Longtime Celtics  television broadcaster Mike Gorman joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to discuss the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Heat. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page .
“I thought it was physical playoff basketball with a bad result,” Gorman said. “What happened to Rondo didn’t have anything to do necessarily with the way Wade hit him. It was just trying to brace his fall that he got his arm out there. It wasn’t like his arm was twisted willfully by an opposing player.”
Gorman said he was surprised by the Heat’s failure to be aggressive with Rondo after the injury.
“Maybe they were just so stunned he was on the floor,” Gorman said. “They seem hypnotized by the fact that he was playing them with one hand tied behind his back. ‘¦ Not only they didn’t pressure the ball, they didn’t even force him to go left. It was like they were deferential to him. I don’t think that’s going to be the case tonight.”
Gorman said the Heat’s struggles Saturday and forward Chris Bosh acknowledging the Boston crowd affected his play might be a sign that the long season is wearing on them.
“I think Miami is emotionally spent,” Gorman said. “I think they’ve had the headlights, the spotlights, whatever you want to call it, right in their eyes right since training camp opened 6-7 months ago. And every single city they were in, they were getting booed, they were getting questioned. I think Bosh saying he was intimidated was more a sign of a guy saying that he was emotionally exhausted.
“I couldn’t believe on Saturday night, having the Celtics down 2-0 that [LeBron] James and Wade didn’t come out and just be assassins. Wade was an assassin, but James was tentative. I don’t know how else to describe it. For a guy with all the talent that he has, in a game like that to be tentative really is kind of amazing. So, I wonder about the psyche of this team.
“I also wonder ‘ I think it’s 10 or 11 in a row now they’ve lost in Boston. They may be starting to think they can’t win here.”
Gorman admitted having a hatred of the Lakers, and he talked about how much he enjoyed watching Sunday’s meltdown vs. the Mavericks, when two Lakers were ejected for cheap shots during a loss that ended the series in four games.
“I thoroughly enjoyed watching that demise yesterday,” Gorman said. “It seemed obvious, though, if you went back to the earlier games of this series, something was wrong in that locker room. Whether or not it was knowing that [Phil] Jackson was going to leave, whether or not guys were getting minutes they thought they should have been getting, I don’t know what it was, but it was clear. Phil Jackson  exploding at Pau Gasol  the other night on the sidelines was very un-Jackson-like.
“Whether we ever find out exactly what it is, I don’t know. But there was something going on in that locker room that has been festering for a long time. And I’ve got to admit ‘¦ I thoroughly enjoyed that fourth quarter. I thoroughly enjoyed that yesterday, watching them self-destruct.”