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Game 3: C’s @ Heat

 

Offensive Efficiency:

Boston: 107.7 points/100 possessions (15th)

Miami: 106.6 points/100 possessions (19th)

Defensive Efficiency:

Boston: 103.8 points allowed/100 possessions (5th)

Miami: 104.1 points allowed/100 possessions (7th)

You know what puts that whole rest versus rust debate to…rest? When three of your best players are in their mid-30s and two of them have battled nagging injuries all season. You know what that sort of team wants in April and May? Rest. As much as they can get.

The last time Boston went up 2-0 in a first-round playoff series, they went to Atlanta and lost two games to a young, hungry team propelled by a loud, rowdy crowd. Boston advanced, but they got no rest. They barely got any rest for that entire playoffs, but they were good enough and not-yet-old enough to win anyway.

Now? Let’s get some damn rest. Let’s put this series to rest tonight.

Consider this your Game 3 open thread. What’s working? What’s going wrong? What adjustments have the two teams made? Has Quentin Richardson made a basket? Has Dwyane Wade thrown the ball at any of his teammates’ faces yet? Did Jermaine O’Neal just get all-backboard on that shot?

Tell us what you’re seeing. Go Celtics.

Some links to get you ready, after the jump.

• NBA.com’s John Schuhmann, who is covering the Heat-Celtics series, thinks the C’s could serve notice that they are “back” by putting the hammer down in Game 3:

We thought that the Celtics were a big step below the Cavs, Lakers and Magic. We thought they had lost their bite defensively and didn’t have much better than an average offense. And when they said that things would be different in the playoffs, we didn’t believe them. Because they looked more old than bored.

We may have been wrong.

And:

Taking a 3-0 series lead by winning Friday in Miami — with the Heat desperate for a win — will be a lot tougher than the first two games. But the Celtics had the second-best road record (26-15) in the league this season. And as they did for Game 2, they’ve had two full days off to rest those old legs.

A win Friday gets them not only closer to the conference semifinals, but puts them back in the conversation about a title.

Too soon to go there? You decide. 

• Rob Mahoney at Hardwood Paroxysm with a fun video tribute to Heat’s offensive struggles in Game Two. Working title: “We’re a Little Bit More Efficient (Do You Have Any Other Ideas?)”

• At WEEI.com, Paul Flannery zeroes in on several potential keys to Game 3, including whether Kendrick Perkins can continue to win the battle—convincingly—with Jermaine O’Neal:

Kendrick Perkins took Jermaine O’Neal completely out of Game 2, holding him in check in a 1-for-10 disaster. In typical Perkins fashion, he was nonchalant and direct when asked about guarding O’Neal.

“Just keep a body on him,” Perkins said. “You can’t let him get deep post-ups, challenge all the shots. That’s about it.”

• CelticsBlog’s Roy Hobbs wonders whether we should be concerned that Big Baby gets his shot blocked so often in the post. Big Baby had one of the lowest shooting percentages on shots at the rim among big men, so, yes, we should be concerned. 

While you’re at it, Roy’s also got a must-read post on whether Tony Allen is really playing any better this season than he has in the past. 

• Red’s Army breaks out some cool graphics in proudly declaring the C’s “the bad guys” in Miami tonight. 

That’s it for the links. Enjoy the game, and tell us what you notice.

  • Jrmz

    With Salvatore as a ref tonight, short of an amazing performance, I’m not seeing the Cs get a sweep and early rest.

  • http://www.celticshub.com Zach Lowe

    Boo to negativity!

  • Carlos R.

    I don’t see why the C’s cannot beat the Heat tonight. I know that the regular season is over, but the greens swept Miami in three games and in none of those games they were playing as good as they are playing right now. Also, the team is well rested. As far as I can see, this series will be over in no more than five games.

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    Are all your readers this original and witty with their jokes?

  • The Truth 34

    The D needs to be as good as it was in game 2, and that includes the blow out on the boards. Alot is on KG to come in and make a big impact on both ends and take this series intensity over the top.

  • Carlos R.

