Posted by Ian Rider April 20, 2011 10:07 PM
Two things on the first two games of the Celtics Round 1 series against the New York Knicks...
- Celtics down 2-0?: If you read the various blogs and articles, local and national, and listened to talk radio around Boston, you might think that it was the Celtics and not the Knicks who were in the 0-2 hole. This might seem like homer-ism, but I just don't understand how the Celtics should be concerned when they have yet to play a good game and still have a stranglehold on the series. Boston's bench has been almost non-existent. The Knicks stars, Amare in Game 1 and 'Melo in Game 2, have done what no team in the Playoffs has done in four years, cause the Celtics defense to change gears and double team. Still, the Celtics executed flawlessly down the stretch in both games and left the Knicks scratching their heads. Tell me again why the Celtics should be worried? If I were the Knicks I'd be worried. Worried that one of these games, Boston is going to put a great game together and blow my team off the court. If the Celtics should be worried, what of the Knicks? Do they have Boston right where they want them? Down two games to zero with two of your top three players hurting. Facing a team with a history of winning on the road. I'm a Celtics fan, and the glass-half-full type at that, and I'm not worried about this series at all right now. Maybe I'm crazy.
- Run Rondo, Run: With all of the talk about Shaquille O'Neal's return, or lack thereof, the key to the Celtics success in the playoffs is Rajon Rondo...and his legs. When Rondo is flying up and down the court and attacking the rim, the Celtics can beat any team. When Rondo is passive, inconsistent, and unengaged, the Celtics can lose to any team. In Game 1 Rondo came one assist and one rebound shy of another postseason triple-double. In Game 2 he raced out to 14 first quarter points and had the Knicks Toney Douglas on his heels and in foul trouble all night. Even on a night when KG can't buy a bucket and the bench players are lumbering up and down the court like worthless zombies, the Celtics can pull out a win in a playoff game because of Rondo. Even when Carmelo Anthony is putting on a display for the ages, Rondo kept the Celtics in the game with 30 points and seven assists. Douglas is going to see that step around move in his nightmares. The best part of the performance, though, was that the Knicks employed the same defense that the Lakers and Heat have in the past. They sag way off Rondo daring him to shoot, and it has frustrated the Celtics point guard in the past. This time, Rondo didn't fall in love with the elbow jumper and continued to attack. He wasn't afraid to step up to the free throw line either. Rondo normally looks about as comfortable at the charity stripe as Carl Crawford does with an 0-2 count these days. Rondo knocked down 4-of-7 freebies and kept attacking. If the Celtics can get that Rajon Rondo consistently in the postseason, it could be a long run. I just hope Rondo has the legs.
Statistical (and nervous) breakdowns from fans of Danny's boys.
contributors Bird and McHale aren't walking through that door, but these Celtics fans are. Introducing our contributors: