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Rondo, KG lead the way: Celtics 97, Heat 81

 

ESPN Box Score

If there was ever a single game to define Rajon Rondo, I think tonight was that game.

As a Celtics’ fan, you couldn’t help but be frustrated with Rondo during the first half. The Heat continued to expose the weaknesses in his game, and he seemed to be invisible for certain stretches of play.

But then Rondo reminded us all why we love him. Sure, common sense would tell you to sit a player with a dislocated elbow for the last few minutes of a blow-out victory. Heck, you could have made a legitimate argument that Delonte West, who had a very solid game for the C’s, should have played over the one-armed Rondo for the entire 4th quarter.

But Rondo wasn’t coming out of that game. His teammates were energized by him. The crowd was energized by him. And now the Celtics are feeling much better about themselves.

However, as inspiring as Rondo’s effort was, let’s not overlook the true star of Game 3. That would be Kevin Garnett, who was absolutely sensational on both ends of the floor.

Not only did KG put up 28 points and 18 rebounds, but he completely owned Chris Bosh in every possible way. He also poured in 14 points in the 3rd quarter, when the C’s outscored Miami 28-15 and never looked back.

Other quick notes:

  • Paul Pierce: 27 points on 5-7 3-point shooting, including 8 points in the first few minutes of the game that really jump-started the C’s tonight
  • Only 11 minutes for Glen Davis, but 21 for Jeff Green. Has Doc finally seen enough?
  • Jermaine O’Neal had 2 points and 4 rebounds, while counterpart Joel Anthony had 12 points and 11 boards off the bench. But I still love the way JO is making his presence known on defense.
  • Zee

    WELCOME TO BOSTON!!!!!! WE BEAT YOU WITH A ONE-ARMED RONDO!!!! BEAT BY 16 POINTS!!!! WHAT???!!!!! #BeatMIA

    AND NOBODY BETTER EVER BAD MOUTH RONDO AGAIN! HE INSPIRED ME ON A VERY PERSONAL LEVEL TONIGHT! HE SHOWED MUCH HEART! IT SAID "NEVER GIVE UP IN WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN! FIGHT TO THE FINISH!!!!"

    RONDO, I SALUTE YOU SIR! THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY GIFT!!!!! 36 YEARS!!!

    • duggyfresh88

      truly inspiring

    • Chris O

      Awesome Zee, awesome

  • Zee

    FYI: I've lost A LOT of respect for D-Wade. He slammed Rondo on purpose. It's evident and that's why folks were booing him and angry. He could've ended Rondo's career! NOT COOL!!!!!!!!

    • I_Love_Green

      Watching the replay it definitely looked like he slammed Rondo on purpose. I noticed his muscles were flexed as they went to the ground.

      • pam

        the league needs to assess that. that was a really cheap play by wade. the ball was really far away so it wasnt a scramble for the ball. these "villainous" heat arent doing themselves any favors with plays like this.

      • Morpheus

        Wade is a dick.

        • http://twitter.com/M_DeVelaine @M_DeVelaine

          If you thought the play was bad, you should see his reply to the first question he was asked in the post-game interviews.

          • jamaica

            you guys. Fucking inertia. He wasnt trying to dislocate his elbow

          • Seanthoughtwhat

            Yeah, I agree… Wade's muscles were flexed because he was bracing for impact as well as heading forward. What actually happened was Rondo tried to strafe around him… Rondo's arm is on Wade's stomach, clearly trying to go around. Wade was sort've boxing out, and then their legs got tangled and Rondo headed to the ground whipped the other way (he was pushing forward, then Wade falling took that momentum and reversed it, making the fall that much harder)

            Wade wasn't playing dirty, just hard. At the very least, on this play. Rondo was also playing hard, trying to get around Wade by throwing his body out of the way. Had Rondo tried to be passive, instead of going for the ball, this wouldn't have happened.

            So, it happened because both players wanted the opposite of what the other did. Bam. That's competitive basketball and good sport.

          • rondeezy

            so rondo should have just stood there and not tried to go for the ball? do you hear yourself? theres no excuse for pulling someone down by the waist while your falling with your leg behind theirs. that was just dirty play from wade and some plays before that while he was falling he tried to bring pierce down with him too by grabbing his jersey. fuck wade, totally classless act and uncalled for.

          • Zee

            Watch, Wade pulls down Rondo by sweeping his leg behind him. The announcer even says Wade pulls him down. Exactly.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r22pliBsP7s

          • Zee

            Look at the play again. Wade sweeps his leg behind Rondo and takes him to the ground. He didn't try to plant his for for positioning, but actually swept his foot to make Rondo fall. Did he try to break Rondo's arm? No. Did he try to slam him? Yes. Was the consequence almost a career ending matter? Most definitely.

