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Discussion in 'Boston Celtics Fan Forum' started by KontradictioN, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    On the big win yesterday. The Heat just can't seem to beat the Celts. In all, your defense looks primed for another championship run and Rondo is, by far, your MVP. His defense on LeBron took over that game. You're going to be a tough out in the Eastern Conference.
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Much like Pats fans discovered this season with the Jets - delivering regular season schadenfreude is no consolation for having it handed right back to you in the postseason.

    I am happy the Celts are 3-0 against the Heat, but anything can happen this spring and early summer, and it wouldn't shock me.

    I will say that fundamentally I think the Celtics are just a better team.

    My issues with Lebron are well-established, I don't think he's a player I'd start my team with. And I do think that his game is so heavily predicated on the officiating (I think you literally could call a violation on him - offensive foul, traveling, etc. - on the majority of his offensive possessions) that on the rare occasion the refs don't bow to his excellence, he's S.O.L.

    Wade doesn't scare me by himself either. The C's can clamp down on scorers & penetrators - thanks to their great team defense. He's no danger as a spot-up guy, so he doesn't benefit much from the attention Lebron draws.

    Bosh is an issue as he will knock down open jumpers created for him, but KG generally handles him.

    Still, what I took from the Celtics yesterday is that Rondo still hasn't gotten over the hump. He's on the verge of superstardom and has been for sometime, but he may never get over it. Because he had a chance to end that game and missed an open jumper. I rarely criticize Rondo b/c I think he's by far the C's best player - but he has to hit that jumper, or use the space to create himself a shot he can make, or an open look for a teammate. And most of all, he has to make free throws.

    For the life of me, I don't understand how any skilled basketball player couldn't - with proper effort, and we know he has put in the effort - become a 75% free throw shooter. It's gotta be mental with him.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  3. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    somewhat OT: I think the next year or 2 Rondo turns that last corner. He's only 24 or 25, and I think his jumper has improved this year (despite missing the late one yesterday and several open shots against the Lakers). I think he'll continue to improve that aspect of his game -- both extending range and improving % on the mid-range shots, and either next year or next becomes a guy they're no longer leaving open for the shots he missed in those games.

    (I'm not as confident re the FTs -- I don't understand the problem but I've seen enough players not get through it that I don't have confidence that Rondo will, either)
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I really hope you're right. I'd say there is some cause for hope - his jumper has gone through steady positive streaks the last two seasons.

    The reason I think its mental is because the less time he has to shoot, the better. Look at what he did in that silly game of Horse at the AllStar game last year - without any pressure, he was draining 3 after 3. Look at how he buried a 3 with seconds left in Game 7 against the Lakers in a last ditch attempt. When there is no expectation or pressure on him making a shot, he makes it. When he has time to think, as in yesterday's missed open shot, or his struggles at the free throw line, he lacks the confidence to execute.

    But I really, really hope you are right that he turns the corner. Because if that happens, you could put 4 role players with Rondo, and the team will compete for a title. I still think they are severely under-utilizing his offensive abilities. He can get by any player in the league any time he wants. This team struggles when they take the ball out of Rondo's hands.
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have a couple of spots to disagree with, as you're probably aware. :cool:

    1. I don't think that the Celtics are the fundamentally better team, as in more talented. The talent level goes to the Heat. But the Celtics, much like the Pats, are the more blue collar, hard working team of the two. Out of every team in the league, the Celtics are just a match-up problem with the Heat. Nobody on Miami's roster can clamp down on Rondo offensively as we saw yesterday with his ability to cut to the hoop. Bosh simply cannot sh!t on Garnett like he did Gasol on Christmas. Garnett is simply too strong and too physical for Bosh to have his way with him (in spite of Bosh's strong effort yesterday). Down low, both Shaq and Perkins are bad match-ups for the ultra-soft Ilgauskas. Speaking of the last match-up, if the Heat want to take more advantage of Shaq and Perkins, they should let Ilgauskas take more outside shots. He's generally a good shooter and if he can sink some of those shots, it could loosen up the Celtics interior defense and prevent them from clogging the paint, which will help Wade out.

