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Celtics get a pick me up with double OT win over Heat.

Ben January 27, 2013 Recaps 42 Comments

I can’t even get my head wrapped around all of this. I’m still in a glass case of emotion. Paul Pierce’s face sums it up well.

But despite the depressing news of Rajon Rondo having a torn ACL hanging over fans like a dark cloud, the Celtics played one of the best games of the year, beating the Miami Heat in double overtime, 100-98.

The Green: Just the overall team effort was great to see. Courtney Lee gave a solid effort starting over Rondo. Leandro Barbosa gave a much needed offensive spark in the first half. Jared Sullinger continuing to be a walking Tommy Point and even showing a little emotion after Rashard Lewis tried to put him in a Cobra Clutch. Jeff Green came up big on both sides of the ball, including injecting some life in the fourth with a posterization of Chris Bosh and getting a charge in overtime on Ray Allen. Even Pierce, who became the ball handler late, getting a triple double and also hitting what would be the go ahead jumper in double OT. It was also a pretty damn good effort on the defensive side of the ball. A completely different effort from the atrocity we witnessed Friday in Atlanta.

The Gross: What else is new? Rebounding. Despite the Heat being statistically worse than the Celtics coming into today’s game, the Heat outrebounded the Celtics, 53-46. But Miami was strong on the offensive glass, getting 17 offensive boards which gave the Heat plenty of second and third looks, including one that led to Lebron nailing a three to bring this game to overtime and gave them a chance to win in the first overtime. Also seeing Ray Allen in a Heat jersey is still disturbing.

The Greenlights:

The Grid:

  • It wasn’t a pretty game shooting wise as both teams shot 40% for the game.
  • Kevin Garnett’s statline: 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals in 45 minutes. In his 18th season in the league. Incredible.
  • 88 of Miami’s points came from Lebron, Wade, Bosh, & Allen.

Again this was a great win and hell a of way to get off of the six-game losing streak but the joy of victory disappeared as soon as Doris Burke told Paul Pierce about Rondo’s injury. But Doc Rivers said it best during his press conference: “You can write the obituary. I’m not.” Hopefully they can continue to play like they did tonight and carry the momentum from beating the defending champions.

Box Score

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  • CPUFC

    What an epic win against the biggest Judas in NBA history. Take a bow Celtics, that was proof that this team ARE contenders this year. Don´t give up on a dream C´s.

    • Larry Legend

      Epic? Calm down. Good win. Showed balls. That’s it

      • CPUFC

        OK pessimist…take it and stick it.

      • Reggie35RIP

        Sit down.

        This WAS an epic win against last seasons champs in double overtime without Rondo. Everyone stepped their game up and ground out this win.

        FFS we need something to be happy about. How bout you stfu and enjoy the win.

  • http://www.mercerjersey.com Dave (@mercerjersey)

    “You can write the obituary. I’m not.”

    AGREED.

  • Quest

    Celtics showed incredible heart and passion tonight. Going from the Knicks to Hawks to Heat with 2 OT in manner of hours between games and still beat the Heat shows this team should not be given up on even w Rajon now out for season.
    Get well soon Rajon!!!

  • KY Celts fan

    This team certainly has a history of nasty dunks on Bosh. Pierce, Rondo, now Green. That is one soft dude under the rim.

    • KWAPT

      Completely soft. Was there for today’s and Pierce’s when Bosh was on Toronto. Guy runs away and pays for it with Spalding sandwich.

  • Swissflix

    We may be a bad team with injuries but we can still beat the world champion.

  • http://freakyelements.tumblr.com FrenchGreen

    Jef Green did play excellent one and one defense on LBJ, even though he struggles with pick and roll D.

    we saw so many silly turnovers again..

    KG is strong, strong, strong.

    It kills me to expect those straight 3pointers from PP, he just doesn’t trust his range anymore.

    But damn, what a great game.

    And sorry to all RR fans, but no rondo = more team work. no rondo = more defense. no rondo = more half court offense. nut he will be terribly missed during playoffs.

    and f@ck those corner 3’s by RayRay.

