After the Celtics lost game 2 in overtime when Rajon Rondo had a miraculous 44 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, I declared the series over. I thought that the tired, sore, and past-their-prime Celtics had finally run out of gas. I even went as far as to predict Heat in 5, giving the Celtics a game at home – well, after Boston won Games 3 and 4 at home, the series will go at least six. This incorrect prediction was from the same guy who said that the Spurs dynasty was over following a first round exit in the 2011 playoffs at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies. I know I wasn’t the minority in my Heat prediction, however, and Boston has defied the odds once again.
Coming into the series, not many people had given the Celtics a chance against the mighty Heat. After the Philadelphia 76ers, playing without a star player or even decent scorer, took the Celtics to a Game 7, Boston seemed completely vulnerable and that held true for the first two games of this series. But there’s something in the NBA that defies logic and it is virtually unexplainable. After Avery Bradley got injured and it was determined that hobbled Ray Allen would be playing more minutes, the Celtics seemed to be at yet another disadvantage. Well, in a season-high 46 minutes last night, Ray Allen connected on four 3-pointers and dropped 16 points, his highest output since Game 2 of the Philadelphia series.
It seems as if the Celtics always overcome adversity, and when they feel that people count them out, they play their best. Doc Rivers has proven once again why he just may be the greatest coach in the NBA, because a coach proves his worth in the playoffs, as Rivers has done so often in his stint with Boston. While Rajon Rondo is considered a bit of a “problem child” around the NBA, he plays his hard out and competes every night for Rivers. And while Rondo is the odd man out in the Celtics’ “Big Three,”there is no question that he is the best player out of all of them and is the great orchestrator who makes that team go.
After an improbable comeback, the series is now even going back to Miami, where Dwyane Wade will try to mentally recover from missing his last second three pointer that would have won Game 4. Chris Bosh is expected to be back for the Heat for Game 5, a huge piece to the winning formula that has been underrated for two seasons. Bosh can stretch the defense with his shooting touch and provide some needed rebounding.
Before the season started I said the finals would see the Thunder and Heat battle and I am sticking to that. But if there is one thing that the Celtics have continuously shown us, it is that they are never dead and can not be counted out. Tune in to Game 5 Tuesday night on ESPN.
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