    2. We've disagreed a few times on LeBron. In all, I'm more of a Wade fan than a LeBron fan. But I don't think that "so much of his game" relies on the officiating and his size. He's obviously got talent and natural ability or he wouldn't be one of the better players in the game today. He has the ability to drive on you, get offensive rebounds, and be a nightmare on the perimeter as well as in the paint. On top of all of that, his jump shot has improved immensely this year. With that said, though, I'm not going to deny that he gets the benefit of the doubt with the officials. All of the better players in the game have gotten that. Jordan could literally punch someone in the face and have gotten away with it. Same with Shaq in his prime. Magic, Bird, the list goes on. As for starting your team with him, the Heat didn't do that. They started the team with DWade. :D

    3. If the Heat want to beat the Celtics in their last match-up of the season and in the playoffs, it's really simple what needs to happen: Wade needs to play better. The Heat need to find a way to utilize one on one match-ups a bit better (I expanded on one of them in my first point) in order to loosen up that phenomenal Boston interior defense. Wade getting to the basket more is absolutely the key of what needs to happen to swing this match-up. If he shows up against Boston in the playoffs (I generally believe that the two teams will meet) like he has so far this season and is only able to contribute 15-16 points per game, the Heat won't be seeing a championship this year.

    As I said, though, great game yesterday. The Celtics are in the Heat's heads and that's not going to change unless the Heat win. That said, our two teams have the best defenses in the Eastern Conference and are both top five in the NBA. The Celtics will get healthy and hopefully the Heat will remain that way. With their two defenses, a Eastern Conference Championship series will be riveting television for any basketball fan.
  6. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I agree with all of the above, no arguments here. EXCEPT, maybe I would not concede the Heat are more talented. The Heat have the best group of 3 players, but the Celts have a true Big 4 - and their role players are, as of now, just better. If the Heat had the supporting cast that Boston had they'd be more dangerous. Heck, if the Heat had a guy like Perk, I think they'd be favorites in the East over Boston.

    As for Ilgauskas - the C's defense at times can look like a zone. Back in the 09 playoffs, Rondo was getting reamed by fans for not defending his man on the ball. Apparently these fans were not watching the Celtics during this entire stretch here, b/c if they were, they'd see that Rondo routinely stays out of the paint on defense, letting KG or Perk or one of the bigs disrupt the penetration and own the paint. The only difference was that season we didn't have KG in there to wreak havoc. But the bottom line is, it frees up Rondo to quickly cover the perimeter and to take chances both with his defender on the ball and in the passing lanes. With his speed, he can cover a lot of ground.

    So drawing the C's bigs out of the paint makes a lot of sense - but in reality, we haven't seen teams pull it off - can't say I really know why. It might just be because the C's have the speed on the perimeter (Rondo) and on the inside (KG) to adjust. KG is truly the key here. With his combination of length and speed, he allows the Celts to play the kind of D they do.

    Don't get me wrong - I hold nothing against Lebron for taking advantage of his absurd size and the current state of NBA officiating. He is merely taking advantage of his best asset: his size.

    But in terms of pure skill, I couldn't ever compare him to the all-time greats. The reality is that for someone with the unique combination of athletic ability and size that is really at a level we have never witnessed before, Lebron is - at this point - a disappointment as a basketball player.

    And I would also agree the team does start with DWade.

    I hope so - the Magic have grown to bore the hell out of me not just as a Celtics fan, but an NBA fan.

    Like I said, I don't think the Celtics regular season triumphs will necessarily translate to postseason. The Heat - in general - are headed in the right direction. I think getting guys like Miller back are huge, I don't know about Haslem's status, but that could be important. I'd be shocked & disappointed if it doesn't end up Miami-Boston in the ECF.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011
  7. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Won 14 of the last 15 against the Heat,


    WHO'S YOUR DADDDY!!?!?!?!?!?
  8. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re-watching the game today, the Heat certainly didn't help themselves in the third quarter, but they were doomed in the second quarter. That's where they lost the game. You cannot commit eight turnovers against a team the caliber of the Celtics in Boston. Miami had a chance to blow the game open in the second quarter (which would have allowed them to withstand the Boston charge that opened the third quarter) and pissed it away by committing turnover after turnover. Certainly, the Celtics deserve credit for some of them, but most of them happened due to horrible decisions and offense by the Heat.
  9. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Rookie

