Doc says prognosis is positive
Doc Rivers said during a conference call Thursday the Celtics have a positive approach to Friday’s Game 3, despite losing twice in Miami.
“We still know we have to play better,’’ Rivers said. “But I think our guys know now we can play with them. I don’t know if they knew it after Game 1. We needed to have that type of game last night, obviously we’d rather win it, but I think our guys are very confident going into Game 3.
“I thought there were a lot of things that we did that we shouldn’t have done.
“We should have been in spots to prevent drives and our transition defense late in the game was not good at times. I just thought there were a lot of things guys will see on film and won’t be happy with. And that’s a good thing because those things are fixable.
“We still have to play so smart, you know what I mean? Our guys will see that. We’re trying to break this wall down and chipping away at it, is the way I look at it. We made vast improvements from Game 1 to Game 2 and we have to make even more improvements to Game 3, and we will.’’
Rajon Rondo scored all of the Celtics 12 overtime points, one short of a playoff record held by Clyde Drexler. Rondo totaled 44 points, his jump shot accounting for half the total. Rondo converted 10 jumpers, including two 3-pointers.
“Honestly, a lot of games with Rondo and Paul [Pierce] and all our guys, you watch it and say, ‘I knew he was good but didn’t know he was that good,’ ’’ Rivers said. “In my mind that was one of his best games. He took what they gave him, elbow jump shot, he drove, when they doubled he passed it. He didn’t predetermine what he was going to do and stayed in attack mode. That’s very important for him.’’
Two for the show
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade totaled nearly half of Miami’s points in the 115-111 overtime win in Game 2. Mario Chalmers added 22 points and Udonis Haslem converted twice in overtime.
“That has to be taken away,’’ Rivers said. “We want stops on James and Wade, but also on Chalmers and Haslem, and everyone else. We, defensively, broke down on, say, 10-12 of those points [by Chalmers] were our fault - help should have been there. All of Haslem was defensive breakdowns.’’
Ticket to ride?
Kevin Garnett shot 6 for 18 in Game 2. “We didn’t involve him enough, we’ve got to involve him more, get him in spots,’’ Rivers said. “We have to do a better job getting Kevin more involved offensively when he’s on the floor.’’ . . . Rivers remained resolute after the game. Asked about the Celtics’ window of opportunity, Rivers replied: “It’s at stake for both teams. You can never take any season for granted. Hell, we win this series, it may not be the same Miami team next year. Really. I tell players that all the time. There is no guarantee for next year. Every year you have to play like this is the last time this group you’re with will ever play together. And most of the time that’s going to be true, whether you win or lose. So, I think we understand that but I think they do, too, and so, I think both teams feel that type of pressure.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at email@example.com.