Yesterday's matchup displayed some great offensive plays to seal up a couple of clutch wins for the Celtics. Today's matchup will focus on the defensive end of the floor, where the Celtics have been at their best during the "New Big Three" era. First, we re-visit Kevin Garnett's clutch steal to seal a playoff victory against the New York Knicks. Going against KG's play is Rajon Rondo's straight up defense on Carmelo Anthony that leads to a Paul Pierce three.
Seed #4: KG Steals and Dives for the Ball (Game 2 vs NYK) – The Celtics are already holding a 1-0 series lead and are clinging to another one-point lead in Game 2, thanks to KG's jump hook in the lane. Now, a team that prides itself on defense, has a chance to take a 2-0 lead on defense. And who better than Kevin Garnett to execute the play. As Carmelo Anthony drives to the basket, he "went to Jared" as in Jeffries, attempting to feed him for a lay-up. A puzzling move indeed, as Melo had been on fire all night. KG steals the ball, dives to save it, calls timeout and wins the game.
Seed #13: Rondo D's Up Melo and Pierce Drills a Three – About mid-way through the third quarter of a close playoff game with the Knicks, Carmelo got the ball at the top of the three-point line ready to go to work. His eyes lit up when he saw the much smaller Rondo checking him straight up. Rondo accepts the challenge head on, much like when he did against LeBron. He forces Melo to a long jumper, doesn't foul him, and in transition on the next play finds a trailing Paul Pierce who drills a three. Rondo takes on anyone and it's a great thing to watch.