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    Rather sad the Heat lost, the Celtics barely had enough players to even go at it. No Semih, Shaq, Nate, Daniels and Pierce is battling about 3 different injuries.
  10. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah but they still had Garnett, Allen, Rondo, and Perkins... the guys that create all of the match-up problems for the Heat.
  11. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    I feel the same way about the Celts this year as I did last year: if they're healthy come the playoffs and play their game, they will win. I believe they are the best team in the league if they have their starters and a good part of their bench available.

    (Granted, health is never a given, particularly with some of their guys' ages and injury histories. And neither is playing their game -- we saw that in part against the Lakers last year. (Also saw it with the Pats this year, albeit in a different sport.))
  12. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Still, the role players make up a large part of the game. This was a game the Heat should have won handedly. It's not a good sign for them once the playoffs come around, when you figure the Celts will be healthy.

    The Heat need a big man, or they wont get far.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2011
  13. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That argument would hold more water if those role players actually played a bigger part in winning those two games. Our of all the names you mentioned (Nate played in the last game by the way), they were responsible for 41 points combined in the first two games. 22 of those points came from the Shaq/Robinson duo. Throughout the year, the Heat have been killed by the Big 4, particularly Rondo and Ray Allen.
  14. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I love the Celtics role players and do think their supporting cast is much better than Miami's, but it's really Rondo and KG who dictate how this team fares on both ends. At least when it comes to projecting this team in the playoffs.

    Let's face it, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen can suck on any given night and this team can still win. Heck, Pierce was awful against Miami.

    But if Rondo isn't on his game, and if the team is missing KG due to injury, forget it. The entire defense game plan is predicated on those two guys' speed, length and instincts for their position.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  15. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Rondo is really what turns the tables for the Celtics in any given match-up. His vision is probably top five in the NBA, if not the very best. He's such a great slasher at this point in his game and can take it to the hole with the best of them. His speed makes him such a match-up problem in that respect, but he's also one of the better passers in the NBA right now which allows him to drive and draw the defense in, then dish it out quickly and create offense for his teammates. In this respect, I'd really like to see Chalmers step up his game. People will call me an idiot for saying this due to what the Heat have to work with, but I'd like to see the ball in Chalmers hands more often. Chalmers is a capable passer and is a good knock down shooter. He's not on the same level as Rondo (LOL at the person on here who said he was), but he does a good job on his own for creating offense for his teammates. I can see how it would be difficult to take the ball out of Wade and LeBron's hands, but if Chalmers grows up and takes the next step at some point this season, he could make the Heat that much more difficult to stop. THAT's where I think the problem lies with the Heat when it comes to matching up with the Celtics. I think the big man problems are overblown. The Heat have a big man. A soft one, but he gets the job done. On top of that, Miami is one of the better teams in the league of getting to the basket and, as a team, getting rebounds. As a matter of fact, the Heat actually out-rebounded the Celtics 41-40 in the last game. Forget the big man, the Heat need someone that can create offense for the Big 3 the way Rondo does for Boston. Chalmers may or may not be that man. He hasn't been in the starting line-up for this team for that long, so we should find out sometime after the All-Star break and before the playoffs.
  16. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I think this makes a lot of sense. The Heat really miss a Rondo - they miss a guy who can get their Big 3 the ball where they will succeed, which is exactly what Rondo does. I honestly don't know enough about Chalmers to say if he can become that, but I think it would also take a coach strong enough to take the ball out of the hands of Lebron/Wade to facilitate that, and Miami might lack that at the moment.

    What it comes down to is that the Miami Big 3 aren't necessarily taking each other's games up a notch - and I agree that a legitimate distributor, whether it be Chalmers or not, is the missing ingredient offensively. Rondo really makes life so much easier for Ray, Paul & KG.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  17. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    It's simple really.

    The star players on Miami have yet to truly put their egos aside to put winning ahead of personal focus.
  18. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Huh? They're breathing right down Boston's collective necks for first place in the EC and have one of the better records in the league?

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