I know it’s October, but I expected so much more from the Celtics. After all the talk about the Heat and Ray Allen, I expected the defensive intensity to be there. It wasn’t. And the Heat rolled 120-107.
LeBron James had 26 points in 29 minutes. If he doesn’t sit out most of the 4th quarter with leg cramps, Miami wins this game by 25. Ray Allen played to his ceiling (19 points, 5-7 FG). You knew it was Ray’s night when he banked a three with the shot clock winding down. You want another indicator of Boston’s horrible defense? Mario Chalmers had 11 assists.
So who stunk it up for the Celtics? You have to start with Kevin Garnett – 9 points, 5 turnovers. He looked out of rhythm all night. Anyone who uses the O word is overreacting.
Jeff Green (3 points, 0-4 FG in 23 minutes) was awful. Despite all the aggressive play we saw in the preseason, Green was tentative tonight. He needs more than four shots.
Aside from Leandro Barbosa (more on him later), the vaunted second unit was a flop. Jared Sullinger (2 points, 8 minutes) didn’t see the court in the second half. He just doesn’t match-up well with the Heat. Jason Terry (8 points, 2-7 FG, 3 TOs) was a non-factor.
Barbosa exploded for 16 points in the 4th quarter. He sparked a furious fourth quarter rally that cut the Heat lead from 18 to 4 with a couple minutes remaining. But the Celtics just couldn’t get the stops down the stretch.
Brandon Bass (15 points, 11 rebounds) was the best player in green. Did he play in the 4th quarter?
Paul Pierce started strong (15 of his 23 points came in the first half), but he didn’t score after the 5:58 mark of the 3rd quarter.
Rajon Rondo filled out the stat sheet (44 minutes, 20 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds, 4 TOs, 1 technical and 1 flagrant foul). The Heat threw a wrinkle his way by double-teaming and trapping him in some set. The pick-and-pop with Garnett was non-existent.
The feud with Rondo and Dwyane Wade continues. Rondo get a flagrant foul for grabbing Wade around the head with 16 seconds remaining in the game. I thought it was a fairly soft flagrant foul. Wade called it a punk move.
Here’s the video of KG ignoring Ray Allen. I don’t have a problem with the move. I thought Ray was a bit handshake and hug happy. For those pissed off at Garnett for snubbing Ray, Sean Grande said the two did shake hands shortly after the “incident.”