By Matt Noonan
Where do we begin?
Do we start by saying that the Boston Celtics are indeed in trouble? Should Mayor Thomas Menino issue a state of emergency for the Hub or maybe, we can all accept the fact that Doc Rivers has a team that is ready to call it quits and go play golf?
Yet, if we were to have asked all these questions to Celtics guard Ray Allen after his team’s third loss of the series, he’d just respond in his usual nonchalant manner by stating the obvious, “These are the moments… these are the moments” (NBA.com). Well, if the Celtics want to create a moment, I suggest start by at least winning one game, right?
If the Celtics have any interest in advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row, it starts by not allowing Miami to win another game. That’s right, Boston’s daunting task begins now and it starts with playing defense, driving to the basket, but also, taking smart shots.
Against the Miami Heat on Monday, it was quite obvious who was the better team and it certainly wasn’t the men dressed in Green and White.
Miami watched their usual suspects, i.e. LeBron James (35 points, 14 rebounds) and Dwyane Wade (28 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists) tear apart the Celtics stingy defense during the fourth quarter and first overtime period. They also watched Chris Bosh overcome his Game 3 jitters by scoring 20 points and one of his biggest baskets of the night came in overtime, as he tipped in LeBron’s 21-foot jump shot, which was followed by an over the top celebration.
In fact, it almost looked as if the TD Garden fan faithful was watching Rocky Balboa take a swing at Apollo Creed, but really, it was just Chris Bosh.
As for Boston, really no one played well. Rajon Rondo did everything he could, while Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett combined for 51 points. Delonte West and Rondo each added 10 points themselves while Jermaine O’Neal finished the evening with seven points.
So again, the question remains, where exactly do Rivers and his team of “old men” go from here? I know the obvious answer is “up,” but really, can this team turn things around? Do they have what it takes to win this series?
Who knows, but if Boston doesn’t protect the basketball or makes costly mistakes in Game 5, well then LeBron and his friends will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Game 5 is scheduled for Wednesday May 11, at 7:00pm in Miami.