Celtics Take Talents to South Beach, Cool Down Heat in Game 5
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 07:06
Game 5 Results: Boston Celtics defeat Miami Heat, 94-90, and take 3-2 series lead.
At the beginning of this NBA season many people -- including Celtics players -- believed that the Celtics would only go as far as Rajon Rondo brought them. In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Rondo dropped 44 points, yet Boston still lost. In Game 5 of the series Rondo scored only seven points, but Boston found a way to win.
If you tell me you have this team figured out you’re lying. At this point I don’t even think Doc Rivers has his own squad figured out.
“We didn’t play very well. We were sloppy at times. We just hung around enough to get to the fourth quarter,” Rivers said after the C’s Game 5 win on Tuesday night. “Honestly, in the first quarter, that’s the way we felt as a staff. We just have to try and hang around somehow because things are not going well. You could clearly see that. We were even tentative, all of us."
But as always, the Celtics just keep finding ways to do it. Whether it was Brandon Bass leading the way early on or Mickael Pietrus hitting a few clutch shots late in the game, Boston simply beat Miami because they put together a full team effort.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 57 points; Miami even had a 13-point lead over Boston in the second quarter, but at the end Paul Pierce showed why they call him “the Truth” as he sunk a crucial three-pointer over James for the dagger.
Who’s Hot: Kevin Garnett.
Coming into this year the one player on the Celtics roster I doubted the most was KG. His knee injury has proven to be a factor and in my mind there was no way he could be as effective as Boston needed him to be in order to make a deep postseason run.
Boy was I wrong.
Garnett has been the most important player for the Celtics during this playoff run, but he’s especially shined against Miami. In Boston’s Game 2 loss KG finished with 23 points and ten rebounds. He had a similar night on Tuesday, which this time resulted in a win, as he scored 26 points and grabbed 11 boards. But Garnett’s effort goes way beyond just scoring. He’s loud, he’s mean and he knows how to get his teammates pumped up. “He’s our life,” said Doc Rivers after Game 5.
Fittingly, KG hit two clutch free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for Boston. When asked what continues to fuel him, Garnett answered, “The competition, the naysayers, the owners who talk too much. The people who don't think a 36-year-old can do what I do. I take a lot of pride in my craft, I work really hard at my craft everyday.”
Who’s Not: Ray Allen.
While I was too busy worrying about Garnett, maybe I should have been worried about somebody else. Allen is the oldest player on the C’s roster and it is clearly starting to show. Allen’s highest scoring game this series was Game 4 in which he scored 16 points. The three-point king has a combined 58 points throughout the five games against Miami and is quickly approaching the end of what has been an exceptional career.
Biggest Question for Celtics: Can they get off to a quick start on Thursday? Boston didn’t necessarily start slow on Tuesday night but they did fall behind during the second quarter. Luckily for the Celtics, Bass had a great first half and helped keep the game close. If Boston gets off to a quick start in Game 6 it should make the second half -- more importantly the fourth quarter -- easier for them to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals. .