I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters and bloggers are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics. Here's a dose of 'enemy chatter' from Miami.
The Heat didn't just get beaten Saturday night, it got flustered.
And that's a bigger potential problem for Miami than the 97-81 rout of a defeat the Celtics pinned on it in a raucous TD Garden.
There's also the hardly small matter that the Celtics now might be the scariest of desperate beasts … a wounded one.
That's because Boston point guard Rajon Rondo went out with a dislocated left elbow in the third quarter after falling to the court in a tangle with Miami's Dwyane Wade, who was called for a foul on the play.
The Celtics, already in the midst of a rally, pushed the Heat around without compunction thereafter. Rondo's return did nothing but help Boston sustain an emotional high.
Oh, sure, the Heat still holds a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series, but the deep waters of the NBA playoffs just got deeper.
(It's worth noting, too, that Miami is 0-11 on Boston's floor since managing a victory as visitors back on April 6, 2007.)
So, the math indicates the Heat remains in the series lead.
But how the series feels is, well, different.
This is the reaction I was hoping for. The Heat are a great front-running team… but they've shown this year that they are not so great with adversity. Last night they got a taste of it.
This writer is not alone… feelings of "this might be a long series" are starting to creep in around South Beach. If the Celtics can come back to tie this series tomorrow, then who knows what kind of panic that will trigger.