The Celtics had a memorable 7 game series with the Miami Heat, a series they unfortunately lost. Throughout the series there were several moments that stand out, although they would shine much brighter in Celtic lore had they pulled off the series upset. Rajon Rondo had quite a few of these plays, even excluding his masterpiece 44-point performance in Game 2, a loss. During the two huge wins in Boston, there were some plays by Rondo that required about 100 replays before you even figured out how great they were. Seeing them live in the Garden, you have to pay close attention unless they get replayed on the JumobTron (which many times this does not happen). Check out a couple of those plays below for today’s matchup.
Seed #10: Rondo’s Incredible Steal vs LeBron – With just about three minutes left in the third quarter of Game 3, the Celtics are in complete command with an 18 point lead. Paul Pierce drives to the basket but turns it over. This usually creates a nightmare for the C’s, spoon-feeding Miami’s monster of transition ball. As James Jones outlets to LeBron James, Rondo is lurking. Rondo is known for studying film and there’s no doubt he anticipated LeBron’s QB pass. Rondo is also a notorious gambler on defense so this play doesn’t come without risk. Combine all of that and the fact that he STILL steals the ball out of mid-air like a venus fly trap snatching its prey, is nothing short of amazing. In fact, it even drew MVP chants from the Garden crowd as he shot the ensuing two free throws.
Seed #23: Rondo Threads the Needle to Pierce, Game 4 ECF – Rondo has had several needle threading passes throughout his tenure as Celtics point guard, but this one was especially impressive. So much so, that even Jeff Van Gundy is in awe. With just about three minutes left in the first half, and the Celtics holding a decent lead, Pierce makes a cut to the hoop and Rondo somehow slips the ball perfectly to Pierce. It’s one thing to not only try these passes during a routine game, but to execute it perfectly during a key playoff game makes it more remarkable.