Sports Centralby Cian Fahey
- We've moved to The Sports Central
- Avery Bradley's stuttering start to Boston Celtics career is no more
- New England Patriots - a case for keeping Brandon Lloyd
- Tom Brady's contract extension puts pressure on New England Patriots to perform in short-term
- Jeff Green's approach epitomizes Boston Celtics Post-Rajon Rondo
The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat face off tonight in the second game of the Eastern Conference Finals. After such a condensed regular season in the NBA, injuries have dramatically affected both of these teams playoff runs so far.
In order to do that, the Celtics have to alter certain things about their perfornabce that didn't work in the first game.
The Celtics simply couldn't score against the Heat in Game 1. The quality of shots the Celtics got weren't actually that bad, however with a jump shooting team those games will always occur. With extended rest since the Philadelphia 76ers series, the Celtics should finish this game with a much better percentage from the field.
Past the technical fouls. Past the poor refereeing. Past the tiredness from the quick turnaround, the Celtics fell short of a victory because they simply didn't perform in Miami.
Excuses are worth nothing in any professional sport, Celtics fans may be searching for some right now, but head coach Doc Rivers must instead focus on finding solutions. Even though the Celtics were comprehensively beaten in the second half, they were still in touch for into the third quarter after finishing the first half tied at 46-46.
Even without Chris Bosh, the Heat are the favorites to move onto the NBA Finals and only need to hold home court advantage to do so. Bosh injured his abdomen in the last series against the Indiana Pacers. It is unclear when he will return, but he will definitely not play tonight.
Despite being the heavy underdogs, the Celtics won't be intimidated entering this series and can expose some aspects of the Heats' play to advance to the Finals:
After dispatching the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of their second round series, the Boston Celtics have earned themselves a place in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics will face off against the favorites in the conference the Miami Heat.
While most eyes are on rookies Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower on the defensive side of the ball, Tom Brady is seeing a lot of pieces come and go around him. Even though those changes are somewhat more understated, they are nonetheless important.
Realistically the Patriots haven't built a championship caliber defense, despite the investment in the draft this year. They may have built a defense capable of being part of a Super Bowl winning side, but that is provided that they have an explosive offense to rely on.
It's human nature. Being caught up in the moment is what comes natural to the majority of us as we understand context, but do not always apply it. It's all over this world. Do you appreciate your friends when they are there? Or do you only realize the value of their presence when they are gone?
Most of us tend towards the latter. At least I know I do.
were getting worse not better. He has since retracted that initial pessimistic attitude saying that he was ok with playing under the franchise tag for the year.
Even if Welker plays out this year, the elephant in the room will be palpable as both sides need to figure out their future.
Bill Belichick is one of the smartest coaches in the NFL, if not the smartest when everything balances out. He rarely loses out in personnel decisions such as trades or contract signings which is why the team's hesitation to pay Welker is very significant.
The winners of the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers second round series will lie in wait for the Celtics if they can overcome the 76ers. Right now, the Pacers are shocking the Heat as they lead 2-1 with home court advantage in their favor.
After Chris Bosh got injured, the Heat looked a little lost lats night in Indiana with Dwyane Wade having a historically bad night shooting the ball. He didn't contribute much either on the defensive end as the whole Heat team appeared to accept their fate, losing by double digits, without much repute.
Ainge is the man responsible for the franchise's future as they look to begin the next chapter in their history after the era of the Big Three.
It's fairly common knowledge at this stage that the Celtics are looking to create a younger corp to guide their roster as Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Garnett enter the twilight of their respective careers. Paul Pierce is expected to finish out his career with the Celtics as he is under contract past this season and will complete a historic one club career if he doesn't play elsewhere.
Kevin Garnett's form carried over from the Atlanta Hawks series as he notched 29 points with 11 rebounds while Paul Pierce continued to get to the line with eight free throw attempts. Rajon Rondo added yet another triple double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 17 assists to go along with four steals.
While Rondo went 0-3 from beyond the arc, his two most significant plays on the night showcased that he is still developing as a basketball player. Rondo may be one of the purest point guards in the league, but his outside shot is severely limited.
Bradley appeared to have a dislocated shoulder, the Celtics official word is that he has a sore shoulder, that wouldn't pop back in last night. Ultimately Bradley didn't finish the game and left in the fourth quarter while his status for the remainder of the series is clouded in doubt.
The Celtics were just getting their roster in shape with Allen having an impressive return from injury, scoring 13 points from the bench on six of 12 shooting despite not hitting a three and adding six rebounds with two steals. Allen returned after nearly a month out while Rajon Rondo responded to his suspension with his 20th career triple double. Rondo finished the night with 14 rebounds, 12 assists and 17 points in 49 minutes on the court.
It was a performance which Celtics fans should have seen coming.
Pierce struggled in game one and the team needed an inspirational figurehead without their point guard. Pierce has always been a leader throughout his career which will ultimately land him in the hall-of-fame and he has always had a knack of coming up big when required.
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