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Game 4: C’s @ Heat: Open Thread/Sunday Link-o-Rama

 

A brief Sunday notebook to get you geared up for Game 4, which starts in just two hours: 

• The Patriot-Ledger notes that the C’s are going for their first four-game sweep since 1986, when they swept the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. 

The Elias Sports Bureau provided ESPN with some other sweep-related stats, including this little nugget: The C’s have completed (i.e. won or lost) 20 seven-game series since that ’86 sweep. Only two teams have a longer current streak of consecutive seven-gamers without sweeping one—Atlanta (32 series), and the Wiz (26).

• Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston.com points out that Boston has never—not once—swept a first-round series best-of-seven sweep. The players want to finish the job, Forsberg reports:

“The mentality I have toward it is that it’s a 3-3 tie and this is a must-win game,” said captain Paul Pierce. “We want to be desperate. We don’t want them coming back to Boston with any kind of confidence.”

And:

“We don’t want to leave anything behind,” said Pierce. “We don’t plan on coming back to South Beach probably until the summer.

“I’m a big fan of boxing and I’ve seen boxers lose 11 rounds, then knock a guy out in the 12th round. Anything is possible, like Kevin [Garnett] says.”

• In the Globe, Doc recalls what might still be Tracy McGrady’s most memorable playoff performance:

That would an interview before Game 5 of Orlando’s 2003 first-rounder against the Pistons, which Orlando led 3-1 when T-Mac said this:

“It feels good,’’ he said before Game 5, “to finally make it to the second round.’’

The Pistons won the next three games. It’s now 2010, and McGrady still has never played in the second-round. Doc reminisces about McGrady’s baseless arrogance:

“I didn’t like it, but it didn’t worry me. At the end of the day, you obviously wouldn’t want a player to say any of that kind of stuff, but at the end it didn’t matter. You still had to play. But if you’re going to talk it, you’ve got to put up the numbers, or your team has to bail you out.”

• Ben Hoffman, writing at The New York Times’ Off the Dribble blog, notes Kendrick Perkins’ fun line from Friday’s Game 3 win:

In Friday night’s win over the Miami Heat, which gave Boston a 3-0 series lead, Perkins grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked 2 shots. And he did nothing else, recording 0 points, 0 assists and 0 steals.

He attempted just four shots and did not have an attempt from the free-throw line.

• If you’re outraged by David Stern’s threat to suspend coaches or players who bash the referees, you’ll love this column in The Repubican

The columnist, Ron Chimelis, criticizes the Stern edict as an un-American infringement on free speech rights:

But it is understood that in a democracy that allows free speech, some people will use it, leaving it to the rest of us to judge its merits.

Except in the NBA.

Of course, this ignores the fact that full free speech rights don’t really exist in most private enterprises. But it makes for great rhetoric:

Talk is cheap, but suppression of free speech by one man is not. Just because it’s sports does not mean it doesn’t matter.

This is still America, even if it means letting Rasheed Wallace say Dwayne Wade gets too many calls.

It’s one thing to make an argument that David Stern should allow robust discourse about the officials, which is really what Chimelis is doing. And even there, I think, there are nuances. There’s a big difference to me between Phil Jackson preemptively complaining about Kevin Durant getting calls and coaches questioning a call after the game, when they’ve had the benefit of replay. The former seems intended to manipulate; the latter is part of what should be a permissible discussion about the game. 

But to say Stern is infringing on the big ol’ First Amendment is a bit much. 

In any case, Game 4 starts at 1 p.m. Consider this your open thread. Tell us what you’re seeing, what the C’s are doing well, something new Miami is bringing to fight for its playoff life. Also, please take special notice whenever Jermaine O’Neal makes a shot. Because Elias provides us with this wonderful tidbit:

Jermaine O’Neal is shooting only .161 from the field in this series (5-for-31).  Over the last 40 years, only two players have made less than 20 percent of their field-goal attempts in a postseason series (minimum: 30 attempts): the Lakers’ Willie McCarter in the 1971 conference finals (6-for-31, .194) and Washington’s DeShawn Stevenson in the first round in 2007 (9-for-46, .191).

Keep shooting, Jermaine!

Comment away, folks. Go Celtics.

  • rondo-is-love

    I meant to make a comment of this earlier… but it looked like in Game 3, the Heat used the same or similar play from the Boston playbook that, I think, you (Zach) have been referring to as the “Rugby Scrum (?)” …. was I just seeing things?

    In 2008, the Celtics won their first title in 22 years. Let’s hope that in 2010, the Celtics will get their first sweep in 24 years (or first ever first round sweep, whichever you prefer).

  • Sami

    Let’s go C’s come out and play like this is a must win game 7!!!!!!!!

    I want energy, I want hustle I want effort. I want a sweep!

  • dslack

    Yeah, people make this mistake all the time. Jackson, Sheed, etc. have the legal right to say whatever they want, and Stern has the legal right to fine them (or worse). I’m sure Ron Chimelis doesn’t have the “freedom of speech” to walk into his boss’s office and start mouthing off, to write columns about how his boss is a jerk, etc. Or rather, he does, and he’d also then have the freedom to look for a new job.

  • dranen645

    havent the celtics won a championship everytime they’ve swept a series?

  • DeVelaine

    I hate being the early game. Now I have to work during the game, and listen to people in Florida. I hope none of them are Heat fans, or that I can get off the phone before the game’s over.

