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Rondo’s foul: Flagrant, or not? 04.29.09 at 12:47 pm ET
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With time winding down in Game 5, Brad Miller caught the Celtics in a frantic switch and drove hard to the basket. Trailing behind the play Rajon Rondo reached forward and made contact with Miller’s face, which did two things. It prevented Miller from dunking to tie the game and it also drew blood.

The Bulls protested after the play that it should have been a flagrant foul since, in their opinion, Rondo didn’t attempt to make play a play on the ball. The Celtics, obviously, contend that it was good hard playoff foul.

Naturally, opinion in Boston is of the latter interpretation, but they are up in arms, so to speak, about the play in Chicago.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Last night in Orlando, Dwight Howard clocked Philly’s Sam Delambert with an elbow. That, as True Hoop’s Henry Abbott points out should have resulted in an ejection.

Now the question becomes: What, if anything, will the NBA do about this?

Here’s a video with both plays (via True Hoop):

UPDATE: According to a report by ESPN’s Chris Sheridan, the NBA is reviewing both plays.

Here’s the flagrant foul interpretation from Sheridan:

“If Rondo’s foul is upgraded to a flagrant-category 1, he would be assessed one flagrant foul point. Players earn an automatic one-game suspension if they accumulate four flagrant foul points during the postseason. If the foul is upgraded to a flagrant-2, Rondo would be suspended for Game 6 in Chicago on Thursday night.”

UPDATE II: Howard was suspended for Game 6 and it appears that there will be no further action taken against Rondo.

Read More: Brad Miller, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo,
KG was still heard 04.29.09 at 8:29 am ET
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He hasn’t played in over a month but Kevin Garnett is still finding a way to make his voice heard during games. On Tuesday night, he made sure Bulls guard Ben Gordon got his message loud and here. Click here for the photo (via HoopsHype).

Read More: Ben Gordon, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett,
Ray: All game the whistle was battling me 04.29.09 at 1:17 am ET
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Now Ray Allen knows what it feels like to sit on the bench as someone else plays the hero.

Allen had — of course — been the hero in Game 2, nailing the game-winning three-pointer with 2.0 seconds left in regulation to lift the Celtics to a 1-1 series tie with the Bulls.

Allen was again “Johnny On the Spot” when he drained a three on Sunday afternoon in Chicago to force Game 4 to overtime.

But with 5:27 remaining in the fourth quarter, Allen was whistled for his sixth foul, running into a screen set by Brad Miller, of all people. Miller would have his own issues with the refs later.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Perk getting called for that same play but I was just trying to fight through and they called it on me,” said a frustrated Allen, who fouled out for just the second time in 72 playoff games and the first since June 15, 2008, a loss to the Lakers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

And this time it would have to be someone else to the rescue. How ironic since Allen had just drained a long three from the right baseline to bring the Celtics to within three, 83-80, and it looked for all the world he was about to work his magic again.

That is until he got called for his sixth foul.

“I was extremely upset,” Allen said. “I was disappointed. I thought all game the whistle was battling me. But I didn’t want to be that isolated guy that was over on the sideline and pouting and worrying about himself. Of course, I was angry but we had to win the game. Those were the cards we were dealt so we had to figure out the best way, whether it was  Tony (Allen) Steph (Marbury) or Eddie (House), who was going to have to come in and do the job.”

It was Pierce who nailed back-to-back jumpers in overtime to put the Celtics up, 104-101, and then Pierce who hit the game-winner with 3.4 seconds to go in overtime.

“I guess now I know what it feels like to sit on the sideline and not be able to do anything and not have control,” Allen said. “For me, it was toughest feeling I’ve had to deal with. But Paul and Rondo came through for us. I figured as mad as I was, it wasn’t going to do us any good trying to figure out what happened in the game.”

Read More: Celtics, NBA playoffs, Ray Allen,
All beat up and nothing to show for it 04.29.09 at 12:46 am ET
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Brad Miller stood in front of his locker following Game 5 much the same way he stood at the free throw line with 2.0 seconds remaining in overtime-dazed and confused.

He had just been raked across the face by Rajon Rondo, who tried desperately to keep Miller from making the game-tying layup after Miller found a wide-0pen seam in the middle of the Celtics defense. From the top of the key to the basket, there was only green paint in the lane — until Rondo showed up at the last moment.

There were two things that had the Bulls livid. No flagrant foul on Rondo and no goaltending on Kendrick Perkins, who clearly hit the rim in attempting to block the shot but no call was made.

“It’s a play we’ve run,” Miller said. “Two or three guys went to bed and I understand why. It just left an opening just a tad.”

The fact that a flagrant wasn’t called was hardly shocking to Miller.

“We’ve got a lot of guys getting head shots this series, I mean a whole lot of them and it hasn’t been a flagrant,” Miller said. “We’ve had to shake off a lot of these high hits they’ve been putting on us.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Miller Rajon Rondo, Bulls, Celtics, NBA playoffs
Gordon’s return was expected 04.29.09 at 12:36 am ET
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Doc Rivers has seen this before. Last season he watched Paul Pierce bounce back from a knee injury to save the day in the NBA Finals. So he wasn’t surprised when Ben Gordon, the Bulls most dangerous scorer, played through a problematic hamstring in a critical Game 5.

‘€œYeah I wasn’€™t worried about Ben Gordon being hurt,’€ he said. ‘€œI’ve seen that act before.’€

Gordon scored 26 points in 50 minutes during the Bulls overtime loss. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro explained why he left his guard on the court for so long.

‘€œA few times I said, ‘€˜Ben, how are you? Are you alright?’€™ and he just said, ‘€˜Yeah, I’€™m fine’€™ or ‘€˜Yeah, I’€™m a little tight,’€™’€ Del Negro said. ‘€œBut he played 50 minutes so it wasn’€™t like I was going to take him out because once he gets tight it’€™s hard to get him loose again. So if he was fine then I was fine with him being out there because he’€™s such a threat.’€

Rivers gave Gordon credit for leading the Bulls on the scoreboard. But that’s not to say he overwhelmed by a comeback performance.

‘€œHe was terrific. You know, he made some unbelievable shots and honestly some of them were very well defended. We’€™ll take some of those shots and if he makes them, he makes them,’€ said Rivers. ‘€œBut overall he didn’€™t look injured to me.’€

Read More: Ben Gordon, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls,
Game 5: Final Wrap 04.28.09 at 10:17 pm ET
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Led by clutch shooting from Paul Pierce, the Celtics beat the Bulls 106-104 in overtime of Game 5. They take a 3-2 series lead and head to Chicago for Game 6 on Thursday.

Pierce finished the game with 26 (11-22 FG). Rajon Rondo led all scorers with 28 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds.

Ben Gordon, who was questionable for this game, led the Bulls with 26 points (6-21 FG).

This is the first playoff series in NBA history to feature three overtime games.

Game 5: Back to Overtime 04.28.09 at 9:43 pm ET
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The Celtics and Bulls are heading to overtime tied at 93 apiece. Credit Tony Allen for tough defense on Ben Gordon as time ran out in regulation. Unlike Game 4, Gordon did not hit the jumper with TA in his face.  The Celtics are without Ray Allen, who fouled out earlier in the fourth.

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