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Offensive Start: Heat 99, Celtics 90

 

ESPN Box ScoreThe Heat Index

The Celtics got off to a extremely sloppy start on both ends of the floor in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and were unable to recover in the second half on their way to a 99-90 drubbing by the Miami Heat. Rumors of Dwayne Wade’s demise against the Celtics were greatly exaggerated as the shooting guard tore up Ray Allen and company on his way to 38 points on 14-of-21 shooting, bringing back memories of last year’s First Round series.

The three-headed monster of Wade, LeBron James (22 points) and Chris Bosh (7 points) James Jones (25 points, 5/7 3pt range, 10/10 FT’s) combined for 85 of Miami’s 99 points. James was average, if not inefficient in this one, while Jones had a career night burying open look after open look thanks to poor rotations/closeouts by Celtic defenders.

I’d also be remiss not to mention the ludicrous ejection of Paul Pierce by Ed Malloy in the 4th quarter for jawing with Wade after a hard foul. The “facerub” Pierce gave Jones on his first T was uncalled for, and was well worth a T and arguably could have warranted an ejection. However, the second T? A disgrace, as the Celtics slim chances of coming back were officially put on ice without their best all-around offensive player. That combined with Jermaine O’Neal’s joke flagrant foul in the third quarter highlighted an all-around spotty night for the playoff crew.

Make no mistake though, this loss was on the Celtics despite all the hoopla surrounding the Pierce dismissal. Limited ball movement, Rondo foul trouble, and overall impatience brought the C’s offense to a halt early as only 34 points were scored by Boston in the first half, while Miami broke open a 15-point deficit. Despite multiple runs in the second half, Boston got no closer than 7 at any juncture, thanks to 25 points off of turnovers by Miami.

We’ll break this thing down in full depth later on, but kudos goes to Allen for his lights out shooting (25 points), while concern must rest with Rondo’s passive game on the offensive end. No one else besides second half Pierce played particularly well overall on the offensively, but the team’s halfcourt defense for the most part was terrific for the majority of the afternoon, despite Wade’s lights out shooting.

There’s positive signs hidden in this one going forward that we’ll analyze here at the Hub, but for now the C’s find themselves in a 1-0 hole against LeBron for the second straight Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Whether they can dig themselves out of it once again remains to be seen. In the meantime, I anxiously await what Pierce has it store for us in Game 2.

Hayes is back with a full recap later tonight and we’ll break this baby down all day tomorrow as well.

  • Batman

    Pierce better not get suspended or I'll blow up

    • DRJ1

      Doubt it. League should be too embarrassed by how horrible their refs were in this game.

      • MikeD

        Yeah. The way I would put it is the refs didn't cost us the game, we played like shit. But the refs cost us any chance of coming back. It was pathetic

  • James Patrick

    THAT WAS A FLAGRANT FOUL!!! Pierce had every right to get in that guy's face! WTF!

    • rebellol

      is that what the rule is?

  • lakerhater13

    Hey remember game 1 of the Cavs series last year….we lost! Celtics in 6!

  • Mike

    Well we could use Shaq right about now.

    • DRJ1

      Yes… but with 3 of the Big 4 playing the way they did, Shaq wouldn't have made enough of a difference.

      • Mike

        I agree. I just think he could help offensively more than anything.

  • http://lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    WHOA, BABY, HOT, HOT, HOT….

    “Defense, defense…” the cry for each team, 
    Given the early score, that’s how it did seem.
    Two Q1 fouls for Rondo, Lebron to stop, 
    Then Lebron blocked Rondo, leaping over the top.

    Chalmers on the pass to end Q1,
    Ray is the only Celtic having any fun.
    Rondo’s third foul starts Q3,
    Delonte gets a tech, for what we couldn’t see.

    Guess he threw the ball at a guy on the floor, 
    Miami shot the tech and added to their score.
    Second foul on KG, they are starting to mount,
    Also two for Lebron, Bosh, three for Rondo the count.

    Cs turnovers too many, must take better care, 
    Be patient on offense, wait for the shot to be there.
    Q2 Ray Allen for three, KG strong to the hoop,
    Delonte and Baby trying to lead the bench group.

