5-on-5: Can Celtics even series?
What's the big takeaway from all the "Hit the deck" talk?
Chris Forsberg: The Celtics pretty much admitted they were a little bit (Larry Bird voice) S-O-F-T in Game 1. While Rajon Rondo said he didn't mean Boston would get chippy, it'll be interesting to see how things escalate when the Celtics give a hard foul on James or Wade early in Game 2. One thing is clear: Boston can't allow 19 layups like in Game 1.
Tom Haberstroh: It's sad that it's come to this. This is a Boston club that prides itself on sharp defensive precision, and now it's resorting to childish threats of pseudo-violence. Play better defense and you wouldn't have to worry about having to give hard fouls. Did we learn nothing from the Pacers series? David West tried to hack LeBron James and the Indiana power forward bounced off LeBron like a rubber ball. Players have tried sending a message through physicality and most have failed.
Justin Verrier: That it would be far more interesting if Rondo was inviting the Heat to smoothies on the porch of his summer share? It's nice that the C's are aware of their problems defending the paint, but Danny Granger pretty much exhausted all intrigue in tough talk involving Miami.
Michael Wallace: Absolutely nothing. Tough talk and bully tactics didn't necessarily work against the Heat last series. Ask the Indiana Pacers how that turned out. Plus, it's not as if the Celtics can afford the foul trouble, considering how much they're counting on Rondo, Allen, Pierce and Garnett. Their rotation doesn't go deep enough to compensate for the spare fouls it would really require to send a physical message to the Heat.
Brian Windhorst: The Celtics realized they gave up 78 percent shooting in the paint and allowed the Heat to make 19 layups. Nineteen. That isn't acceptable in a preseason game. It is common sense that they need to get tougher inside. They cannot win otherwise.
Hop HERE to read the full 5-on-5.
Play Podcast NFL Films' Greg Cosell talks about the Ravens' improvement, the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, the Broncos' pass defense, whether Kirk Cousins is a better QB than Robert Griffin III and more.
Play Podcast Mark Schlereth talks about which outcomes could surprise him this weekend between the Patriots and Ravens. Why the Chiefs defense isn't as great as we thought it was, if Mike Shanahan could be throwing his final games in Washington and much more.
Play Podcast Ravens QB Joe Flacco talks about his health, Baltimore's win over the Lions, his team's four-game winning streak, preparing to face the Patriots, the keys to success in December and more.
Play Podcast Super Bowl XXXV champion Brian Billick dishes on Tom Coughlin's future with the Giants, the state of the NFC North, Patriots-Ravens and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Jeff Saturday dishes on what Peyton Manning is like, Patriots-Ravens, the Cowboys' game management during the Packers' comeback and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski weighs in on Packers-Cowboys, the scrutiny of Tony Romo, Marc Trestman's decision to start Jay Cutler, Patriots-Dolphins, the Chiefs' offense and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter covers the criticism of Tony Romo after the Cowboys' loss to the Packers, the Giants' struggles, Tom Coughlin's future in New York, the state of the AFC and more.