Celtics Advance

The second half got tense, but the Celtics hung on and beat a game, up-and-coming Bulls team 109-99 to cap one of the very best non-NBA Finals series in league history.  The Celtics now move on to play the Orlando Magic, whose inside game built around Dwight Howard will provide the Celtics with a stern challenge, especially without KG.

Keys to the victory:

  • the continued outstanding play of Rajon Rondo (7 pts, 11 assists), who went for over 80 minutes and dished out 30 assists between turnovers.  He then committed four in the last 14 minutes of the game, but made some tremendous plays, including a 30-foot cros-court bounce pass for a Pierce layup to make it 71-62 near the end of the third quarter.  That’s just not a play most people, much less young point guards make.  He needs to solidify hus jumper, in which he clearly lacks steadiness and confidence, but once he does, he’ll be a top-five point guard, which is saying a lot in this magnificent era of point guards.
  • Boston’s bench outscoring Chicago’s 30-25, with Eddie House perfect from the floor and line to score 16.  Even Brian “Veal” Scalabrine scored 8, with 2 big 3s.
  • Forcing Chicago to shoot 39% from the floor with excellent, swarming defense.
  • Making free throws down the stretch after missing 7 of their first 14 from the line in the second half, keeping the game unnecessarily close when the had the chance to push it well into double-digits.

I don’t know how they’ll fare against the younger and rested Magic.  But I do know home court will again play a crucial role in this series, as it did for the Celtics against Chicago.  I also know the Celtics went through three seven-game series last year yet stayed fresh enough to pound the Lakers.  They’ll be hard pressed to do that this year without KG, and without Powe and the departed Posey coming off the bench.  But don’t count the Celtics out.  They played with the heart of a champion against a game and resurgent Bulls team, and had to every step of the way.

Published in: on May 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

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