Rajon Rondo Shines, Miami Heat Burns Celtics in OT
Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012 02:05
Game 2 Results: Miami Heat defeat Boston Celtics, 115-111 in OT, and take 2-0 series lead.
Leave the refs out of it, please.
If you watch sports you know that there are questionable calls in every game. Sometimes they are more obvious than others, but you get the point. When a team loses it’s easy to blame the refs. However, don’t blame them for the Celtics’ Game 1 or 2 losses to Miami.
Focus. On. The. Game.
Yes, Rajon Rondo clearly got fouled in overtime by Dwyane Wade and it should have been called, but it wasn’t. That’s not the reason they lost, though. If you’re looking for a reason for the C’s Game 2 loss on Wednesday then look at the third quarter.
With a seven point lead and clear momentum at half, Boston came out flat in the third quarter and let Miami score 35 points on them. That was where the game changed drastically. Dwyane Wade had two points at the half.
Yet, Boston was out-hustled in the third and let the Heat get right back into the game. And for you number freaks, Miami is now outscoring Boston, 61-37, in third quarters this series. But the stats that stand out the most from Wednesday night are the fouls. Boston committed 33 fouls, as the Heat went 31-47 from the line. Wade and LeBron James, themselves, made a combined 25 free throws out of 35 attempts.
Home-court advantage? Perhaps. It still shouldn’t be used as an excuse because Boston came out with heart and played a great game, as expected. But at the end, it just wasn’t enough.
Who’s Hot: Rondo.
After Game 2, this should come as no surprise. Rondo finished with a spectacular 44 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists, becoming the first player in Celtics NBA playoff history with 40+ points and 10+ assists. Not only did Rondo put up monster numbers, he also played every single second of Wednesday night’s game - 53 full minutes. When he was asked about his magnificent performance after the game he responded, “It’s kind of irrelevant. We lost. Simple as that.” Just like in Game 1 with Kevin Garnett, this was another wasted performance for the Celtics.
Who’s Not: Dwyane Wade and Paul Pierce.
As aforementioned, Wade only had two points at halftime. He did finish with 23 points but those two points at halftime are reprehensible. Had he scored more than a couple before the half, Miami could have possibly won in regulation. The Heat were lucky to pull out a victory after that slow start, but that won’t happen against a team like San Antonio or Oklahoma City.
Pierce was much better in Game 2 although he ended up hurting his team at the end. Fouling out with under a minute left in the fourth, the Celtics captain had to watch the overtime period from the bench. Luckily for Boston, Rondo continued to impress throughout the five minutes, but the Truth could have been the difference-maker and potentially sent the series back to Boston tied.
Biggest Question for Celtics?: What is up with Rondo’s headband? Seems like every time he wears that damn thing he plays significantly better. I’m not superstitious at all but if I’m Doc Rivers I make sure he wears that for the rest of the postseason.