|Posted by shawn cassidy on March 19, 2013 at 10:30 PM|
The mind clicks into gear, and the feet soon follow. Wanting to run is one thing, but actually doing it is something else. The Boston Celtics made the Heat feel the "Heat" Monday when they scored 22 fast break points against the Heat. The Celtics also limited Miami to just 6 fast break points. The Celtics are 1-2 against the Heat this season. They should be 2-1, but whatever. Will see you in Miami for a grudge match in April.
The numbers are in , and the Celtics have something on the Heat. In the first showdown this season the Celtics had 27 fast break points compared to Miami's 12. The Celtics lost the game 120-107(Box Score). But it showcased a Rondo team with weapons. Such as Lee who had 11 points, and Barbosa who had 16 points. Plus Rondo can run a fast break on his own. In the second match up this year when the C's pulled off a two point victory in double-overtime. The Celtics outscored the Heat 16-8 in fast break points. The Celtics have outscored the Heat in fast break points 65-26 this season.I went through last years Eastern Conference finals game by game, and here are the fast break numbers.
Game 1 10-5 Heat win fast break points, and the game.
Game 2 18-10 Heat win fast break points, and the game.
Game 3 16-13 Heat win fast break points, but Celtics win.
Game 4 14-7 Heat win fast break points, but Celtics win.
Game 5 9-8 Boston win fast break points, and win the game.
Game 6 15-5 Boston win fast break points, but lose the game.
Game 7 tie 12-12 Miami win series.
I like that the Celtics run on the Heat so far this season. I think the Eastern Conference Final tally's don't do justice to the numbers, but it was also a different team last season. This season it works for the Celtics. CSN put out an article about the Celtics
Playoff success is often predicated on a team's ability to perform at a high level in games that tend to slow down and become more half court affairs.
But the Celtics want no part of games like that; not with the way their roster is currently constructed.
"We have to run," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We don't have the ball-handling to play half court anymore more. I tell our guys that every night. We're just not that team anymore; we can't be."
As the Celtics get closer to the postseason, the absence of Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL injury, out for the season) becomes more apparent.
While Rondo does monopolize the ball which to some degree takes away from the C's running attack (and explains his status as one of the league's leaders year-after-year in assists), his ability to orchestrate the offense and get players where they need to be on the floor to be most effective, are critical qualities to a team's chances at postseason success.
Without him, Boston's offense lacks that late-game executor that the elite teams like Miami, San Antonio and Oklahoma City possess.
But the absence of Rondo has been one of the many hurdles the Celtics have had to leap frog this season.
And while they acknowledge his value to the squad and admit that he is missed, they are not using his absence as an excuse now or when they get to the playoffs.
"We're NBA players," C's guard Courtney Lee told CSNNE.com recently. "We're all here for a reason. Sometimes when you come to teams, you do have to sacrifice a little bit of your game. As you can see now, there's a lot of things that all of us can do that maybe we didn't do before Rondo got hurt."
Said Jason Terry: "We miss (Rondo), for sure. We're a better team with him than we are without him. But without him, we're not that bad."
We all know the tempo slows down in the playoffs. Fast break points are harder to come by. One thing going for the Celtics is their great half court defense. Without Rondo the Celtics don't have a guy who can get guys into spots, and they don't have a guy who can direct the offense. If the Celtics fall in the playoffs. It will come down to not having Rondo. This team isn't bad without Rondo.
No one can tell what will happen tomorrow. Life is a journey of joy and sorrow, and all of us have are very own battles,and hurdles to jump. The Celtics are a mystery when it comes to how far they can go.