Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Round 2, Game 5: Celtics vs. Heat
By Greg Payne
at TD Garden, 7 p.m. | TNT, WEEI (850 AM)
||-- vs. --
PAYNE'S THREE THINGS TO WATCH
- Fight to the Finish: We've already seen one team from last season's NBA Finals mail it in when it was on the brink of elimination in the Los Angeles Lakers. Will the Celtics come out like a team ready for its summer vacation, or a club poised to make every effort to get back into this series? Boston benefited greatly from fast first-quarter starts in the past two games, and another one tonight would help keep morale high as the C's fight to stay alive.
- Garnett in the Post: Not only did Kevin Garnett fail to take the number of shots desired by Celtics head coach Doc Rivers in Game 4 (Rivers wanted 20 from Garnett, who took only 10 on Monday), but he failed to establish himself in the post and initiate the majority of his offense close to the basket. In Game 4, Garnett took just one shot inside of 10 feet. In Game 3, he took 13 shots within 10 feet of the rim, and it shouldn't come as a shock that he finished with 28 points in what was one of his finest postseason performances in a Boston uniform. By now, it's clear: If the Celtics want to win, Garnett has to be a force down low.
- Turnovers: Turning the ball over has hindered Boston throughout this entire series, but things hit a new low in Game 4 on Monday when the Celtics were credited with 18 miscues that Miami managed to convert into a whopping 28 points. Making things even more frustrating for the C's was that most of the giveaways seemed careless and preventable, as opposed to being forced by anything Miami was doing defensively. If the C's plan on giving themselves a chance to get a needed victory tonight, they're going to have to keep the turnover number under control.
MIAMI (AP) -- Their charter flight home from Boston landed around 3 a.m. Tuesday, and the Miami Heat were back at work less than 12 hours later.
Typically, such a late arrival would merit a day off.
Not now -- not when on the cusp of knocking off the team that has pained Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the Heat for so long.
Up 3-1 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Heat will go for the clincher at home against the Celtics on Wednesday night. Miami grabbed control with a 98-90 overtime win in Boston on Monday night, and now stands one victory away from reaching the East finals for the first time since the 2006 championship run.
"This is not a team that you let your guard down against," Wade said.
"No way," instantly chimed in James, nodding as he stood on Wade's left.
It was not a long workout for the Heat on Tuesday, mostly film work and some light shooting. The Celtics took the day off, opting instead to gather around midday for their flight to South Florida, though it was certain that ailing players like Rajon Rondo -- who remains hampered mightily by the aftereffects of dislocating his elbow in Game 3 -- would be getting some treatment.
"I'll be fine," Rondo said. "I'm playing."
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