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Game 1 Open Thread: What To Watch For

 

The C’s get things started in Florida today, opening up game 1 of the Conference Finals against the defending Eastern Conference Champions. The Magic, fresh off of two series sweeps, will be well rested and very well prepared for their rivals, as they try to continue their 8 game postseason winning streak and take early command of this series.

Meanwhile the C’s come in battle tested underdogs, having taken down the regular season champs with surprising ease and also looking for revenge after falling to the Magic in the 2nd round last year. The Magic took the season series 3-1 this year as well, proving themselves as worthy adversaries to the Green. A few storylines to watch out for today, before we get to my extended preview:

* The health of Kendrick Perkins and how is affects his defense on Dwight Howard

* The decision of Stan Van Gundy to have Matt Barnes guard Ray Allen. Plus, Barnes has been battling a stiff back as well so will be interesting to see if he can keep up with Ray sprinting through picks all over the perimeter.

You guys know the deal. Tell us what your seeing out there. Are the Magic rusty? Whose getting the best of the head to head matchups? Has Stan Van Gundy said something to tick you off yet? A full preview from me of what to watch for throughout the series along with a prediction, after the jump

Let’s breakdown a few things to watch for in this series:

A Chink In The Magic Armor: Defending the 3

For the most part, the Magic are essentially an identical team, by the numbers, to last year’s finals squad. They upgraded their offense a bit with Vince Carter, causing a 2 point spike in their offensive rating this year, but they also took a slight step back on the defensive end. The reason? 3 point shooting defense.

Last year, the Magic were the cream of the crop in this category for the league, allowing their opponents to shoot just 34.2 percent from downtown, good for 2nd in the league. This season? 36.3 percent, landing them in 21st in 3pt FG defense. Now for a good defensive team, that’s a dramatic dropoff.

Your guess for it is as good as mine, but I’m guessing the additions of Vince Carter and Matt Barnes in place of Courtney Lee and Hedo Turkoglu have something to do with it. Lee was the best perimeter defender Orlando had, and Turkoglu could bother a lot of shots on the perimeter with his length.

In any case, this is clearly Orlando’s biggest defensive weakness and one the C’s should look to take advantage of. Look for Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and even Michael Finley to bomb away early and often in his series from deep.

* Jameer Nelson can be stopped

First off, let’s give the guy some credit. He’s playing terrific basketball and has been absolutely on fire shooting the rock for the past two months. This started in April when he put up 50 percent shooting from the field, along with a crazy 51 percent from downtown.

The carnage continued through his first two playoff series when he put up these beautiful numbers*

FG: 51.9 %

3PT: 40 %

PPG: 20.5

ST: 1.6

TO: 1.3

It’s no wonder this team only needed 8 games to advance with numbers like that. Those are HUGE upgrades on his season numbers, especially in FG percentage (44.9%) and points per game (12.6). Wait a second though. There was an asterik attached to those numbers up there. Let’s check that out:

* Numbers came against Raymond Felton and the corpse known formerly known as Mike Bibby.

Felton is no slouch on defense, but he’s nothing special either. Meanwhile, Bibby has been a complete liability for a couple of years now, especially on the defensive end. So while Nelson has taken care of business this postseason thus far, he hasn’t exactly gone up against elite competition. Luckily, the C’s have one of those guys in Rajon Rondo, who has massacred Carlos Arroyo and Mo Williams in their head to head matchups thus far on both ends of the floor.

Now, a quick investigation of Nelson will tell you that yes, he is much better than both of those opponents. However, he has had his struggles against the C’s offensively the last few years. A look at the numbers

09-10 vs. Boston: 11.7 PPG, 41.9% FG, 12.5% 3pt, 3.3 TO. (3 games)

08-09: 37.5% FG, 16.7% 3pt FG (1 game)

07-08: 38.9% FG, 0% 3pt FG (2 games)

Not exactly setting the world on fire there Jameer. Now a lot of point guards struggle against the C’s offensively, so why is this such a big deal for Nelson?