    Four threes, it’s a clinic, who is that guy?
    It’s James Jones, a Miami native, flying high.
    One stat that’s horrendous for our Captain so fierce, 
    Twice as many turnovers as points first half for Pierce.

    Wade came three hours before the game’s start,
    23 first half points, he is playing with heart.
    The Cs seem rusty, they’ve been off a week,
    Celtics Ball, we need defense, then an offensive streak.

    Q3 Pierce heated up, Cs a 12-0 run,
    Setting up offense, not just one and done.
    Turnovers for the Heat, but then they get goin’
    Cs need to stay strong, defense shouldn’t be slowin’–

    Miami “heated” up after a flagrant on JO, 
    Flagrant? Really? Announcers thought no.
    Pierce rolled the ball up the court, end Q3,
    Three! With .1 left on the clock we could see.

    Mark Jackson about Rondo, as Heat defense he beats,
    “That’s the Texas two-step, take ‘em to the streets.
    Sounds really cool, but what does it mean?
    I don’t care, Mark Jackson’s the Cool Phrase Machine.

    Pierce got thrown out, Doc halfway up the court,
    Wade initiated contact, all tempers are short.
    A seriously bogus call, on Pierce a tech??
    The refs must play for the Heat–what the heck!!

    22 for 33 threes in the playoffs for Ray, 
    Let’s hope he inspires the other Cs to play.
    In 57 seconds, Q4, Cs 8-0 run,
    With Pierce in the locker room, can we get it done?

    Wade flew down the court, dove in to row four
    On a long pass, the length of the floor.
    14 turnovers for the Cs, that’s not so bad,
    In other games, many more we have had.

    38 for Wade, so much energy expended, 
    Wish Pierce had been in as this game ended.
    The Cs defense started slowly, offense didn’t explode,
    They say playoffs don’t start still someone wins on the road.

    With five threes today, it must be said,
    Of Reggie, Ray is now 74 ahead.

    lovemyceltics.blogspot.com

  • I_Love_Green

    The players should be pissed off. The coaches should be pissed off. Hell, I'm pissed off.

    We will show up in game 2. We will be mad, and the heat won't be ready. James jones won't shoot that well again, and neither will wade.

    It is ON miami! Oh my god it is so ON!!!!!!

    • DRJ1

      I am not so sanguine. That was a terrible effort, by 3 of the Big 4. And it's a PLAYOFF game. No excuses. What was that about? Hard to fathom…….. and does not make me confident, at all.

      Ok, but maybe with reasonable officiating, and Paul not screwing up as he did, and Rondo paying attention and being more careful…. they could bounce back. Yeah.

      • Alex

        Think of it this way, with 3 of the 4 Celtic best players playing badly, losing by 9 is a shock, especially with the terrible referee calls going on.

    • Sweeney

      It's on? Really, it should of been on from the beginning. PP played like ass and it was a pathetic effort by him all around. Especially the two turnovers in the 1st half trying to go thru his legs and then not diving for the ball. He played like it was back in the day with Toine…disguesting.

    • Sweeney

      Intelligent retort.

  • Joe

    I'd normally point out JJ's 25 point as an anomaly, but he was open for a lot of those shots. That's unacceptable. He obviously won't have again, but if he keeps getting open looks like he did today he'll come pretty close.

  • greenman

    OKay, gonna start out by saying that the Celtics played poorly today. There is no arguing that, but the referee's were an absolute disgrace today. Lets look at some suspect issues during the game.

    FTA's BOS-18 MIA-32

    Rondo's thid foul, resulting in him sitting out the entire 2nd quarter, was a clear phantom call. REplay showed zero contact.

    Oneil sat with foul trouble in 2nd Q

    Flagrant on Oneil in the 3rd. CLearly not a flagrant. resulted in a 5 point swing in the middle of a BOS run.

    FLagrant not called when pierce gets his head rung on his first T.

    Pierces 2 T was B.S.

    Green getting clothes lined by Anthony on his way to the basket in the 4th. No Call.

    Random Defensive three seconds calls. All against the Celtics.

