Sunday, April 1, 2012
Rajon Rondo Was Born To Play In National Broadcast Games
In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that the Boston Celtics would throw a beating so bad, that it left the Miami Heat with their worst loss of the season. Yet that's what exactly transpired this afternoon at TD Garden.
The Celts (30-22, 19-8 home) rolled over the Heat (37-14, 16-12 away) 91-72 in a game that truthfully wasn't even nearly that close.
Boston won its fifth straight game (and seventh out of eight) thanks to Rajon Rondo's (16 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds) fifth triple-double of the season and 18th of his career. He also notched 10+ assists for the 13th consecutive game.
One of the Celtics' main story lines that is starting to get national attention is how much Rondo steps it up in the marquee matchups. This was further proof that Boston (15-5 since the All-Star break and now 1 game up on the Sixers) can make some noise in the playoffs.
Ray Allen missed his sixth game in a row but once again, Avery Bradley (13 points) continued to excel with more minutes. Paul Pierce added 23 points and seven rebounds, Brandon Bass had a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Kevin Garnett added 10 points and eight rebounds.
For whatever reason, the Heat weren't ready to play. They were down 10 after one quarter and rallied to cut it to 49-44 at halftime but soon enough the Celtics were up 80-56 then 89-60 in the fourth. Boston put it on cruise control after that, otherwise they could have won by 30+.
LeBron James led the Heat with 23 points and Dwyane Wade scored 15 points but Shane Battier (11 points off the bench) was the only other Miami player to score in double figures. Chris Bosh shot 2 of 11 from the floor and he had four points total.
You can't put too much stock in this game since it is only April 1 and it was at the Garden. These teams play twice more this month so particularly if the Celtics can win in Miami, then they'll be onto something. At the same time, you have to enjoy the big victories in the monotonous regular season. They don't come much more meaningful in that regard than this one.
All the final numbers point to a blowout as the Celtics shot 12.3% better (47.1-34.8), hit 13 more free throws (20-7, Bass was 10 of 10!), handed out six more assists (21-15), had three more steals (7-4) and six more fast break points (15-9).
This was the start of an insanely difficult week for the C's: they host the Spurs on Wednesday in what should be one of the best games of the regular season then stop in Chicago on Thursday and Indiana on Saturday before coming back to face the Sixers on Easter night (I'll be there too!).
They'll need some rest the next few days since it is going to be a long week. I would be content if they can go 2-2 in those four very difficult games.