The numbers tell us that the key to slowing Orlando down offensively, is slowing Nelson down. In the Magic’s losses this year Nelson’s FG percentages are WAY down from his season numbers. 42% FG, 3 points down from his season average, and the drop is even more glaring from downtown, where the drop is 10 points to 28 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Combine those numbers with Nelson’s career numbers against Rondo and I like the C’s chances of limiting this guy offensively. That’s even without getting to Nelson’s defense, which is average, at best. The main worry defensively for the C’s though, won’t be Nelson, since I expect Rondo to take care of him. Instead it will be two other guys:

Rashard Lewis and Michael Pietrus are Celtic Killers

Before we get to these guys and the C’s, let’s just realize how filthy these guys have been through this postseason on the offensive end. If you thought Nelson’s numbers were impressive, check this out:

Lewis: 54% FG, 46.2% 3pt

Pietrus: 46% FG, 51.2% 3pt

Both guys just did whatever they wanted against ATL and Charlotte in those sweeps. The bad news about all of this? Each of them have been EVEN better against Boston this year. No really, they have.

Let’s start with Pietrus. All C’s fans became very familiar with this Frenchman last year when he came into Boston and torched the C’s from downtown throughout that 7 game slugfest like May. This year against the C’s, the sharpshooting got even better.

(4 games) FG: 55%, 3pt (wait for it…) 58.3%!!!!

Those numbers are embarrassing if you are a C’s fan. The guy must be stopped. However, there is some good news in all of this. The C’s now have a not so secret weapon to unleash on Pietrus, in the form of Tony Allen. You see, TA wasn’t in a prominent member of the rotation in the C’s 3 losses to Orlando this year.

In the one game he did play major minutes in against the Magic, on Christmas day, the C’s won and were actually able to contain Pietrus, (3 of 7 shooting, 1 of 4 from deep). Coincidence? I say no.

Now that TA is playing with confidence, it’s allowed him to play some of the best ball of his career in a supporting role this postseason. And you can bet Tom Thibeadou has been whispering sweet nothings to TA the past two days about his job for this series. Shut down Pietrus. I trust TA to do it. Do you?

Back to Lewis though. He’s been just as much of a Celtics nemesis these past couple years as Pietrus. 18 points, 6 boards, along with 47 percent 3 point shooting is all the Magic got out of Lewis in head to head matchups with Boston this year, as Lewis feasted on a weakened and far less mobile Kevin Garnett all over the floor. He even drove past KG for a game clinching layup in Orlando back in February to complete a Magic comeback W against the C’s.

Where do we stand now with Lewis? Well there’s good news again in my estimation and that is clearly the health of Kevin Garnett. He’s playing and moving around better than he has all year.

Again, not well enough to think he’s going to be able to shut down Lewis entirely, since he’s not another over the hill stretch 4 a la Antawn Jamison. However, if KG can contain Lewis and get out on the perimeter enough to at least bother his 3 ball, that’s all the C’s can ask for.

Stopping the trio of Lewis-Nelson-Pietrus is so crucial in my book since those are the deadliest shooters on this squad for this postseason. If you get those guys out of their rhythm, then the Magic’s offense suddenly becomes pretty one dimensional with a lack of guys who can create their own shot.

Make Vince Carter the focal point of Orlando’s offense

Of course, there’s one guy on this squad who thinks he can still create his own offense, and that’s the pivotal player I want to see shooting as much as possible this series, one Vince Carter. His production has improved as the season has gone along, but he’s still a guy that I would fear the least if I’m a Boston Celtic.

He’s shot only 38% against Boston this year and is averaging 18 shots a game against them as well. With Carter as a go to guy, Orlando’s offense becomes stagnant and that’s exactly what Doc Rivers wants to see. Look for a redux performance of Jamison’s offensive stinker from last round from another guy in Carter that has a questionable postseason resume and a history of not rising to the occasion.

Before we get to my prediction, a quick word on the Howard-Perkins matchup. Many people may be wondering why I’ve glossed over it to this point. Well, in essence Howard really isn’t a pivotal part of the Magic offense, simply because they don’t go to him enough to make him a 30 point threat.

He’ll get his looks early, and try to establish himself against Perkins down low, but for better or worse, the team largely goes away from him when it matters.

Howard clearly makes his presence felt in other ways, on the offensive glass and obviously all over the defensive end, but the C’s gameplan won’t be centered around stopping Howard, not on the offensive end.

Much like LeBron couldn’t beat the C’s alone, Howard isn’t capable of doing it himself either. That’s why all the attention has to be paid to Orlando’s supporting cast, which is so much better than Cleveland’s.

The Pick

Orlando is a clear favorite to win this series as Zach noted earlier today, and by the numbers it makes sense. Here’s the thing I don’t get though.

Wasn’t it just one round ago, where the “numbers” said that the Cavs should roll through Boston. Haven’t we learned from our mistakes here people? Yes, the numbers don’t lie, but when it comes to this Boston Celtic team, they actually kind of do.

