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 Philadelphia.
It was all Rondo. Yeah, it was also the big men hitting open jumpers, but he was getting them all those easy looks off the Sixers needing to help on him on defense, and he would just find Bass and Kevin Garnett with perfect pinpoint passes. The Sixers couldn't contain Rondo and they certainly couldn't get out to the shooters, and the Celtics' bigs made them pay. Paul Pierce also got to the line at will, converting nine of nine from the stripe, and Rondo hit just enough layups to keep the Sixers honest. Even without Avery Bradley (and Ray Allen struggling from the floor), the Celtics were just too much for the Sixers, reminding again that when all other things are equal in this series, Boston is still a much better team.
What do we take from this game? Well, nothing that we didn't know already: The Celtics are better, and for the Sixers to win in this series, weird shit has gotta happen.
Rajon Rondo was brilliant in that 3rd quarter. 7 assists. Had the ball on a string. Penetrating at will and dishing dimes under the basket.
As Chris Webber says, " Rondooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!"
On Page 2, the clear path foul debacle was the turning point.
With eight minutes left in the third quarter, the Sixers led the Celtics by four points, 57-53, and had Andre Iguodala heading to the foul line for two free throws. They were set to maintain possession after Paul Pierce was whistled for a clear-path foul.
The situation looked promising for the Sixers.
Iguodala, though, missed both free throws and the game absolutely unraveled from that point forward.
It all happened in a flash — or three minutes and four seconds to be exact. That's all it took for the Sixers' four-point lead to turn into a six-point deficit. Those three minutes were the most brutal stretch, but it wasn't the end by any means.
I tabbed the offensive foul call on KG as the turning point in the game, mainly because it ignited the crowd which fed into the Celtics frenzy.
But this Philly blogger is right. The 76ers had a chance to pin a 4-point possession on the Celtics and didn't. Nothing kills momentum like a 4-point possession.
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images