The Boston Celtics definitely looked like the older stars in the playoff match with the Miami Heat tonight. In fact, they didn't really look like stars at all.
The Celtics got what they had hoped for during this playoff series when their bench and role players came up big against the Miami Heat. However that bench production wasn't enough as the team's stars struggled with injuries and poor performance on the court.
An early injury to Paul Pierce which obviously hampered his performance throughout the game was followed up by a minor knock to Ray Allen as well as Rajon Rondo's back struggles. Couple this with the fact that Kevin Garnett had an off shooting night and the Celtics couldn't tie up the series.
Rajon Rondo was able to overcome his back struggles to finish the game with a double double but his reluctance to shoot the given shot or aggressively attack the basket was notable throughout the game.
Doc Rivers had said before the game that he wanted Kevin Garnett to take 20 shots in this matchup. Garnett took exactly twenty shots but only hit eight of those to score 16 points.
Rivers may have to rethink this strategy for game three as Garnett couldn't carry the team. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were both held to incredibly low totals of 7 and 13 points respectively as a combination of this strategy and Miami's defense.
The Heat had 9 blocks in the game including four from Joel Anthony off the bench.
Miami had obviously decided to focus on Allen's outside shooting as two defenders often shut him down when he caught the ball. Allen had hit five three point shots in the first meeting between the two but couldn't make that same impact this time around.
The Miami Heat however got stellar performances from their biggest stars. Dwayne Wade starred in the first half before Lebron James took over in the second with a huge third quarter scoring 12 points. James finished the game with 35 points while Wade had 26.
The Celtics will head back to Boston looking to overcome a 2-0 deficit. The expected return of Shaquille O'Neal will hopefully spark some life into the team but age looks to have caught up with the Celtics.
They were labored in their attempts to keep up with the younger more athletic Heat stars.
Game three takes place in Boston on Saturday night.