This team openly admits that they took their foot off the gas for large sections of this season. So while their season numbers aren’t entirely irreverent, they have to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

With this taken into consideration, it’s very hard for me not to like the C’s in this 7 game affair. They’ve got the big man to cover Superman, and have ample backup in Big Baby and Sheed to give fouls. You’ve got a healthy squad in Boston, a confident bunch that is firing on all cylinders, and quite honestly matchup extremely well with Orlando. This will be a tougher series than Cleveland but the result remains the same.

Celtics in 6.

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

    Let’s go and get Game 1.

  • Sophomore

    Nice breakdown.

  • complexity

    Its not even exciting to watch if someone isn’t predicting the celtics. Let’s go.

  • rondo-is-love

    A couple of other things I wanted to add… as bad as the Celtics have been in rebounding throughout the regular season, I thought they’d be even worse against Orlando (ranked 5th in rpg compared to C’s at 29th)… but the Celtics actually out-rebounded them in three of the four games they played and the one time Orlando out-rebounded was that Jan. 28th game when Lewis blew by KG for the game winning bucket. Also.. as much as Nelson’s averages against Boston’s this season have dipped below his season averages (points, FG %, turning over more while assisting less), Rondo’s averages against Orlando have actually been above his season averages. He actually rebounded pretty well against Orlando and was a shade under a triple double in a couple of the games. These stats caught be a bit by surprise when I looked them up, but they’re true.

    Go Celtics! :)

  • Yusuf

    Lakers-Celtics Finals. Lakers in 5

  • Devon

    @ Yusuf Wow, that is the most uninformed, confused, backwards-ass thing I’ve read all day…

  • complexity

    C’s the moment.

  • sacbobv

    @yusuf
    I like Suns-Celtics Finals. Celts in 6!

    But the reality is Orlando is first in line.

    Go Celts, make us proud!!

  • complexity

    Ray might be going to the hoop a lot more in this series.

  • JP

    Two early things:

    Did anyone see Garnett come up a little gimpy?

    I hate to see Perk pick up fouls that are not on Howard. Those illegal screens suck

  • Sophomore

    Rondo having a lot of trouble defending the P and R. Gotta figure that out.

  • sacbobv

    @JP
    I did and my heart fluttered, hope it’s just a rip or something little.

  • JP

    As for the series, I don’t like Orlando in crunch time, who do they have? Nelson maybe? Our crunch time go-to guy Pierce is better than anyone on the Magic in crunch time.

  • complexity

    Ray being aggressive could be real good, getting people in foul trouble. If Pierce can do the same, that will be good.

  • dslack

    Nice post, Brian. Perk is playing solid defense on Howard, as he usually does. Didn’t like Pierce’s charge. Not sure Rashard was outside the circle, but he might have been.

  • dslack

    Okay, just watched the replay. Guess it was the right call.

  • Sophomore

    Has Orlando even attempted a 3? Interesting start.

  • JP

    @sacbobv

    He seems alright now, but I am right there with you, my heart skipped a beat.

  • Sophomore

    Never mind – they’re 0-2.

  • dslack

    20-10, nice jumper by Glen.

  • dslack

    Well, if Glen has to pick up a foul, it’s nice to see him give Redick his money’s worth. :)

  • complexity

    I’m glad that Ray is scared to get blocked, but if they could get Howard out of there, and just let Ray go to work on Lewis, this would be an even easier strategy.

  • DRJ1

    Cs playing great basketball… calm, confident, plenty of energy. Looking good so far.

    Interesting how they’ve got Ray doing most of the driving, not Rondo. I like it! But ORL will adjust in halftime… so figure Rondo to take over in 2nd half. Great game.

  • Devon

    I’m loving the D on Howard so far.

  • DRJ1

    The D in general has been excellent. One open 3-point look in the entire Q1.

  • Devon

    I LOVE SHEED! (yea it feels even stranger to say out loud)

  • Sophomore

    These guys in the white and blue shirts? Have they played together before? Amazing. We are playing great, but they also look like crap.

    Also, has D Howard sat yet? They planning to play him for 48? Let’s see how fresh he is at the end of the game.

  • JP

    That shot by Sheed was great. I love what he’s doing so far

  • dslack

    Sheed is playing very well. Looks composed and accurate on offense, and active on defense.

  • Sophomore

    Sheed cleaning the glass!

  • Joel W

    The three point close outs have been beautiful. As was that TA dunk.

  • complexity

    Vince Carter does his first 360 in a couple a years, but it was on the ground.

  • DRJ1

    Paul Pierce refuses to understand that he’s a poor ball handler. Amazing. Does he not watch tape? Geez

  • dslack

    The KG-Rondo fast break was pretty pathetic.

  • DRJ1

    KG off his game so far.
    Refs saying ‘Foul Rondo all you want, we’re not calling anything.’

  • Sophomore

    @DRJ1 – a little too early to say. They aren’t calling a lot of contact on us either.

  • dslack

    Man, I love how Tony Allen is playing these days!

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

    Um. Why was Perk handling the ball on the possession?

  • dslack

    Why is Perkins in triple-threat 20 feet from the hoop?

  • complexity

    Keep the ball out of Perkins hands.

  • dslack

    Gotta say it was a good first half. Let’s hope against the typical 3rd quarter meltdown vs. the Magic.

  • sacbobv

    A little sloppy towards the end, but I’ll take it.

  • DRJ1

    Perkins may be an excellent defensive player, but he is BARELY at NBA level on offense… no, take that back… he is NOT at NBA level on offense. Ridiculously inept.

  • I love Green

    Pretty good first half, but we didn’t close it out strong. Could be up by way more than 9. Rondo has to be more agressive in the second half.

  • DRJ1

    If not for Perk’s FOUR turnovers, Cs could be up 15

  • I love Green

    Put TA onto Carter, Ray and Pierce stay agressive, get more looks for Rondo and KG, and don’t give Perkins the ball.

  • I love Green

    Man Ray needs to hit those open 3s

  • I love Green

    And Perk turns it over again

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

    Am I the only one who has a bad feeling about this game?

  • complexity

    It was obvious Magic were going to come out of the box.

  • dslack

    @moxie: No, you’re not. Celtics were remarkably sloppy on offense in the first half. Now it’s basically an even game and they need to actually play well.

  • DRJ1

    Make that FIVE TURNOVERS for Perkins. I hate that guy.

  • I love Green

    Magic just on fire

  • dslack

    @DRJ, hate the guys who keep feeding him the rock. :) At least he’s shutting down Howard.

  • I love Green

    Perk can’t grab the rebound…

  • I love Green

    Perk outrebounded by Barnes…

  • Blackberry33

    Howard just picked up foul 3!

  • dslack

    I’m happy Pierce is getting 3 shots here, but I’d hate this kind of call against the Celtics. I feel like this isn’t really the right call, but again I’ll take it.

  • Blackberry33

    great shot by rondo

  • complexity

    Jesus returns!

  • I love Green

    Yessss Ray! Im more happy he hit that 3 than I am that we’re up 16.

  • DRJ1

    STEP ON THEIR THROATS

  • sacbobv

    Sure is quiet in Orlando right now!

    P.S.
    Hope you’re feeling better now mjm.

  • Joel W

    Dwight Howard is 1-5, has turned the ball over 4 times and has one offensive rebound. Perk be a disaster on offense and I’ll be happy we have him.

    But god is he a disaster on offense.

  • dslack

    Nice time for Ray to hit a 3 there!

  • Sophomore

    Crazy. I’m surprised to say, I hope Dwight Howard stays in the game. He’s doing nothing right now.

  • JP

    Up by 16 after that Orlando run, nice. Ray has been a dagger in these playoffs

  • DRJ1

    Good point Soph. We’re much better off with Howard in the game the Gortat. At least so far

  • I love Green

    Good to see Pierce back on track

  • dslack

    Why does Mark Jackson say Patrick Ewing would have 40 if facing Perk’s defense?

  • Joel W

    5 personal fouls from Perk. Jesus.

  • I love Green

    @dslack- Because he was much more dynamic on offense. He had a great post game and could hit jumpers. Howard has neither.

  • dslack

    @IloveGreen, Fair enough, Ewing was a great post player. But he didn’t average 40! Jackson’s comment seems to indicate that Perk is playing poor defense, which seems to be the opposite of the case.

  • I love Green

    Stay focused Celtics!

  • I love Green

    No I think Jackson just meant Ewing would be playing a lot better against 1 on 1 coverage than Howard is.

  • dslack

    @IloveGreen Then again, given Perk’s struggles against Bogut, it’s not out of the question….

  • I love Green

    Grab the damn rebound!!!

