On Wednesday, the Celtics tried to take down a short-handed Miami squad. Here’s what happened:
Pre-game Quote Of The Night
“Miami is really good. They are one of the contenders.”
-Brad Stevens on Miami
(CelticsHub’s take: U rite, Brad.)
Pre-game Quote Of The Night II
Brad Stevens says his daughter picked an NCAA bracket w/American winning it all because “we have an American flag.” #CelticsTalk
— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) March 19, 2014
How Tommy feels about things
[Abby update on Ray Allen's number poss. being retired.] Mike: Got any feelings on that Tommy? Tommy: No.
— John Karalis (@RedsArmy_John) March 19, 2014
With LeBron sitting out and Dwyane Wade sitting with a bloody nose, Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers went off. Haslem scored 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Chalmers finished with eight assists. Boston, presumably, finished embarrassed that they were losing to Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem.
Boston finished the quarter 5-for-8 from 3-point range, raising their total to 9-for-18. Despite the absurd long-distance efficiency, the Celtics trailed 59-53 at halftime.
Compelling question: Is Rajon Rondo going to get a double-double that doesn’t include points (three points, eight rebounds, 14 (!!!) assists)?
Compelling answer: Yes he is! (Final line: Nine points, 10 boards, 15 assists)
Oh, also the Celtics beat the two-time defending champion Heat, winning the season series 2-1.
MVP: Bradley played extremely well, but Rondo dominated the final minute, winning a key jumpball and hitting a floater to push Boston’s lead from three to five with under 20 seconds remaining.
LVP: LeBron’s back, which was almost certainly the real difference between Miami winning or losing this game.
Postgame Quote Of The Night:
“They were missing a fairly good player.”
-Brad Stevens has jokes
1. It’s not a newsflash that Rondo can control a game without big scoring numbers. It’s somewhat of a newsflash that he can do so in 2014, coming back from his ACL injury. For those who worried whether he would regain his athleticism, Stevens said he looked “in the 90s” percent back to full health.
2. That was a fun win, but costly. The Celtics had the fourth worst record in the NBA entering Wednesday. After beating Miami, they are now the 6th worst team…a significant jump that could have very costly ramifications. More on that tomorrow.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.