“(Going home) tomorrow was not an option,” Garnett said. “I think we played like it. We played with a sense of urgency and we understood what the repercussions were. It was win or go home. Going home wasn’t an option today.”
Kevin Garnett simply would not allow the Celtics to lose that game.
Paul Pierce fouled out at 4:16 mark with the Celtics up 71-68. We all want to focus on the 14 points, 11 of them scored by Rondo, that got the C's to 85. What we're overlooking is the 7 points Philly scored on 3-11 shooting over that stretch. KG was everywhere in the final quarter, bothering shots and quarterbacking a smothering defense that made Philadelphia earn everything. Both of KG's steals came in the 4th quarter.
“Oh, he was huge,” Rivers said. “I mean, Kevin, defensively, controlling the paint, made big shots when we had it. I thought they did a really good job of confusing him a little bit on the post. He had a bunch of them where he actually had post-ups but he was looking for traps and they were not coming. You could see him at halftime just giving himself one of those self-talks. And you know, the talk obviously went well.”
Garnett has to get crazier as he gets older because that's what makes him go. Judging by the look on his face in that picture, the league better hope he retires after this season.
Related links: ESPN Boston: C's hope KG doesn't cool down vs. Miami | Globe: Garnett makes a point about defense |
On Page 2: "we can beat Miami"
And he's looking to do more of the same as the Celtics gear up for a daunting Eastern Conference finals duel with the Miami Heat.
"We feel we can beat Miami," Rondo said. "There's no doubt in my mind that we can. So we gotta go down there and take care of business."
Which is what you expect to hear from a player who has been at his best in big games, a trend he'd like to continue against the Heat.
I said last night on Twitter… Rajon Rondo will need to have an epic performance in this series for the Celtics to have a chance.
Throw the regular season out the window. Ray Allen was healthy. The Celtics had Avery Bradley. Greg Stiemsma could move. Paul Pierce's knee was 100%.
None of those things are true now. Those are all important things.
The Celtics CAN win the series, though. And if they do, it'll be because Rajon Rondo destroys the Heat. Rondo has to penetrate and score. Early and often. He has to collapse that Heat defense to a point where he can pick them apart with his passing later in the game. He has to make it so, in the 4th quarter, they have no idea whether he wants to pass it or shoot it.
That's how Ray will score.
That's how Pierce will score.
That's how Bass will score.
They will all score if Rondo is the aggressor early and forces the Heat D to respond to him.
KG will take care of himself. There will be plenty of sets for him in the game to take advantage, Bosh or no Bosh.
Rondo's the guy. He's going to have to win this series for Boston. It's an almost impossible task, but the thing is… he's capable of it.
Game 1 – May 28 – Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 2 – May 30 – Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m (ESPN)
Game 3 – June 1 – Miami at Boston, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 4 – June 3 – Miami at Boston, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 5* – June 5 – Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 6* – June 7 – Miami at Boston, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 7* – June 9 – Boston at Miami, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
The rest of the links
CSNNE: After rough start, Ray Allen takes, and makes, big shots | Pierce happy teammates stepped up | WEEI: Ray Allen proves he's the ultimate gunslinger | Herald: Rondo's late burst seals it | Ray aches to help out | Collins' ode to Big 3+1 | The old beat goes on | Globe: Celtics advance to face Miami | Globe: Regrets? Sixers had a few | Pierce expected victory, even after fouling out | Ray Allen comes through