            Go back and watch the replay.

          • Zee

            "He didn't try to plan his FOOT for positioning…"

            He swept his LEG behind Rondo I meant to say…

          • Zee

            You're silly if we even thought he was trying to dislocate his elbow. What he did was try to tackle him, and he did… almost ending a players career in the process. Should've been ejected.

            Watch, Wade pulls down Rondo by sweeping his leg behind him. The announcer even says Wade pulls him down. http://bit.ly/kAHXK9

          • Chris O

            No jamaica he wasn't trying to dislocate his elbow but he did slam him on purpose because the boi just picked his pocket, its a dirty play for D-Wade and this series is the dirtiest I have ever seen him

  • I_Love_Green

    When they play with this effort, I just absolutely love watching this team. I got tears in my eyes just watching the beautiful perfomance by our guys.

    Rondo coming back minutes after I thought he was done for the series.
    KG having a vintage perfomance, and making Chris Bosh his bitch.
    Paul Pierce FINALLY playing a full game, and dominating Lebron James.
    Ray Ray playing through the rediculous no calls, and having a solid perfomance.
    The O'Neal bros playing through their injuries, and doing a hell of a job at it.

    The heart that this team has is just incredible. I hope they can continue this for the rest of the series.

    • Zee

      Amen. I was inspired tonight. Very much so…

      • I_Love_Green

        I got down and did some push ups when Rondo came back (:

  • I_Love_Green

    KG just said he knows he's gotta be agressive like he was tonight for the rest of the series, and for the rest of the playoffs.

    Love to hear that. Keep it up big guy.

  • ElRoz

    Rondo was able to clap his hands and open and close his left hand, move his wrist and fingers….he also stole the ball using his left hand:

    can anybody speculate something reassuring and hopeful for game 4 based on that?
    Is this evidence that no major damage is there? I need something !

    Delonte West's shoulder will be ok too, right?

    • I_Love_Green

      Rondo won't be able to do much with that left arm in game 4, offensively wise, but on the defense he'll be able to do what he usually does. As long as he can dribble and catch with his left arm he should be fine.

      Delonte's shoulder didn't seem to bother him thank god, but we'll have to wait until tomorrow to know what the extent of the injury is. But in my opinion, just from watching it I don't think it will affect him for game 4.

      • ElRoz

        Man…hope you're right!

        if Rondo could make a few drives and maybe hit a jumper to keep the Heat honest on defese, it be nice…otherwise his man will roam and cause problems for KG or Shaq.

        I want to see Shaq play 10-12 minutes in game 4.

      • Dan

        If there's any player in the league that can get away with playing with one hand, it's Rondo. Really what's the difference? He's not shooting jumpers anyways.

  • kricky

    Man we are so much better when KG establishes himself in the paint. It makes teh offense flow so much better.

    Please, please more of this! He doesn't have to go for 28 every night, but we need to get him at least 10+ good looks inside every game if we are going to pull this thing out.

  • I_Bleed_Green

    Doc finally figured out how to use BBD — put him on the bench.

    • I_Love_Green

      Kind of sad to see how much Glen has regressed in these last few months of the season.

      • Keyser Soze

        Baby's game has really tanked. The spaghetti and pancakes starting to weight him down…

        • kricky

          I think us some good minutes and rebounded well in the 2nd half.

          But he definitely is not living up to his potential and is slowly eating himself out of the league.

          So much talent! If he just lost 30 pounds he could be a real force. What a waste.

          • Chris O

            Yea BBD looks like he has gained weight, he also if HORRIFIC right now. He is getting outrebounded even when he has position and Joel Anthony has shown that Baby has lost his hussle, watch BBD closely he doesn't play like he wants to be playing, or is playing for a contract, only his complain face is on point

    • lakershater13

      On a positive note him sucking makes it easy to sign him for cheap money this summer.

    • DRJ1

      Shaq's presence helped Baby stay in PF position, out of the 5 spot, and so he was not as bad as he has been. I thought he cared about his game… but no, I don't think he does. Like many NBA guys, he's happy so long as the checks keep coming.

  • janos

    Cookie for Janos! Is big win!

  • Keyser Soze

    What an inspiring performance today. Many positives from the game: KG playing aggressive, Pierce and Allen getting their touch back, solid minutes from West and JO, even some fire from Green at the end, shutdown D in the 3rd quarter and of course Rondo's incredible comeback after a horrific injury. Hope this effort shows up again in Game 4 and onwards.

  • greenmachine

    KG had a Minnesota flashback tonight! Love the intensity from the big guy tonight.

  • James Patrick

    I think BBD lost some minutes. Doc might be losing faith in Baby.

    • ElRoz

      BBD will play more minutes…one thing is tur, he does give effort every time…it might not be the best stats wise, but they will need his play. ..his defense and charge-taking skills….