    • JG

      “And sorry to all RR fans, but no rondo = more team work. no rondo = more defense. no rondo = more half court offense.”

      You really hit the nail on the head with this one. Being a scientist, I’m the first guy to say that you cannot take a sample size of 2 and make much out of it, but the celtics have now beat the Knicks and Heat without Rajon Rondo and his triple doubles. If you leave it at that, it doesn’t say much, but if you look deeper, it there’s a story here.

      1. Rondo may be a “single man fast break”, but that’s just it. If you’ve played basketball before, you know that the pass moves faster than the dribble. Go back and watch the games they won without Rondo vs the Knicks and Heat. Longer outlet passes, more aggressive play.

      2. Half court sets have DRAMATICALLY more movement without rondo. When rondo plays, it is generally one guy coming off a few screens and everyone else standing around. When rondo is out,each player moves their body after each pass. Courtney Lee gets more aggressive, Terry even drives a bit more. When players are moving on offense, a team defense has to rotate, and when they rotate, they give up offensive rebounds (sound familiar? Happens to the celtics all the time). That’s why the Celtics can get away with shooting 41% and win the game.

      3. There is no debate that the defense gets dramatically better with rondo out of the game. That’s been agreed upon for a whole, and the celtics showed that again tonight. That was pretty stifling defense. I think the biggest thing is that even when their guards who played tonight do get beat, they make an effort to get BACK into the play, and sometimes even end up making a play.

      Now, all of this being said, the Celtics issues aren’t resolved. I think they are still in a tough position because A. They play a post presence B. lack consistent outside shooting (look at other successful teams, almost everyone is capable of stretching the floor pretty consistently) 3. They still need a decent ball handler for the playoffs.

      Many of the people who disagree with people who don’t like Rondo’s contribution to this team act as though the argument is that this team, as it is currently constructed, is better without Rondo. That’s not true. That’s also not what we are saying (or what I am at least). They still would need a decent handler so that teams cannot just pressure them and have them turn it over. However, I just hope that the people who always defend rondo and call people who don’t like Rondo’s game “haters” will at least consider these points as we move forward. There is no doubt rondo puts up terrific numbers, but basketball is not baseball. In this sport, the who is greater than the sum of the parts. There are dynamics that just cannot be explained by merely observing triple-doubles.

      • GreenScreen13

        Agree with all you wrote. But can Rondo change? His effort off of the ball on offense is observably lacking, and his gambling on defense produces easy buckets for the opposition. Just like his epic statline against the Heat when he dropped 44, 8, 10….his numbers doesn’t equate an involved team performance enough for a win.

        • JG

          I would love it if he could! Unfortunately I don’t think it’s that easy for him to though. I feel like that is usually stuff that is built into someone. He’s also already into the prime of his career. He’s no longer a young player anymore. In fact, if anything, I think we have seen a decline in consistent effort as he has progressed to “all-star” status. So, unfortunately, it doesn’t seem likely that he will change. People act like I WANT him to be ineffective or WANT them to be better without him. That’s ridiculous. I’m just providing my input from what I observe just like anyone else does. But in my opinion, the trend has been that todo supporters use stats or say “what do you mean? He’s the best point guard in the league!” to explain Rondos effectiveness as the celtics point guard. As we have seen in an overwhelming number of cases, just because someone puts up good stats, doesn’t make them good for a team (most recent example=Dwight Howard in LA).

          Along the same lines, players who DON’T average incredible stats can in my opinion be equally or more effective.

          • KP

            In a lot of ways the team plays harder when Rondo is out and I think that is what we are seeing. It may be true ok a larger scale but these two games are BIG Games and Top ranked opponents. Can the rest of the celtics do this every night without him?