    Zach, please go deep and do some research about Pierce’s right shoulder and Perk’s tendinitis. According to Doc Rivers, both players are ok right now, but he would not be surprissed if anything happens. In fact, about Perks he said that “you never know with tendinitis…” If we have a chance to beat Cleveland, those guys have to be fully healthy.

  • Jason

    I’ve been posting all over this site about Game 3 since yesterday morning, so I’ll just summarize:

    Keep doing what’s been working, that includes the intensity. Rested KG comes back and makes a vintage KG impact. Learn from the Cavs and Fakers’ mistakes last night and don’t let up and blow this opp. Put the Heat to rest.

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  • CF

    Get rest by sitting KG out again tonite, going to baby, and repeating the entire game 2 formula. Actually just repeat that formula for the rest of the playoffs.

  • Chris O

    All Ima say is tonight is the big night in my opinion, Contenders or Pretenders gets answered. If the C’s can go up 3-0 watch out world.

  • I love Green

    Wade is going to go off tonight. We just gotta make sure no one else has a good game and we’ll be up 3-0

  • DeVelaine

    Okay… I don’t want to poke fun at Scal, but ESPN had a shot of him walking up the sideline, and well… I’m kinda wondering what the hell he was wearing…

  • Dan

    Glen Davis continues to prove that he deserves to be the starting 4. Let KG play against other benches so he can still feel like a dominant player.

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  • Sophomore

    Wow. That foul call on Rondo was ridiculous – and forcing him out of the game at that point was a huge momentum killer.

  • Sophomore

    WTF – a second ridiculous foul called against Rondo?!

  • Joel W

    Absolutely absurd call. There is no way that’s a foul

  • DeVelaine

    And how many shots have we missed at the rim tonight? We should be running them out of their own building if those shots fall.

  • Dan

    It’s not as important as the no call on Kobe elbowing Bibby, but unless I completely misunderstand the clear path rules, it’s just as stunningly bad.

  • DRJ1

    It’s 5 vs. 8 tonight, folks. Way it is. NBA will lose money if it’s a 4-game series. Every close call, or call that can be IMAGINED to be close, will go to Miami. Our guys have to overcome all that to win this one. They can do it… Miami’s been pretty lucky so far… got a feeling their luck’s gonna run out in the 2nd half. But the refs will do their best to help them.

  • Sophomore

    I’d like to see a footrace between Rasheed Wallace and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. They have to be the slowest two players in the NBA right now.

  • DeVelaine

    I think Miami has started to fall apart. So much for resilience.

  • DeVelaine

    Okay… That was my fault.

  • I love Green

    Yeah we’re collapsing right now. I hate Beasley

  • I love Green

    Oh yeah Pierce has been huge tonight

  • I love Green

    Alright refs, come on now

  • DeVelaine

    If we lose, I’ll ban myself from the site for a day. So totally my fault that Miami found fight after all that.

  • John

    man we had this game closed out and then…the NBA happens and the game was manipulated by the refs and the league gets exactly what it wants a close finish in Miami. This league is garbage.

  • Adrian

    i dont know if you guys have noticed but Perkins gets no respect either that or the refs just want Miami to win… like honestly defensive 3sec when was the last time ive seen that in this game

  • I love Green

    Wow this is gonna be a good finish. Our ball 40 something seconds left. GIVE IT TO RAY!!!!!

  • I love Green

    NOOOO!! Ray missed it! HOW!?!?!?! HE DOESN’T MISS CLUTCH SHOTS!!!

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  • I love Green

    Okay 13 seconds now i say we run screen and roll with Pierce. Or we run that play we did against the Bulls in game 2 last year for Ray.

  • Adrian

    i bet if D-wade made that last shot he would not be hurt

  • I love Green

    Pierce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goodness gracious he was hot tonight!

  • Sophomore

    Is it 2010 or 2006? Turn-the-clock-back game tonight. The big 3 hit a lot of shots they’ve been missing over the past few months.

  • Adrian

    GAME

  • CF

    There was some terrible officiating going both ways down the stretch of that game… but it don’t matter. THA TRUTH!!

  • DeVelaine

    Whew… I didn’t jinx them tonight!

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