Cards on the table – I didn’t catch the entire game from start to finish, the by-product of caring for a cranky two year-old. But from what I could glean, the gritty Celtics blitzed Miami in the first half and then held on (they blew an 18 point lead) to take the game in overtime. But let’s be honest; looking at the whole picture, Miami laid another egg today – Wade was subpar again and LeBron was uncharacteristically sloppy – because if they want to assert themselves as a legitimate title threat, they have to win these games. I still think they’ll take the series, but these meek performances against Boston do not bode well for their chances of beating the Spurs or Thunder in the Finals.
3 votes – Rajon Rondo. I mean really, what more can you say about the guy? 15 points and 15 assists is a routine stat line for him these days, as is his total command over the game. He’s just shredding Miami in this series and they seem to have little clue of how to contain him. His passing in particular was sublime; that alley oop he threw to KG, and the nifty pass he threaded in traffic to a cutting Paul Pierce, both in the second quarter, are as good as you’ll see. It sounds corny, but the guy really is a maestro and runs this team to perfection.
And give him some props too for stirring the pot with some cutting words at halftime (below) and then not backing away from it – like most players do. It will no doubt serve as a motivator for Miami in the next game, but something tells me he doesn’t give a crap.
2 votes – Kevin Garnett. The old warhorse just keeps on truckin’ – 17 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks. It wasn’t his best game in the series but his imprint was all over this one – and when he’s not on the floor Boston just falls in a hole defensively, which says all you need to know.
I don’t particularly like the guy but I respect the hell out of him for what he’s doing on the back-end of his career. He’s 35 years old and working on a bum knee, but he’s a top ten player in this league right now, and that’s remarkable. Just enjoy everything he brings to the floor – no matter how annoying – because he probably won’t be around for too much longer.
1 vote – Udonis Haslem. I have no idea why Spoelstra has restricted Haslem’s minutes in this series (he played 16 minutes in Game 3). With Bosh’s injury Miami needs their best players on the floor, especially upfront, and Haslem should be playing a minimum of 30 minutes a night. His 12 point, 17 rebound effort in today’s game clearly demonstrates that.