Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
According to ESPN Stats and Information, Miami shot 77.8 percent in the paint in Game 1, led by LeBron James (10 of 11) and Dwyane Wade (6 of 7). The Heat piled up 42 points and had only one shot blocked. Conversely, Boston generated 34 points in the paint, but shot only 45.9 percent and had a season-high 11 shots blocked.
The message from Rivers after the game — and again in film on Tuesday — was quite clear. The Heat were far too comfortable around the basket.
"Everything can't be so simple and so easy," Kevin Garnett said. "You have to put some type of defensive impact into the game. You're playing a team on the road, you have to try to make it as uncomfortable as you can. We're playing against two of the greatest to ever play the game, guys who are offensively gifted and have high basketball IQs. I feel like we're a defensive team, (but) we didn't get into a flow defensively, or slow down anything."
Added Garnett, "Nineteen layups is a lot of layups in a playoff game, the conference finals. That can't happen. You can't win a game like that."
This isn't about the Celtics sending Sean Williams into the game to karate chop Lebron James in his smug face.
This is about the Celtics playing more physical as a team. Every guy needs to toughen it up. And I fully expect that to happen.
The wildcard in this is the officiating. Will they right their (technical foul) wrongs of Game 1? Or will they overpolice this game in anticipation of the Celtics physical play?
And finally, The Patriot is a vastly underrated movie.
Related links: Herald – Them's fighting words | C's tackle a tough job | Heat OK with physical play | Globe – Paint work needs touching up | Heat prepared for physical series | WEEI – Hit the deck? Play some defense |
On Page 2, no rest for Ray Allen.
"Not yet," Rivers told reporters later in the day when asked about a potential move. "We’re good. Ray is Ray, we’re going to just keep rolling him out there and see what we can get. When we feel like he can’t give it to us, we’ll go with someone else. But I think right now you have to give Ray a fighting chance."
Rivers admitted it's not an easy decision to make, particularly with Boston already staring at a 1-0 hole in the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat.
"It’s just a decision you make in the game," said Rivers. "It’s a tough one, but you go into the game and you watch. It’s just going to be that way. It’s not the easiest thing to do. It’s obviously hard for Ray. I’m sure there will be a time when I take him out and he’s going to be feeling great. It’s just something you see.
"I don’t think he has his balance. You could see it on his (missed) free throws, or he’s falling forward or kicking his leg out on every shot. When you watch Ray, he’s up and down — if you drew a square box, usually Ray always lands in the box. Right now he’s all over the place — leaning, going sideways, falling forward. It's somewhat of a balance issue, but it’s all created by the (ankle) issue."
Not sure what more we can say about Ray. John pretty much covered the bases with this post yesterday.
Doc realizes the Celtics need something from Ray in order to win this series. If he thought he could get that something from someone else, i.e. Marquis Daniels or Sasha Pavlovic, I'm sure he would do it.
The rest of the links: