I admit I was pretty disgusted with how the Boston Celtics played—too many turnovers and not nearly enough rebounds—against LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat at some points in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, to the point where I put on something else to watch on more than one occasion. But being the die-hard fan I’ve always been, eventually I came back around to see the end of it.
Monday night’s game started out well, but ended badly, highlighted by head coach Doc Rivers’ fatal decision to keep (dislocated elbow-ailing) point guard Rajon Rondo on the bench for overtime. The result? Only scoring four points in the five-minute extra session en route to the 98-90 loss that has now put Boston in a 3-1 deficit and to the brink of elimination, which could very well happen tonight in Miami, where Game 5 is being played.
Yes, Rondo was basically playing with one arm (thanks to Wade’s dirty take down of the best pure PG in basketball during Game 3 in Boston). But he runs the team and should’ve been out there for OT, as Boston had 18 turnovers, four in OT (starting with Kevin Garnett, who followed up one of his best and most dominant games as a Celtic in Game 3 with a mediocre Game 4, scoring just seven points).
The Big Four (Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and KG) go up against the new Big Three of LeBron, Wade and Chris Bosh (who woke up to have his best game of the series in Game 4) tonight just after 7:00 p.m. ET on TNT. It should be another thrilling and physical game.
It’d do or die time for the C’s, and I don’t think they will die just yet. I expect the veteran team, even without Shaquille O’Neal (again, and perhaps for good) to somehow win this game and the next one in Boston, but run out of steam and playoff magic in a thrilling Game 7 in Miami. But it’s like Wade said to the media yesterday: “They’ll be back” next year. And if I’m wrong and the C’s shockingly manage to win this series, I’m sure Celtics players will say the same about Wade and his squad.
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