Wining just one of two in Orlando wasn't enough for the Boston Celtics.
While most teams would be happy splitting two games on the road in a series, the Celtics smelled blood. And let's face it, Boston is peaking at the perfect time. Other than maybe the Lakers , Boston has the best starting five in the NBA. Now healthy, the Celtics have proven they are one of the best teams in the playoffs.
So far in two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics have come out and controlled both games. In both contests, Boston has tanked in the fourth quarter only to show their resilience by holding on win both games on the road.
In game two, Orlando came back from a double digit deficit and actually took a one point lead late in the fourth quarter. Vince Carter showed his inexperience in big time playoff games, as he missed two crucial free throws which could have cut the Boston lead to one point with just over 30 seconds to play.
The Magic hunkered down and played defense one last time and J.J. Redick rebounded a Kevin Garnett miss with about seven seconds remaining. Redick took the rebound and dribbled the ball up court, wasting a few seconds before calling timeout. What was Redick thinking? You really wouldnt' expect that type of play from someone who went to Duke. But maybe Redick thought he was still playing college ball. So instead of the Magic down three and inbounding the ball at halfcourt with seven seconds left, Orlando had to inbound the ball behind halfcourt with just over three left to play.
Redick inbounded the ball about 10 feet behind half court! Why throw the ball so far away from the basketball with barely any time left? Jameer Nelson wasn't able to get a decent shot off and the Celtics won Game Two 95-92.
I don't mean to be hating so hard on Redick , because in his defense, he shouldn't have to be the second leading scorer for the Magic.
Orlando needs to wake up! In the first two games they haven't played with a sense of urgency until the fourth quarter when it's been basically too late.
The reason the Magic find themselves down 0-2 falls all on Rashard Lewis. Lewis is a guy making over $100 million! He was so key to Orlando's run to the finals last year.
Through two games, Lewis is 4-16 from the field, 1-9 from downtown for a total of 11 points! Through two games! This coming from a guy who in his career, averages nearly 17 points a game and shoots almost 40 percent from downtown !
That's the reason why the Magic are down 0-2.
Rajon Rondo again is proving he just might be the best player in the NBA. No one has been able to stop him. What makes Rondo so great is how well the Celtics move without the ball. We know Boston can play defense, but on the offensive side, the team moves so well without the ball.
Paul Pierce told the Orlando crowd, "See you next year," as he was leaving the court. Pierce also tweeted something about getting the brooms out. Not only is Boston healthy, they're experienced and confident.
Rajon Rondo is the key to not only the Boston Celtics, but the entire playoffs. You can't stop the guy. If you try to stop him, the Big Three are gonna kill you. The guy can score now, too. If he drives to the basket, he's gonna draw attention which is gonna leave to wide open shots for other players. What ever happened to LeBron going to step up and defend Rondo? What happened there?
I can't wait to see until Derek Fisher and the Lakers try to contain Rondo! Better yet, what will Phil Jackson say to attempt to get into Rondo's head? And you know any day now Phil is already plotting about the inevitable NBA Finals of Celtics/Lakers that he'll make a premature comment.
One person who feels a lot better about himself is LeBron James. Boston has been the best team in the playoffs, and hey, Cleveland beat them twice.
Another Celtics/Lakers series is pretty much a for sure thing and the one thing that will not only save these lackluster playoffs, but maybe draw some attention from the "Summer of LeBron ."