Today marks the final matchup of the Elite 8 of the Madness tournament. Both plays were executed on the defensive end and both were impressive on different levels. First we have Kevin Garnett's steal to secure the playoff victory against the New York Knicks, which was huge at the time. Going up against it is a play that would have been ranked a lot lower if it were just a routine steal and dunk. But the fact that it was Rajon Rondo's "Mini-Larry-Bird" moment by returning to the same game after a gruesome elbow injury, made it ranked so high in my opinion. The winner takes on the top-seeded play in the Final Four.
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 #5: Rondo Steals and Dunks After Elbow Injury – After getting taken down by Dwyane Wade and having his arm removed from normal musculoskeletal structure, Rajon Rondo returned and led the Celtics to their only victory against the Heat. This play he steals the ball with his injured arm, then sort of slams it home. Again, given the circumstances it was an inspiring and amazing play. Unfortunately it was also a huge factor in the C's downfall.