  • Sophomore

    I give Vince Carter credit for the effort, but damn is he a whiner.

  • dslack

    Is it crazy that I’m nervous that Redick cut the lead to 15?

  • I love Green

    I hated Pierce so much during the Cleveland series. Im happy to say I love him again.

  • Sophomore

    Hey Marcin, say hello to the Oakland hammer.

  • complexity

    Lmao @ now people are saying the Celtics are the favorites, when literally a day ago, everyone was writing them off.

  • I love Green

    Game isn’t over Celtics

  • Sophomore

    @I love green. Yes.

  • I love Green

    Yes Rondo!!!! That was a big bucket

  • dslack

    So far, it looks like the Magic are better with Pietrus and Gortat in than with Barnes and Howard.

  • complexity

    The game surely isn’t over.

    Stay focused and put them away the correct way.

  • DRJ1

    STEP ON THEIR THROATS !!!

  • Blackberry33

    Huge bucket

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

    Gotta finish the job. Got to. Let’s make sure this lead is still around 15 at the 8:00 mark, OK?

  • DRJ1

    Geezus… are we gonna blow out Orlando? Really???

  • I love Green

    Start off strong in the 4th and crush all hope of a comeback

  • I love Green

    DRJ I will stab you. Quit trying to jinx the Celtics!!

  • dslack

    Sheed needs to watch out. He’s playing very well — don’t want him to get another T.

  • I love Green

    Come on we don’t need Rasheed 3s right now

  • dslack

    Does Glen need a wheelchair now? ;)

  • Joel W

    Such a goaltend.

  • Joel W

    Sheeeeed!!!!!

  • I love Green

    Come on we need Rasheed 3s right now

  • dslack

    @IloveGreen, will you take that Rasheed 3?

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

    Enough of the useless fouls, please?

  • I love Green

    @dslack- yes I will

  • dslack

    In the penalty with 9:30 to go in the period???

  • I love Green

    Doc should put KG in for Baby with 8:27 left in the game.

  • I love Green

    Oh boy if Rasheed would have finished that dunk…

  • Sophomore

    Sheed running the break?!?

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

    This is nerve-wracking. I can’t stand it.

  • dslack

    I watched the replay in slo-mo. He really didnt’ have a chance on the dunk. Gortat gave him a pretty hard shove that knocked him off his trajectory.

  • Sophomore
  • Sophomore

    I do *not* like that Rondo double. At all. Or the turnover. Dang.

  • dslack

    Can Rondo keep playing 45 minutes per game or more?

  • Joel W

    Only with this team am I stress eating up 13 in the 4th

  • I love Green

    Nooooo only up 10

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

    Aaaaargh!

  • I love Green

    And one!! Big Baby!

  • Joel W

    Big Baby has this ability to make shots just when I’m about to crumble from stress.

  • I love Green

    Put Perk in!

  • I love Green

    Nevermind Baby is playing good offense

  • Joel W

    Baby has learned to use the rim to guard the ball remarkably well.

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

    That burger I ate isn’t sitting so well in my stomach.

  • Sophomore

    It’s been great to watch the confidence of the Cs’ offense. They’ve answered good runs with smart possessions a number of times. Just keep up the D and we’ll bring it home.

  • I love Green

    Come on Cs!

  • dslack

    It’s time for Rondo to take over for a bit if he has it in him.

    And Ray hits that 3 as I’m typing. Okay, Ray can take over too. :)

  • Joel W

    The quick release from Ray Ray is so beautiful.

  • I love Green

    Gotta score here

  • I love Green

    Good defense Perkdog

  • I love Green

    Against the Magic its pretty much a 3 possession lead with the way they can shoot.

  • Sophomore

    Dang. Bad turnovers.

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

    Something nice out of this timeout, please? Like, a good 3:39.

  • ihatemarquisdaniels

    3:40 left… 9 point game

    I hope the Cs continue to run their regular offense… they should only run down the clock on a offensive board

    No turnovers

    Celtics baby

  • Sophomore

    I know they all want to win. But they have to do it together.

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

    I CAN’T TAKE IT. Please rescind the shot clock for the last 3:39 so Rondo can just dribble around and end the game.

  • I love Green

    Ray just missed horribly. This isn’t a good sign

  • dslack

    Airballed 3 isn’t what we needed.

  • Sophomore

    Did not like that choice for a shot. Nope. Gotta d up and try to get a transition hoop.