      • WinstonSalems

        Let’s not forget that the Heat prepared for this game as if Rondo was starting. That can’t be overlooked. If this was a 7 game series, adjustments would be made (C’s would make them as well), but the absence of Rondo would be immense. Half the readers on this site are anti-Rondo anyways, so I’m sure this pleases most of you. Say what you want about his “half court offense”, the guy is the only player on the team who can create his own shot. This isn’t 2005. Pierce can’t carry this team offensively anymore. Now that Rondo is out, teams will triple team pierce and trap him harder than ever. Much like when Brady went down with his knee injury, sometimes you got to come to grips with reality and accept that when your best player goes down, he takes the hopes of a championship and successful postseason run, with him.

        • Michael

          Agree….But that won’t change much really….besides maybe less trap, less DW on RR 1 on 1(since AB and Lee are there alot, bad choice)….

  • Chulinho

    Big win. Bigger loss. Terrible.

  • Quest

    Big queston what does Ainge do now ?Hopefully Ainge doesn’t decide to blow it up now and move right into rebuild mode. Man the Celtics just cant get a break. Hope he lets this team ride it to the end of the season as he has no assets or do they dump salary if not making it to the finals.

  • http://www.bloodsketball.tumblr.com AHager

    Regarding giving up offensive rebounds AND to all the Rondo-haters piping up this morning, many of those offensive rebounds by The Heat were long rebounds and tap-backs off of long shots. Many of those rebounds get snagged by Rondo. His vision and hustle will be missed this season.

    • JG

      The Celtics are one of the worst rebounding teams in the history of the NBA. I don’t really see how much weight you can put on rondo’s “long rebounding” ability.

      • eddysamson

        …….thats not even valid at all. Hes still a guard with a very high rebound average.

        • JG

          Yup that’s what all the rondo supporters do. Point right to where he stands amongst other NBA point guards in statistical categories. Tells you very, very little as to what his TRUE influence to the team is. In baseball you can add stats up and get contribution. Here you just can’t. As long as you understand that, then I have no problem saying that he is “one of the better rebounding point guards in this league”.

          • eddysamson

            The only thing I am hearing coming from you is “the Celtics are one of the worst rebounding leagues in the league and I acknowledge the fact that Rondo is one of the best rebounding guards in the league” which implies were only going to get worse without him.

            What exactly is your point?

          • JG

            That’s a fair question, haha. My point which I wasn’t making clear was that just because he has good rebounding statistics doesn’t mean that the ways in which he hurts this team should be ignored. If anything, rondos “ability to grab long rebounds” isn’t relevant because the celtics won the game without him?

            But I appreciate the question, because you’re right, I wasn’t clear.

  • Brick James

    Well, at least there’s this: http://3432-boston.voxcdn.com/files/2013/01/rides.jpg

    Does anyone have the replay of when Rondo hurt his knee? I don’t recall seeing it.

    • Mannie

      I don’t have video but I saw it on espn. He landed awkwardly after attacking the rim. You could see him limp when he got back up. It sucks because this could have been prevented if they didn’t lose the lead and he was on the bench. 

    • Reggie35RIP

      Lmao (literally), I want that tee!

  • celtics33

    Could be one of the last big wins of this group of Celtics. Who knows what will happen now, if Danny will blow the team up or just try and stay afloat?

    Great effort from the team all day especially on defense.

    Pierce had maybe the worst triple double ever as he fumbled away a late game possession when the C’s were up 4 and let Ray get off a huge 3 pointer. Missed shots, made poor decisions and missed a free throw in double OT. But in the end Pierce did hit the game winning shot and fought hard all day.

    Jeff Green played solid defense on Lebron and had a thunderous dunk. Will need much more consistency going forward with Rondo out.

    Lee was awful offensively as was Terry for the most part.

    Now the Rondo debate will have more than enough evidence to see his true value. Will the team fall apart or actually play better without him? Guess we will see…

  • stephanie

    Bittersweet! I have no comments really, but for the one’s that thought the team would be better with Rondo, you’ll get to see it now. I hate injuries to anybody that’s playing the game that they love.

  • KWAPT

    Incredible day. So much emotion between Ray, Rondo and that freaking game. Celtics showed a lot of heart today-now if they can only bottle some of it. The Rondo news is devastating, but this win lessens the pain just a tiny bit.

