MIAMI -- On the first off day of the Eastern Conference Finals, there was a lot of talk from both the Celtics and Heat camps about the series potentially getting more physical. As happens with these things, a comment by Rajon Rondo Monday night set off a barrage of questions from reporters to just about every player and coach from both teams Tuesday.
After Game 1, Rondo said the Celtics needed to step up their physicality.
"Nothing dirty but they have to hit the deck, too," he said.
Miami got 19 layups in Game 1, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers said he showed his team all of them on a loop during Tuesday's film session. Rondo and Rivers both said that stat needs to change. Rondo didn't back down too far from his original statement today.
"We have 15 guys," said Rondo. "Nothing flagrant, nothing dirty. When we drove we hit the deck a lot. If we keep them out of the paint it would be even better. Like I said that's hard for us to do, but we'll find a way."
Rondo's original statement was tantamount to posturing, and Miami's Dwyane Wade did some posturing of his own after his team's practice Tuesday afternoon.
"We're men just like they're men," said Wade. "We're not going to let anyone just come and punk us. That is not our mentality, to go out there and make people hit the deck."
Where the Celtics really need to improve -- and where Rondo took the most issue in Game 1 -- is getting to the line themselves. Both the Celtics and Heat play physical. That's not going to change so much from game to game. But Rondo felt he had attacked enough in Game 1 to get to the free throw line. Instead, he and Paul Pierce combined for 38 shots and zero trips to the line.
"That's crazy," said Rondo, who said he didn't remember a game where that happened before. "Not with me shooting -- I think I shot the ball 20 times yesterday, I took three jump shots, no free throws. That's just part of it. I've got to keep attacking. That's just part of the game. I don't think that's a fine. But I've just got to stay aggressive."
Rivers was particularly upset with Pierce for not getting to the line.
"With Paul, you can look at his numbers and it's easy to read," said Rivers. "If he has no foul shots and only two rebounds, then it wasn't a physical game for Paul. Paul is every bit as physical as LeBron [James], as far as body types. So he just has to do it."
Rivers said he didn't want his team to get out of hand with the physicality. He was already upset with the five technical fouls the Celtics picked up in Game 1.
"That doesn't mean we have to be more physical, foul them," said Rivers. "We foul them on our own anyway."
In Game 2, the Celtics will be better served getting themselves to the line, and keeping the Heat off the line, than playing with reckless abandon.