Starting 5: A pair of Best-of-3’s, Rondo calls out Miami, & Red wouldn’t let Wade’s shot go in

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Every morning, we’ll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  We’re all starting over

The Spurs and Thunder start over with a “Best of 3″ series that begins tonight in San Antonio.  This has been an amazing series that shows the mighty Spurs also bleed.  Home court advantage has never meant so much to a team as it has Oklahoma City in this series.

Meanwhile, the same is happening with Boston and Miami after the Boston Celtics beat the Heat by two in OT.  This game was classic Boston in that they stormed out to a big lead, then did a lot of things that opened the door for another team to walk back into a game they seemingly wanted to lose.  It was classic Miami as they came out slow and sloppy and then turned on the jets to climb back into it late.  Along the way, some weird things happened.

Paul Pierce and LeBron James BOTH fouled out.  Keyon Dooling and Udonis Haslem were major offensive contributors.  And the Celtics have some life. Did the tying of the series by Boston trigger Miami to push Bosh towards returning?   We’ll have to see if he’s truly ready to play, but the Heat need an answer to Kevin Garnett and his constant deep posts.  He and Rajon Rondo (more on him in a minute) are killing Miami by getting scoring opportunities at the hoop, thus preventing long rebounds and fast breaks.

Bosh could be a series changer… if he’s healthy.  Who would think, for all the jokes at his expense, that would be a true statement?

2:  Rondo calls out Miami


 

This unexpected bit of candor in a halftime interview will be brought up again, I’m sure, and the Heat will react to it.  I’ve often said teams don’t take advantage of crying players, not necessarily just on the Heat, during fast breaks.  It’s become a given that if a player doesn’t like the call, he’ll seek out a ref and complain about it immediately, often eschewing rejoining the play.  And it’s often worse when it’s a bigger star who feels entitled to the call. 

Almost all of them do it.  And a couple of years ago, the NBA tried to institute stricter “respect for the game” rules where those reactions got technical fouls… but that just ruined the game.  So we may just have to live with it and hope that teams exploiting it on the break will be enough to get people to stop moaning about every call. 

Yeah, I know… good luck with that.

3:  HIGHLIGHTS!!!

Rajon Rondo with his patented Rondo fake spins Shane Battier around


     

Chalmers hits LeBron with the alley oop on the out of bounds play

Rondo finds KG with the perfect pass on the alley oop

4:  Line of the Night:  Rajon Rondo – 15 points, 15 assists, 5 rebounds, +8

This series has been the Garnett and Rondo show.  Rondo’s passing in this series has been mind-boggling.  The alley oop in that last video was a work of art when you consider the timing, the pin-point location of that pass, and two defenders in between.  He’s played 183 of the 202 minutes in this series.  He has 42 assists and 12 turnovers.  The Heat are weak at the point and at center… and the Celtics are exploiting both of those weaknesses in a big way.

5:  You can quote me on that

“What I said was true.  I don’t take back what I said.  That’s what it is”
     -Rajon Rondo, when asked about his halftime interview in which he said the Heat were crying over calls 

“It was a good look. It was online but didn’t want to go in.  Got the shot off I wanted and that is all you can ask for.”
     -Dwyane Wade, on his last second 3 that could have won the game for Miami

“Red wasn’t going to let that go in. Not in the Boston Garden.”
     -Doc Rivers, on the same shot 

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