    West being called for a Tech and MIA not. Setting the precidence that the instigater would be called with a T, and not the man reacting. Obvisously, the Refs were not consistant with this logic latter in the game

    Plenty of Touch and non existant "superstar" fouls agianst the Celtics.

    • greenman

      TO me, despite that we played poorly, there was definately a clear bias in the way the game was called. Not using it to excuse the loss here, but as a fans we really need to demand more from the NBA when it comes to officiating.

    • NHBluesMan

      for sure man. By having some of our key guys in early foul trouble they weren't able to get into a rhythm. They got it going in the second half (outscoring Miami) but by then it was too late, and that 5 point swing and Pierce ejection sealed that.

      C's got caught sleepwalking in the first half, but the 2nd half they were doing great, and that will carry into the next game. You can bet Doc is going to pound defense into their heads after they left Jones wide open time after time after time, and with Bosh being non-existant (thanks KG for knocking him on his @$$ with that block) and James being somewhat pedestrian, Wade can't and WON'T go off like that 3 more times… he only did it once last year against the C's, remember?

      While i hated what i saw, the problems are very fixable, and i'm sticking to my prediction of Celtics in 6 games for sure

  • Zee

    1. Refs made some bad calls (or no calls), but not due to any bias. We simply got outplayed.

    2. James Jones was the X-factor this game. Had he not been left open, we would've won the game. It was a poor defensive effort in that regard.

    3. Ray Allen played well, and I felt he should've had more plays ran for him to counter JJ.

    4. If Lakers can lose game 1 on their court to the Hornets, we can certainly lose game one off our court to the Miami Heat.

    5. I saw many positive things about this game. Beating the Heat is definitely doable. A) Cover all bases defensively. Leave no man open in the playoffs. You have to figure that if they made it this far, teams are putting their best players in the game. Leave no table unturned.

    6. No more dumb decisions that cost us technicals. West throwing the ball, Pierce getting in homeboy's face, etc. Dumb stuff like that helps give the other team an advantage, momentum and energy.

    The fact that Pierce got thrown out (wrongfully), coupled with how the game went, hopefully we realize what we are up against and will make the proper adjustments. We could only speculate what the Heat would bring before, but now that we have had a game, we know what to expect.

    The Celtics will definitely win this series. Keep your heads up! Mine never went down. :)

    • Zee

      7. Rondo needs to continue to be aggressive, BUT not to a fault. "Anxious" is the word. And his foul trouble didn't help. But thankfully West was aggressive as well. He's a great backup for Rondo.

      • NHBluesMan

        almost too aggressive at times… acouple poor decisions on those dunks, but i do love his energy, just needs to keep his cool

    • Sweeney

      Another few minutes like this for West and I am yanking his leash and putting him back on the bench. He was lost in the defensive rotation, hesitant on offense, and got a dumb technical. His tough guy attitude is wearing thin. I'd rather see Carlos Arroyo run with the 2nd unit as the PG and get West touches as the 2. Though, if he continues what he started tonight he can ride the pine.

  • dtla la

    I agree with those that find a lot of positives about this game. Dumb mistakes were made by the C's, especially coverage on Jones, Baby had an atrocious game, Wade shot better than he usually does, terrible refereeing, but the C's made several runs down the stretch regardless.

    C's in 6. I like the heart in this one.

    • dtla la

      Check out Baby's +/-. He had the worst game of his career.

  • Morpheus

    That "Rondo pass" needs to go….and never return. Those bounce passes in TRAFFIC in the paint are BRUTAL to watch.

  • Morpheus

    "Whether they can dig themselves out of it once again remains to be seen. In the meantime, I anxiously await what Pierce has it store for us in Game 2."

    Pierce will bring HELL and ARMAGEDDON with him in game 2. That was the most BS foul i have ever seen….well ok one of the most BS calls.

    You teach, coach your players to set good hard screens like Pierce did, not moving btw, but good hard screens like that is perfectly a LEGAL PLAY. I can't believe the refs jobbed Pierce on that one.

    Make no mistake about it, Jones "anomaly" shooting night was the difference tonight. If our rotations were tighter on him, we'd have taken game 1. He scored 25? Unacceptable.

