What to watch for in Game 2: More Kevin Garnett and hello to Joey Crawford
|05.03.11 at 11:46 am ET|
MIAMI — Tough to imagine this Celtics team winning 4-of-5 against the Heat, a team that did win 28 games on the road this season, so here are three things to watch for in a Game 2 that is really close to must-win territory …
(1). Doc Rivers made it clear on Monday that the Celtics are going to get Kevin Garnett (3-of-9, six points in Game 1) more involved in the offense in Game 2. They went to Garnett on Chris Bosh early — in fact on each of the Celtics’ first two possessions — but failed to continue to focus on a matchup that the Celtics feel is an advantageous one.
“Kevin is one of our featured scorers and I didn’t think we did a good job with him at all,” Rivers told the media Monday. “We got Bosh on an early foul, and then we went seven straight plays before we decided to look back to that spot. That’s not like us to do that. That was a mistake.”
Garnett isn’t ever going to take 25 shots — just isn’t that kind of player, we are talking about someone who averaged just 11.6 per game during the regular season — but the Celtics would probably like to see him somewhere close to the 16 shots he attempted in both Game 2 and Game 4 of the Knicks series.
(2). James Jones isn’t going to score 25 points again on Tuesday night. Statistically, we recognize it as an outlier. He averaged just 5.9 points during the regular season with one 20-point game (Oct. 27). But Rivers wants the Miami swingman to work a lot harder to find his shots in Game 2.
“The fact that he took seven 3-pointers without taking a dribble, when you think about it, that’s poor defense,” Rivers said. “You’ve still got to make them and that’s where you give James all the credit, he’s an excellent shooter and he made them. But to give a shooter seven 3-pointers and without having to put the ball on the floor one time, that’s tough for to handle.”
(3). The Joey Factor. After a Game 1 that was described by Rivers as “chippy” — featuring five technical fouls, a flagrant foul and an ejection — here comes Joey Crawford and his quick whistle on Tuesday night. Crawford — the lead official in Game 7 of last year’s Celtics-Lakers series — is about as old-school as it gets, which can be a good or bad thing, depending on the situation (let us not forget his was also suspended indefinitely in 2007 after allegedly challenging Tim Duncan to a fight) . Expect a very tight game to be called, and Crawford will be happy to hand out technical fouls if he feels it might help temper potential altercations between the two teams.
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