  • Larry Legend

    Feel bad for Rondo. Hope he fully recovers. But I’m looking forward to watching us play without him. We play harder. Period

  • Mike C

    Torn between my emotions today. Congratulations to all the Celtics players. They finally showed some ‘Fire’ and willed themselves to get a great win over Miami. Flipside, if Rondo’s out for the season, that might be the final nail in the coffin for the C’s. Amazing effort from our players tonight, well done.

  • JR99

    Celts can still do this thing… I mean ALL of it… as pointed out by several posters above.

    Offense does not have to suffer… better ball movement, guys stepping up, we could be just fine. I’d add a ball handler like Delonte West, to be sure.

    Defense will improve. Period.

    Besides a Delonte-type, we need a big that can do basis stuff. Not a star. Just a 12-15 minute guy who can defend and is 6’11” or taller.

    And maybe, just maybe, Rondo will come back chastened and a little more humble — and STOP the hot-dogging, STOP the ridiculous passes out of sure layup situations, STOP playing free-safety and poke-from-behind defense and just cover his men straight-up. If that happens, this team could really fly next season.

    • CPUFC

      If, and only if they add another guard I would pick up Redick if he’s available however I really think better than that would be a couple of decent bigs to take the pressure of KG. I would hang on to Collins as 7 footer ain’t easy to come by and if anything would increase his minutes in the second and fourth quarters. Good point about Rondo, yes he is brilliant but also reckless at times. Hats off to Sullinger, don’t take any shit from these veterans man.

      • JR99

        Man, that double-tech was just crazy stupid by the refs. I will be shocked if the league doesn’t rescind the one on Sully. Ferkrissakes…. Lewis had him in a neck hold and WOULDN’T LET HIM GO! And they give Sully a tech for defending himself?? Wow, what total BS.

  • Me

    DON’T NEED TO PANIC GUYS

    DID THE BULLS PANIC?

    NO!

    WE WILL GET THERE

  • Reggie35RIP

    Green came up huge on the defensive end for the C’s. I haven’t seen anyone guard LeBron that well for a long time. Stuffed his drives, made him shoot jumpers and even got up to contest those.

    PP’s trip dub was really surprising to me. I thought he was the worst player on the court at one stage. The next minute they bring up the graphic showing he had a trip dub. Horrible shooting night, but he obviously did other things to help pull out the win.

    Loved that Dwade had the ball at the end of double OT and had to pass to Battier. Shut down by Bradley.

    I was very skeptical that they could win this one when it went to OT, but they somehow found a way. Huge win.

  • NateB

    A lot of fans recognize that the chemistry and defense will be better now; and I’m sure many of you recall that Pierce had an outstanding stretch of games (after starting the season off horribly) playing point forward when Rondo missed about 6 or 7 games due to injury last season. I think the Cs will be more enjoyable to watch, if nothing else.

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  • Matt W

    I hate to bring up Allen Iverson, but it might be a good time to explore that.

  • Chris Hicks

    All this “blow it up” talk makes no sense to me, when the guy you are trying to build around won’t be back for a year.

    We have to find support to the guys we have now to build around: the young core of (AB, Sully, Green, Lee). Jet, PP and KG ARE a great supporting cast. If we can get a servicable big for this year and hopefully a better one next year, that IS the rest of the KG and PP era, win lose or draw.

    So PP has to go back to being a leader, a role he has done for a decade. Boo hoo. So KG needs to be the emotional leader. Anyone BETTER at it? All of you who bag on Jeff Green, here is the trial by fire, let’s find out what he can be. Ditto with Sully and AB and Lee. We THINK they can be All-Stars someday. OK, time to EARN it.

    I remain an optimist and agree with Doc’s assessement. To blow it up doesn’t give equal value and there is too much young talent that can use this opportunity to get to the next level, championship or not. It’s a win win: either they go all the way or at least take major steps towards being the ultimate versions of the players they are going to be.

    I chose to remain optimistic.

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