Starting 5: Heat come back, Rondo makes history


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

1.  Heat have just enough

The Heat looked plenty vulnerable last night to a Celtics attack that featured an historic Rondo (specifics on him a little later one), and scattered contributions from the rest of Boston’s Big 4.  But Miami had just enough to hold the Celtics off and take a 2-0 series lead.  

The Celtics led for pretty much the entire first half, but a sloppy and slow third quarter let the Heat come roaring back to take a lead.  Despite that they had plenty of chances to beat Miami down the stretch thanks to the Heat returning to sloppy execution and missed free throws (Miami shot 31-47). 

The Celtics biggest problem, again, was rebounding.  While the rebounds were even, Miami had five more offensive rebounds, including one by LeBron James for Miami’s last possession of regulation.  So instead of the Celtics having the ball with :19 left to run a potentially game-winning play, the Celtics watched LeBron miss a shot and go to OT.  

This was the Celtics chance to steal one.  Now they’re in the same boat as Oklahoma City:  They have to beat one of the best teams in basketball four times in five games.  Not likely.

2.  And then there were the refs

Once again the officiating is an issue that permeates basketball discussion.  The issue:

Yes, it was a blown call, and it was a game-changer.  After the game, the VP of referee operations told Celtics GM Danny Ainge 

“I’m sure we missed five or six calls somewhere”

But still, the bigger story should be the missed Celtics opportunities.  Sadly, the officiating is a factor in most games, and it may ultimately be an issue that tarnishes David Stern’s legacy.


Paul Pierce the big dunk on Shane Battier


Dwyane Wade with the acrobatic finish and the foul

Rajon Rondo with the steal and coast to coast layup

4:  Line of the Night:  Rajon Rondo:  44 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, 53 minutes

The only time Rajon Rondo sat down last night was during time outs and when he was knocked to the floor.  He played every single minute of basketball and turned in a performance that no other player in NBA history has.  His 44 points and 10 assists was an NBA first.  He scored all 12 of the Celtics points in the overtime.  The notoriously, let’s call him “spotty” to be nice, shooter shot 8-10 from 16-23 feet (according to HoopData), 2-2 from three and 10-12 from the line. 

Chris Broussard, whom I rarely can listen to, had a good comment at halftime, saying Rondo with a jump shot is the league’s worst nightmare.  Rondo shooting the way he did last night would vault him into the superstar category right along side Chris Paul.

5:  You can quote me on that:

“It’s irrelevant, we lost.”
     -Rajon Rondo, on his historic performance