate over if being idle hurts or helps a team.  I think the general consensus of NBA coaches is to try to avoid such periods.  The Celtics just came out of the gate so slowly, and it obviously hurt them badly.  The second factor in this defeat was Rajon Rondo.  He is the unique piece in this chess match.  He got himself in early foul trouble, thus limiting his playing time, especially in the first half.  Can't be much of a unique weapon from the bench.  Plus, it disrupts your flow when you do get back in.  He did better in the second half.  The third factor was James Jones for the Heat.  James Jones?  Who is he and where did he come from?  25 points?  I doubt anybody really thinks this will be duplicated.  So, can Boston do anything about these three major factors of the defeat in game one?  I do not think they really need to.  The first factor is gone now.  The second, I have supreme confidence one of the premier point guards in the league will adjust.  And the third, it should not have been there in the first place, and I highly doubt we'll see it again.  Boston needed to split the first two games in Miami.  I still really like their chances to pull this off.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: May 1, 2011 8:53 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

Ray Allen had a big game and the Cs lost. This is something for them to worry about. Rondo, Allen, and Pierce was hot and they still lost. It is a cause for concern because that is not going to get them past the Heat and whoever wins between the Hawks and Bulls. Yeah I said it, the Hawks can beat the Celtics in a series IMO.

Since: Dec 4, 2009
Posted on: May 1, 2011 8:11 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

James Jones should have received at flagrant foul for going after Pierce's head and not the ball. I mean if Jermaine O'neal gets a flagrant for hardly sticking his elbow out than no question Jones should have received one. Wade should have also received a flagrant for lowering his shoulder and trying to run through Pierce! Refs favored Miami and let them play physical.

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: May 1, 2011 7:58 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

My sentiments exactly.  Except I predict the Celtics to win it in 7.  I cant see Jones going off again but maybe he will.  I do see Bosh and Lebron having monster games somewhere along the line.  Lebron surprised me with his defense on Paul Pierce.  He took him out of the game completely in the first half.  Still, I see the Truth and Rondo running getting off for the next couple of games.  I get a sense of fragility with the Heat.  I think they respect Boston too much.

Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: May 1, 2011 7:33 pm

History says not to panic about the Celtics yet

I agree with this article. The Celtics in the first half reminded me a lot of the opening of that Lakers-Celtics series when the Lakers had been sitting around for a while waiting for the eventual Eastern Conference contender. They were rusty or over-anxious or some of both. Even so, the Celtics still managed to stay in the game, outplay the Heat in the second half and lose by a margin that could have and should have been a lot worse given all that happened, including the incredible free throw disparity and Pierce being ejected. Rondo needs to calm down and let the game come to him instead of trying to force shots and going for homerun passes all the time. Pierce needs to be the only turnover-prone machine on that team, lol.

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