  • I love Green

    Perk to the free throw line. He can make up for his offensive stinker by making these

  • Sophomore

    Please hit one, Perk.

  • dslack

    Perk’s free throws are ugly.

  • I love Green

    Misses both!!

  • I love Green

    I sick of all these damn charges

  • dslack

    Surprising charge call. Not totally unreasonable though.

  • Sophomore

    Dang. That was a good call on the charge.

  • I love Green

    Our offense is just dead right now.

  • I love Green

    Please score here

  • Sophomore

    That was an awful, awful possession. They’re playing the clock.

  • I love Green

    Oh god…I might cry

  • Joel W

    Pretty sure Reddick traveled there.

  • dslack

    A sweeping hook shot by Redick??? Gosh I hate that guy.

  • complexity

    (05:51:32 PM) Craig: Naa it’s Over Lol
    (06:02:28 PM) Complexity: 9 points is nothing
    (06:02:31 PM) Complexity: celtics have to keep scoring, and I don’t see that right now.

  • JP

    oh god, up 5, 1:41 left

  • dslack

    Better to be up 5 with 100 seconds to go than down 5, but this is not feeling good at all.

  • Sophomore

    One bucket and one stop. One bucket. One stop.

  • Joel W

    Exactly my mantra right now Soph. One bucket and one stop. Big big possession.

  • I love Green

    NOOO!!!!!!

  • Sophomore

    Got the shot they wanted, just missed it.

  • dslack

    Ray! Goodness, off your foot???

  • Sophomore

    Man. Ray could’ve ended the game there.

  • I love Green

    Oh Ray Ray come on

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

    Dammit!

  • dslack

    Rondo has to beat Redick, right?

  • I love Green

    I haven’t been this nervous in sooooo long

  • dslack

    Did Nelson’s foot hit it? Looked like the ball’s trajectory changed, but certainly nothing convincing.

  • Sophomore

    Dang it. Orlando gets a free timeout to call a play.

  • dslack

    Probably the right call.

  • I love Green

    HUGE defensive possession right now. If we stop them its over, if we don’t…

  • complexity

    oh god, up 5, 48 seconds left.

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

    @Sophomore – my thoughts exactly.

  • dslack

    @complexity Well, it’s better than up 5 with 101 seconds to go. :)

  • I love Green

    Oh my god I’m having a heart attack!

  • complexity

    This is literally a steal, if we win this one.

  • dslack

    Knock down your free throws, Paul!

  • I love Green

    Make BOTH of these Pierce. Not just one

  • I love Green

    Good. Now the game should be over

  • Sophomore

    Shocking to me that the play the Magic wanted was a Rashard Lewis 3 – but glad to see it.

  • Joel W

    UNREAL.

  • I love Green

    Oh my god!! The Celtics are trying SO hard to lose this game it seems

  • complexity

    This is why you don’t trade Ray Allen…

  • dslack

    Nelson with the follow??? This win feels like a loss.

  • Sophomore

    Wow. Ray. Not boxing out?! You better hit 2

  • sacbobv

    I almost have no more nails to bite.

    Go Green!

  • I love Green

    If he misses even 1 of these we lose

  • Sophomore

    Whew.

  • dslack

    (Assuming it’s a win.)

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

    @dslack – We don’t know yet if it’s a win.

  • complexity

    Give Ray a break, he was thinking about how he was going to get the ball after.

  • I love Green

    Please don’t let them get a 4 point play right now

  • Sophomore

    Wonder if it was a called play – Gortat went to the other side of the lane when the free throw went up, which left room for Nelson to get the board.

  • sacbobv

    Yessss!

    Icing on my birthday cake!

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

    Oh my God.

  • dslack

    Nice board by KG. Rashard won’t be so quiet in the next game.

  • I love Green

    Oh thank God!!!

    Like Al Davis says “Just win baby!”

    I don’t care how it happened, we won, and stole homecourt. Now take game 2 and finish them off at the Garden!

  • DRJ1

    Well.. I almost ruined it with my jinx… but all’s well that ends well :)

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

    DRJ1 – no more jinxing, please? :)

  • dslack

    Against the Cavs, in game 1 the Celtics had a decent lead but ended up losing. This time, they again had a meltdown near the end but it didn’t cost them the game. Progress….

  • http://espn.com travis zen

    now i can have delicious meals all day long…ray’s got game!!!

  • http://www.juegos-baloncesto.net Eusebio

    Bueno post. Por cierto, me encanta el diseño de tu blog!

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