5-on-5: Can Celtics even series?

May, 30, 2012
Isaac Baldizon/Getty ImagesThe Celtics are hoping for more of this against the Heat in Game 2.
MIAMI -- The Boston Celtics will be looking to pull even with the Miami Heat during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night (8:30 p.m., ESPN) at AmericanAirlines Arena. To preview the matchup, we played a game of 5-on-5. Here's a sample:

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.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com



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Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9