Twelve hours have passed and the bitterness has only seemed to worsen. The Celtics were on the verge last night, of stealing a contest after only scoring 33 points in the second half of a contest. LeBron had coughed up a crucial possession and the Celtics would have their final chances. They did it to New York in Games 1 and 2. Last night was a different story. Jessica Camerato of CSNNE.com put together a great piece with reaction from everyone on just exactly how that final fateful play broke down.
Doc Rivers: “We didn’t execute the play, I’ll just leave it at that. Ended up leaving Paul on the island. It’s a play we’ve run several times and we just didn’t execute it. [It] was supposed to be a pick-and-roll with a flare and none of it happened, which was unusual for us. But it happened.”
Paul Pierce: “It was supposed to end up with a fade for Ray [Allen], then I was coming off a pick-and-roll for Kevin [Garnett]. I guess there was a little confusion right there and we never got into it, and I had to force a bad shot.”
Ray Allen: “We wanted to get a pick-and-roll with Paul and Kevin. We kind of screwed it up because we wanted Paul to get the ball, and I’m at the free-throw line and I wanted to kind of fan off and create some misdirection and then Kevin go set the screen, and then from there see what we got. But I don’t think we got a great shot. Paul still got a shot at the basket. We’re kicking ourselves over that.”
Kevin Garnett: “The timing actually got messed up when he went and got the ball and miscommunication. Paul went with a couple seconds on the clock and felt like he had to be aggressive in that situation. But plays are all timing. If you don’t come off at a certain time, clock’s going, and Paul felt like he had to go. It’s what it was.”
Rajon Rondo: “It’s a surprise but it happens, you know? Lotta talking in the huddle, but there wasn’t enough listening, I believe.”
Brendan Jackson will have a full breakdown of that fatal play, along with Doc Rivers’ lineup decisions down the stretch shortly. For now though, the Celtics will be questioning just how they let that chance slip away….perhaps for years to come.