      He has been the most important bench guy this season. Doc will just go with whoever is doing better in a given game…BBD just wasn't that guy yesterday.

  • jimmy

    ive been sayin 4 the last month or 2 if big baby stopped playin so much we would b fine……point proven

  • jamaica

    Jeff Green, 6 straight points, solid defense, 1 horrible TO and an air balled wide open three. The dude is a basketball paradox

    • Seanthoughtwhat

      TA?

      • nbsmatambo

        speaking of TA….man do i miss his defense lol

  • Scott

    Great game. Great play from our stars. Now.. Can we do it again. I’d really like to think so, and I really hate D-wade.

    Go C’s

  • James Patrick

    TIRED OF D WADE! He's not physical, he's dirty! He's a punk. We need to be just as dirty in game 4!

  • I_Bleed_Green

    It is funny with all the hates on dwade (or any superstars), tell me that you hate dwade when he is on your team.

    • James Patrick

      he's not. so my hate continues. lol

    • rondeezy

      what a stupid thing to say. that goes for any superstar. and obviously all the hates on wade when he almost ended rondos season with a clearly dirty play

  • Rob

    Good to see that doc finally is playing green real minutes. He’s showing a lot of fire and can be really effective for us and we’re sure gonna need him to win this series. Although it was one hell of a game Its only one game, let’s hope they realize that if they lose the next game there as good as gone. Can’t wait to see the way both teams react to this game, hopefully we’ll see the same energy out of the c’s next game

  • Zee

    Watch, Wade pulls down Rondo by sweeping his leg behind him. The announcer even says Wade pulls him down. http://bit.ly/kAHXK9

    • Zee

      He should've gotten thrown out of the game and even suspended. He got tangled up with Paul and Ray, and then he got tangled up with Rondo and got extremely and overly aggressive. This isn't the WWE.

    • Zee

      Don't forget that this is the SAME GUY who lowered his shoulder and charged into Pierce in Game 1. Wade isn't so "sparkly clean" as you think. Those are dirty plays that aren't getting called, but causing us to have 1) a player ejected, or 2) a player seriously hurt.

      • James Patrick

        Exactly!!! He doesn't know how to be physical. He's more reckless than anything. Refs and the NBA are still in their corner I say. had it been the other way around, it wouldn't been a flagrant for sure.

        • James Patrick

          Just watched it again. BULL SHIT! he totally pulled him down!

  • Zee

    When Wade is asked about it in the presser, LeBron says the reporter is "retarded" under his breath. Wow…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91JlOqzxp_w

    • rondeezy

      that better be a fine. it kobe saying faggot is a slur to gays then lebron saying retarded is a slur to the disabled.

    • B52

      Lighten up.

  • Sauce

    That was well worth staying up for.

    Paul and KG where Vintage out there.

    Ray's touching on the elbow foul for the playoff's was I thought pathetic.

    Wade was dirty tonight and whilst it is Basketball and it is the playoff's I didn't like what he did to Rondo, it's cheap as you like. I did wonder why when he was catching the ball and doing everything with only one hand why they didn't try to force him the other direction or at least pressure Rondo. Test him ability to protect the ball or shoot a j.

    But what to say about the man Rondo, I don't think the English language has a word used rarely enough to describe him coming back into the game, Return of the Mack perhaps.

  • andrew

    anyone else see bron say "thats retarded" while wade was being asked questions about the dirty play? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O4xFiHaMkw

  • Eric

    I thought the key to the game was the defense Paul and Ray played on LeBron and Wade. Great one-on-one performances from those two that didn't make anything easy for the league's darlings. Very impressive.

    Also, our Big 3's mid-range and long-two shots improved while Miami's retreated to the average. The first two games were frustrating because I thought the Cs played pretty good defense, but Miam was making tons of lower-percentage shots while we were missing them. In this game it evened out bit. If both defenses are packing the paint and forcing longer jumpers, then I like our chances over the course of a series. LeBron and Wade are not good mid- and long-range shooters; Pierce, Ray, and KG are.

  • Eric

    Also, a couple of nice, though subtle, adjustments from Doc and Lawrence Frank: Rondo's constant pressure on the ball slowed Miami's offense down and made them rush some of their sets, particularly the pick-and-rolls. I'd have to watch the game again to see exactly what the Cs offense was doing, but the Pierce-KG pick-and-roll was much better this game, much crisper and with better angles and spacing.

    Also, they really expoited mismatches, particularly when Joel Anthony was trying to guard KG. They really need to take advantage of that one; Anthony doesn't stand a chance against KG in the post.

  • torpid bunny

    Maybe it was the crowd and the momentum, but I think Jeff Green played pretty well in this game. I haven't seen that much intensity from him before.

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