The Boston Celtics were down by 14 points to the Miami Heat half way thru the 3rd quarter and I have to admit, I was worried. Things were looking bleak. But it was the play of Tony Allen that provided a spark for the Celtics and the team rallied. Defense wins championships and it was their defense that allowed them to get back in the game. Boston held the Heat to 32 points in the second half and the Celts went on to win the game 85-76. It might not have been pretty, but a win is a win.
The Celtics came out flat to start the game. Ray Allen couldn’t find his stroke in the first half and Paul Pierce couldn’t find the ball. Lucky for the Celts, the Heat were not shooting lights out either. The one goal for Boston was to keep Dywane Wade contained and though Wade finished with 26 points, credit Tony Allen for shutting down Wade as much as possible. Allen was tremendous off the bench and the Celts desperately needed him. Allen finished with 14 points, his highest total in his playoff career. I give a lot of credit to Coach Rivers with putting Tony Allen on D. Wade and sticking with it. Simply put, it worked.
Tony Allen provided the spark and Glen Davis provided the energy. Davis was all over the place and made the most of his minutes. He would finish with 8 pts and converted a huge 3 point play that gave the Celtics the lead in the 4th quarter. Davis attacked the boards as well finishing with 8 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Unfortunately, the big story will be the scuffle that occured at Miami’s bench. With 40 seconds left in the game, Pierce took a bump in his shoulder and went down to the floor right at the Miami bench a second later. Pierce later admitted he has a pinched nerve that acts up every once in a while. Once the whistle blew, Kevin Garnett hovered over his teammate while the therapist worked on Pierce’s shoulder. KG and Quentin Richardson started jawing at each other and then all of sudden things escalated when KG gave a flying elbow. The elbow didn’t connect. Lot of pushing and shoving occurred right after that. KG ended up getting 2 technical fouls for the elbow and was tossed out of the game. Hopefully, the league office will not suspend him for game 2.
Though the game was ugly, one great takeaway was the play of KG. Very promising sign. KG was explosive. Had two ally oop slams in the second half. He finished with 15 points, 9 boards, block and 2 steals. KG’s play helped turn things around 3rd quarter with his defense.
Game 2 will be at the Garden on Tuesday night. How will the Heat retaliate? The fight certainly changes things in this series. I’m sure both teams will bring a ton of energy to game 2. I expect the starters to have a better game on Tuesday, Wade included, but the Celtics will go up 2-0 in the series. It’s the playoffs baby. Got to love it.
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Written by johnw