Boston: 107.7 points/100 possessions (15th)
Miami: 106.6 points/100 possessions (19th)
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.
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:
“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.