I need a cigarette after the fourth quarter performance by the Boston Celtics. I don't even know where to start.
Ok, I'll start with KG, the destroyer of men's souls. 29 points on 12-20 shooting, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks. And if you thought Hawks Game 6 was a "turn back the clock performance," then this was full on Delorean "gonna go back in time" moments. He was everywhere in the fourth quarter. He was chasing guys down. He was picking up on switches and keeping up with guards. He was draining that sweet 18-20 foot jumper… it was so great.
Avery Bradley's defense in the fourth quarter? Sublime. Ball pressure that was better than the best you've seen out of him… and a blocked shot that words can describe.
And then there was Rajon Rondo, who came into the quarter 3 rebounds and 3 points shy of a triple double. He finished the game with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 17 assists. He dominated the fourth quarter. He had 5 of the Celtics 9 offensive rebounds and no one on either team got more than 2. The first three quarters for Rondo were "meh"… and everyone was getting ready to write the "how does a guy this disengaged still get a triple double" story. But that utter dominance in the fourth is pushing that story line away.
But the most beautiful plays Rondo made didn't involve anything in that stat line. With 3 seconds left and the Celtics up 3, Rondo fouled Jrue Holiday to give Philly 2 shots. That basketball IQ displaying play allowed the C's to call timeout after Holiday made both shots, take the ball out at half court… which brings us to play #2.
A brilliantly designed play by Doc Rivers sprung Rondo to catch a perfect pass from Paul Pierce in the back court and then run the clock out. It was just beautiful.
- Paul Pierce didn't have a great game but he nailed a clutch elbow J (what else?).
- Ray Allen didn't shoot great either but he did hit a couple of 3's at key times.
- Brandon Bass and Mickael Pietrus are still struggling.
92-91 was the final. You can say the C's stole one if you'd like, it doesn't matter. A 1-0 lead is a 1-0 lead.