  • Ray

    Today should be interesting, in that this is the shortest rest the Cs will be going on so far in the playoffs. Plus, the off day was a Saturday and the game is in the afternoon. One would think this would be the one Miami could win of any of them. The Celtics better hit that switch early and often.

  • donboc

    The Celtics travel so darn much. Every pass in to Perk is a turnover waiting to happen. Richardson is 3-3 from 3PT. And yet Celtics are only down 3, 17-14. Not the best of starts, but it’s good to see their recovery.

  • dslack

    Unbelievable. 9 turnovers in the first 9 minutes of the game.

  • I love Green

    Yeah they’re sure acting like its a 3-3 series. We’re not sweeping the Heat, this ones gonna be a blowout.

  • dslack

    They’re kind of acting like they did when it was 3-3 with Orlando last year….

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    This game is not going well. (Stating the obvious, I know.)

  • pam

    i cant watch the game live but can anyone explain what kind of turnovers the celts are committing? is it just dumb lazy passing or are miami really playing the passing lanes? or are the refs trying to prevent a sweep?

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    The C’s need to put their damn hands up! They’re not contesting any of Miami’s shots!

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    @Pam

    A bunch of travels and lazy passes that were intercepted. Ugh.

  • I love Green

    @Pam- The turnovers are all dumb passes, shuffling the feet, and just lazy plays.

  • dslack

    @pam – with 11 in the first quarter-and-a-half, there have been a potpourri of kinds of turnovers. Heat have been playing zone, which has allowed them to jump the passing lanes, but also several traveling calls and stepping out of bounds. The works.

  • dslack

    Sheed cannot defend Beasley at all.

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

    I am slightly behind on DVR and Rondo just went down. Please tell me he’s OK.

  • dslack

    He’s fine.

  • Zain

    Can someone explain why some (I counted 2) of the heat fouls on C’s were not clear path fouls? Maybe I have the definition wrong, but I thought the refs blew those calls based on whats normally a clear path foul?

  • dslack

    I hope Tony Allen gets a lot of run in the second half. He was the key to the comeback.

  • dslack

    Perk looks like an idiot with all his complaints after legit calls.

  • dslack

    Wow. A Ray 3 and a Rondo layup. Lead for the Celtics!

  • Joel W

    It’s good to see that, so far, the C’s 3rd quarter problems haven’t manifested this post-season.

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    @Joel W

    Don’t jinx it! :)

  • Joel W

    Looks like they survived my jinx that quarter. I’ll also just say that all second half of the season, in a game like this, I wouldn’t have thought they’d have the moxie to come back at all, that they’d fall apart. Not today regardless of outcome, which is encouraging.

  • I love Green

    Hold up lemme go get my broom real quick…

  • dslack

    Wow, Wade is incredible. How about his 3-pt shooting this series???

  • Joel W

    It might be a one-man team, but damn is that one man good.

  • dslack

    All of a sudden, Miami can’t miss from 3.

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    All these Heat 3s are killing us.

  • I love Green

    Thank you Rasheed, taking a contested 3 pointer, and then Wade hits another 3!!!!

    Oh my god thats enough!!!! He can’t fucking miss!

  • pam

    wade had to have one of these insane scoring games in the series. i would frankly be shocked if the c’s pull this off because d wade is going to go into his 4th quarter finisher mode- esp since he isnt missing his 3s!!

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    Dare I say it? Looks like this series might be going back to Boston.

    And that foul called on Ray during Wade’s 3-point attempt was bogus.

  • I love Green

    Wades on fire, refs killing us this games over. Too much to overcome

  • Joel W

    Computer assistance is on.

  • I love Green

    And Ray misses a wide open three after Wade hits another three. This is not fun to watch

  • dslack

    Good call, @Joel. :)

    Wade has 17 points in the first half of the 4th quarter. Holy moly!

  • Sophomore

    Heat can’t miss. Hard to win this way.

  • Sophomore

    Also – Cs haven’t got an answer yet for Wade playing off Rondo. Offensive flow, which was so good for so long, is gone for now.

  • pam

    eeesh ray ray misses a crucial free throw at the end! how often does that happen??

  • Joel W

    Rajon has to finish that!! Such a nice fake.

  • Joel W

    Twice he has missed one!

  • Joel W

    Wow ray ray, that is shocking.

  • dslack

    Missed layup for Rajon, and 3 straight missed free throws for Ray. Ugh, what a way to go down!

  • Sophomore

    Not sure what hurts more – the missed layup or 3(!!) missed free throws by Ray. Could easily be tied now.

  • I love Green

    Are you kidding me!?!?! Rondo misses a layup, and Ray Allen misses TWO straight free throws. TWO!!

    This game should be tied

  • What More Can I Say?

    I can’t even remember the last time I witnessed Ray Allen missed three free throws in a row!!!

  • I love Green

    Wait why are the Cavs on…Celtics haven’t finished yet!

  • pam

    if those ray ray fts go in, its a 1 point game. who could imagine ray ray- one of the most clutch 3 point shooters chokes on fts

  • Joel W

    5 missed free throws and a give away lay up. Awful

  • pam

    wow missing fts is a disease. losing a game on missed fts and an offensive rebound by beasley leaves a horrible taste in the mouth. they didnt even need wade to finish it off for them.

  • I love Green

    Sooo I guess it only happened to me. With 1:30 left in the game ABC decided I wanted to watched Lebron vs. the Bulls. Thank you ABC

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    Guess we’re going back to Boston.

  • http://hoopstersworld.blogspot.com miss j.moxie

    @ I love Green

    I almost wish that happened to me too. Coz this is just too painful to watch.

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