The trick is to find a way to slow down LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. But it’s just as hard, if not harder, than what it sounds. The Celtics are not expected to win this series. Looking back at how they played in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in South Beach, it seems that forcing a game 5 would be more than what many fans are expecting to see from the veteran Celtics. Then again, this is a squad that knows very well what it is like to win a title, a squad that in it’s core still has most of the key components from the team that has made it twice to the Finals and has taken the championship trophy once.
Now the game itself was interesting and yet the referees got a little too much attention to themselves with the fast-whistle, issuing the Boston Celtics 5 technical fouls, 80% of which were certainly uncalled for. But other than that, the Celtics need to realize that they were soft, that they lacked the physicality to keep James and Wade from storming into the lane. The Miami Heat took a 93-79 win at home over the Boston Celtics, but the truth is that since the halftime break, the Celtics simply didn’t have an answer for the faster and perhaps stronger Heat.
At the end of the game, the Celtics publicly said that they would get more physical. That they had to really put their soul and bodies into winning a game at Miami, otherwise the series will get pretty complicated once they return to the Boston Garden. Things got fired up last night when Rajon Rondo, the Celtics point guard say that they will have to bring down their a-game. “Nothing dirty but they have to hit the deck, too,” said Rajon Rondo. That got the attention of the Heat. On a short interview after practice LeBron James came out with a quick answer to Rondo’s response. “I expect to be quote, unquote ‘put on the deck’ or whatever the case may be and then you go to the free throw line,” said James, who had 32 points in the Heat’s 93-79 Game 1 win. “I don’t need to prepare for something I already think is going to happen every game.”
“We’re men just like they’re men; we’re not going to let anyone just come and punk us,” said the other Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade. “That is not our mentality, to go out there and make people hit the deck.” Both Wade and James were a very important part of jail breaking the Celtics defense. It was obvious even to head coach Doc Rivers that allowing the Heat to get 19 layups was just unacceptable. In Game 1, the Heat shot a remarkable 21-of-27. And that’s just not going to fly in Doc Rivers book. He is going to urge the Celtics to be strong, to hold their ground and to get physical. The Miami Heat defeated the Celtics in five games last season, and they do have this urge to get back at the guy from South Beach.
“We have to put up more a fight and more of an effort,” said Kevin Garnett, who has been the best player the Celtics have had this postseason. “We have to make sure we take them out of their comfort zone.” If they can managed to get Rondo and Paul Pierce to give out this kinds of performances they might just have a chance to turn this series around.