  • el Bulli

    What is De Lonte's major malfunction? That guy needs to seriously chill — shock therapy or some happy pills. He presents too easy a target for the opposing team to play mind games with. Given his history, he seems decidedly self-destructive and dangerous to have around. Need to shed him somehow after this season.

    • dtla la

      He'll win a playoff game for the Cs before this is over.

  • Sweeney

    I love the fact that Doc gave it to the team straight on that time out. You cannot win by trying to be more athletic. PERIOD.

    What a horrendous game by the entire team. They played hesitant and it made it look like there was no effort. That is not the team I root for and I hope never to see them again. Losing is one thing, losing and playing like ass is another.

  • I_Bleed_Green

    I am surprised no one has called out KG yet. We are simply not going to win with his passive plays on the offensive end. And I’m so sick of those passes by Rondo. I literally yelled “what the fuck” to myself several times when he had a clear layup but instead passed the ball. WTF!!!!

    • Ryan DeGama

      We'll have something on KG tomorrow a.m.

  • dave

    Hard to judge a series until you've seen the best effort of both teams and this was Miami from start to finish.

    A few troubling indicators for the C's:

    1) On-the-ball defense against Wade and James from Allen and Pierce was woeful.

    2) No low post game at all to expose the biggest weakness of Miami.

    3) KG not assertive offensively. Big Baby had a terrible game in every phase.

    4) Rondo is going to be a non factor in this series if Miami can dictate pace as they did today.

  • DAVID BIBAUD

    Its getting so histarical with the excuse machine. Lick your wounds and accept the infection. The better team won period . Take it like men and move on

  • jericho

    Who knows David Stern, the comissioner of the NBA. yeah he's been trying to get Lebron James a title since James entered this league by telling refs to help out Lebron's team, wheter the Heat or the Cleveland Cavs. we just saw it this time in the first game of the Heat-Celtics Semis, Paul Pierce was ejected for JUST exchanging words with Dwayne Whining Wade, and James Jones shouldve gotten a flagrant 1 for hitting Pierce hard…the refs called for flagrant1 on Jermain O'neal for BUMPING somebody on the much helped by the refs MIAMI HEAT team… SCREW the HEAT, they suck @#&*. all of them are going to retire without beating the Celtics in single series for the rest of their carreers. hope LEbron, Wade, and Bosh are reading this

    • Mike

      Well wade is definetely became one of the players I despise the most because of the way he behaves. When he goes to the rim he either expects 2 points and or a foul. When he does get it he throws a fit like a 7 year old and never gets a tec. never. And happens in all the games I've seen from them this year.
      We need to win game 2 and then just watch as the miami cHeat will deflate like the blow up dolls they are… Jones and wade are NOT gonna shoot lights out again, just like amar'e never scored 28 again and melo 42 again in those series.

  • The Prayer

    Things to be optimistic about the next game:

    1. Remember how Eddie House tore up the Magic in Game 2 of the C's playoff series with them a few years back? Yeah, we've seen our fair share of spectacular shooting performances off the bench, and quite frankly, James Jones is just one of them. We all remember how the next 5 games of that series, the Magic actually started defending House. We all remember how he sucked the rest of that series. At least James Jones already got his out of the way.

    2. Did anyone see that dunk by Jeff Green late in the 4th quarter? I hate to keep bringing this up, but that may actually show that the fire has been lit. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

    3. Losing game 1 hardly means we're going to lose the series. Last year's Cavaliers can vouch for that. We blew them out in game 2 (by the third quarter) and just let them back in due to lack of focus in the 4th.

    4. I honestly don't think there's a team that gets more fired up the next game after a loss than the Celtics. Needless to say, what we're expecting from the team in game 2 is probably just the tip of the iceberg of what they're expecting from themselves.

    5. As for the officiating / momentum-killing calls / etc.? It can only get better.

  • QQQ

    Wait, what year is it? I could have sworn it was 2011, but it sure looked like the 2006 finals on the court.

    Should the Garden start chanting "Dirk was robbed!" for the rest of the series?

  • PinkGun

    Paul Pierce is a studio gangster

  • PinkGun

    Thats why he got shanked in a club several years back

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