Some day-after thoughts on yet another season-saving playoff win by the Celtics in Game 2 of the Finals:
1. Mostly, phew. The Celtics could not afford to go down 2-0 heading home, especially after the inspired, bounce-back effort of this game, and the record-setting threes spree of Ray Allen. If they had lost, you could have stuck a fork in them. But they eked it out, and now we have ourselves a knock-down, drag-out fight that should go six or seven.
2. This was a very frustrating one to watch. Rondo pulled off a triple-double, and he was a rebounding monster, especially in the second half. But, again, it’s perplexing that he’s not more aggressive when the Celtics are in their half-court offense. Why not drive more? Rondo can drive on anyone on the floor. And when he does, (good) things happen. But too often, Rondo will dump the ball off to another ball handler near the top of the key early in the shot clock, and then not be involved. Am I the only one who thinks Rondo should be the ball handler – and not just in transition?
3. Why not stick with what worked? Also perplexing: after Ray scored 27 in the first half, you’d think the green team would keep feeding him the ball every chance they had in the third quarter, when both teams (but especially Boston) were trudging along. But his touches dropped off dramatically. In a game in which Paul Pierce was not much of an offensive presence, and Kevin Garnett was (gasp) something of a liability.
4. The mid-game sloppiness. After Boston diligently built up a 54-41 lead deep in the second quarter. Going into the half, of course, the Celtics got a stop and threw the ball into the hands of Kobe Bryant, who unsurprisingly nailed a long three with 0.2 seconds left – and then turned it over again before the buzzer sounded! The lead completely evaporated in the third.