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Fast Break: C’s can’t handle Heat, fall in Game 1
Posted By Ryan Hadfield On May 28, 2012 @ 11:08 pm In General | 37 Comments
Coming off a grueling seven-game series against the Sixers, the Celtics  traveled to Miami and fell to the Heat, 93-79 , in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Kevin Garnett  kept the C’s alive early with 23 points, but league MVP LeBron James  scored 32 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Game 2 is Wednesday night in Miami.
WHAT WENT WRONG
At odds: The C’s dug themselves into a hole after only scoring 11 points in the opening quarter. But, after a strong 35-point second quarter, they found themselves tied at halftime. Boston went into another funk at the start of the second half, shooting just 2-0f-12 to open the third quarter, and put up a paltry 15 points in the third quarter.
The consistent offensive ruts — and these are nothing new, they’ve been happening all season — are deleterious to the C’s cause. They simply can’t afford to fall behind by eight points in a matter of minutes of the game starting and expect to win, not at this stage, especially when they Heat are shooting near 50 percent from the field.
The King and I: James had 17 points in the first half, starting 7-of-10 from the field. Monday night seemed like one of those games when LBJ was in MVP-type form. Dwyane Wade  finished with a quiet 22 points. Sure, there were times were he was able to slice through the Boston defense and cause problems, but Wade was at his best facilitating and getting his teammates easy looks. In the fourth quarter, Wade “flashed” (pun intended) some of the playmaking ability Boston can expect to see the rest of the series. He had an impressive left-handed finish on a layup and then, on the ensuing C’s possession, a highlight block on Rajon Rondo . Later, he made a series of difficult shots. It’s a tough task, but the Celtics have to find a way to slow the Super Friends down … just a bit.
Miller time: It wasn’t James Jones ‘ 25-point performance in Game 1 of the Heat-Celtics series last year, but Mike Miller  gave Garnett fits from the outside by stretching the floor. KG had trouble getting out to the perimeter to guard Miller, and his eight points in the first half killed the C’s. It’s one thing for Wade and James to beat the Celtics, but they cannot afford the ancillary players to become factors.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
“Celtics’ cool”: After a late-season loss to the Bulls, Doc Rivers  sarcastically said the C’s were playing “Celtics’ cool” basketball, scrutinizing Boston’s effort. The comment garnered a great deal of attention and Rivers’ point hit home. Considering the Celtics were called for THREE technical fouls in the first half — keep in mind, all three were suspect — they did well to come back from an 11-point deficit.
The C’s made 13 of their 22 field goal attempts to spur a second-quarter comeback and got contributions from a variety of players. Greg Stiemsma  provided good size inside, Garnett continued his torrid shooting, Keyon Dooling  gave good energy and hit a huge 3-pointer, Rajon Rondo facilitated, and Paul Pierce  and Ray Allen  both found their shooting touch. When the Celtics play like that — and, granted, they typically only show brief spurts of that type of efficiency — they can compete with Miami.
Will call: Garnett’s first half was vital especially since the rest of the B0ston lineup struggled. At one point KG was 4-of-5 from the field while the rest of the C’s were a combined 2-of-16. The Big Ticket’s performance is something the Celtics will need going forward in this series. His advantage inside was exposed and should be exploited further in Game 2.
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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2012/05/28/fast-break-cs-cant-handle-the-heat-fall-in-game-1/
URLs in this post:
 Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm
 Kevin Garnett: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kevin-garnett.htm
 LeBron James: http://media.weei.com/basketball/lebron-james.htm
 Dwyane Wade: http://media.weei.com/basketball/dwyane-wade.htm
 Rajon Rondo: http://media.weei.com/basketball/rajon-rondo.htm
 James Jones: http://media.weei.com/football/james-jones.htm
 Mike Miller: http://media.weei.com/golf/mike-miller.htm
 Doc Rivers: http://media.weei.com/basketball/doc-rivers.htm
 Greg Stiemsma: http://media.weei.com/basketball/greg-stiemsma.htm
 Keyon Dooling: http://media.weei.com/basketball/keyon-dooling.htm
 Paul Pierce: http://media.weei.com/basketball/paul-pierce.htm
 Ray Allen: http://media.weei.com/basketball/ray-allen-celtics.htm
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