Remember when everybody and I mean everybody said the Boston Celtics could not defeat the Miami Heat?
I remember it vividly because I was one of the many who uttered the same sentiments.
There is still a very real possibility that Miami bounces back to take the series.
But after Boston’s Game 5 win over the Miami Heat 94-90 in one of the guttiest performances in the “Big 4″ era, it would appear that reports of the Celtics demise were once again greatly exaggerated.
Celtics wins always seem to have one common theme: Kevin Garnett plus one or two other supporting cast members playing well. There is no doubt that the Boston roster is full of leading men so to speak but as KG goes so go the Celtics. Period.
Garnett continued his vintage playoff run with 26 points, 11 rebounds and two ultra clutch free throw makes that gave the Celtics the cushion they needed to win.
“Nothing is easy but when we do it together we look pretty darn good” said KG following the game.
Mickael Pietrus found his jumper and chipped in 13 big points including two 3 point bombs in the final quarter. I have been very hard on Pietrus and he has deserved the criticism, but in fairness the Celtics do not win Game 5 without his contributions in the fourth quarter.
Ironically Pietrus credited former Celtic Shaquille O’neal for much of his effort.
“Yesterday I got a text from Shaq that said, ‘Just keep believing and keep playing,’ so that’s what I did,” said Pietrus.
Whatever works sir…whatever works.
Rajon Rondo was in and out of the game mentally but delivered some key plays in the 2nd half stretch. Rondo struggled with his shot at just 3-12 from the floor chipping in 7 points to go along with 11 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. The gift and the curse of his overall play was shown when he inexcusably made a back court pass to Ray Allen in the 3rd quarter, then made a beautiful tip pass over LeBron to Pietrus in the corner for a monster three in the 4th quarter.
Two diametrically opposed plays. I swear Rondo has a bizzaro twin brother.
Paul Pierce (19 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists) hit what was the shot of the game when he drilled a three over LeBron to give Boston a 4 point cushion (90-86) with under a minute remaining. The shot was probably ill-advised and there are few in the league who have the stones to fire that shot up in that situation over one of the league’s premier defenders.
“Truthfully” cold blooded.
Boston foiled the return of Miami’s Chris Bosh (9 points and 7 rebounds) and overcame the extremely hostile Heat crowd with the win.
The return of Bosh was supposed to spell the end of the dream run the Celtics have been on during his absence. Bosh’s play did have an impact on the game but Coach Spolestra decided to show mercy on the Celtics by not playing Bosh in the fourth quarter at all.
Another head scratching decision by the maligned coach of the Heat.
The Celtics were out-rebounded (49-39) and they didn’t contain Lebron James (30 points and 13 rebounds) or Dwyane Wade (27 points and 6 rebounds). They went down by 9 after tying the game at 50, then closed out the third quarter with a 15-1 run only to eventually trail again by 6 with 6 minutes remaining. All of that and a sub-par performance by Rondo and yet the Celtics still won.
Mother momentum is on their side but cautious optimism and confidence would be the wise play for Game 6. The Miami Heat are not dead they are dangerous, even though their season is surprisingly on life support after taking a 2-0 lead to begin the series.
The turn around in this series has many experts asking how and why are the Celtics here with another chance to reach the NBA Finals. That answer is simple.
That shouldn’t surprise anybody…but somehow it always does.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com