Celtics/Heat Game 1 Recap
KG gets ejected, but Celtics win.
by Matt Lawyue / @mlawyue
Disclaimer: This is my first time covering a game in Boston as well as a Playoff game. I’ll throw in some game highlights, but for the most part, this is a recap of everything in between.
Arrived at the TD Garden with a lot of time to spare. Finding the media entrance is far easier than navigating your way around Manhattan. Surf and turf as the pregame meal in the media room hit the spot. It’s damn freezing outside in Boston now, and that bowl of clam chowder really did wonders for my stamina. The BoltBus ride from New York left my ass feeling numb and my spirits dreary. But I’m here now, navigating my way around this foreign building. And another thing, the Internet connection here puts MSG’s back to stone-age dial-up service.
Shelden Williams is in the dining room, loading up on chicken and pasta. Nobody hit him in the stomach tonight. That won’t end well for anyone. ESPN is running through their set in the hallways, while the Boston kids dance group is scurrying around. Looking at the roster, Michael Finley is wearing No. 40 for the Celtics. He’s one of five players on the Boston roster that has more than 10+ years under their belt (Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rasheed Wallace are the others). The Heat only have two, Rafer Alston and Jermaine O’Neal.
One thing to notice, the Celtics media core is a bit more “youthful” than New York’s. In the middle of Doc giving his pregame Q&A with the media, Rasheed Wallace imitated a high-pitched fire engine while running past into the locker room. What significance it has on this game remains to be seen. Of importance, Doc says Rajon Rondo is, “feeling a little bit better,” and a, “low energy Rajon is not a good thing for us.” Somebody asks what impact Michael Beasley as an “x-factor” will have. Doc says B-Easy is better than an x-factor. Next question. On how to stop Wade? “You can’t let him have both (assists and points).”
Spotted: the tiny Leprechaun guy who runs around the arena waiving a Celtics flag. Too tempted to tackle him for my own personal spike in luck.
Made it up to my seat all the way at the top of the arena. Decent view. It beats sitting with drunken fans at the Garden when you’re trying to put in work.
Triple-H promo is used to hype the crowd. Oh my.
I was wondering who these chicks in the press dining room were. They just sang the national anthem. “Jada.” Who? Exactly.
Jermaine O’Neal and KG; JO wins the tip.
The non-x factor just air-balled his first shot.
Perkins just swatted that weak stuff from JO out of here. Have a feeling this is going to be a grind it out battle tonight.
Lil Phunk, the Celtics kids dancers, are a full army. Watch out for them. The Knicks kids dancers are called, “Knicks City Kids.” Draw your own conclusions.
Tony Allen just threw it down and this place got SO LOUD.
Dwyane Wade snakes his way to the basket, without any white jersey’s putting a body on him. If the Celtic’s really want to make a deep run, they’re going to have to tighten up that D.
Sheed picks up his second foul, on a very SOFT call. A reputation foul more than anything. Of course he comes right back and hits the and-1.
Tony Allen has his shot partially blocked, but it falls in for the buzzer-beater, giving him a team-leading eight points off the bench. Wade carries the load for Miami with nine. Rondo doesn’t seem affected too bad by the illness; he puts up 4, 2 and 1.
29-28, Heat on top of the Celtics.
The difference between Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers? Ray knows how to win aka, he dived onto the floor for that loose-ball, which resulted in a bucket.
Boston just showed a Dennis Johnson montage set to a Creed song. Really? I thought you were respecting him.
It’s 37-34 Heat with 3:52 left in the second. It’s surprising that it’s not surprising what the score is. Wade getting to the cup at will, while Ray can’t buy a bucket.
KG comes out to help on Wade who puts up the shot, only to leave Haslem open for the put back. What Boston defense?
Q with a three that pushes the lead to 44-36 with 1:22 left in the second. Also, KG has this bandage over his eye that makes him look like a pirate.
Rondo hits a jump-shot to beat the buzzer. Two quarters in a row now for the Celtics. They trail at the half 44-41. Ray Allen goes 0-4 from downtown; Pierce takes only only one shot and the Celtics turn the ball over five times.
Looking at the stat sheets, the Heat out rebounded the Celtics on the offensive glass 8-2. The C’s are doing a majority of their damage in the paint, putting up 28 of their 41 down low. It’s going to take much more involvement from Pierce and Ray if the Celtics have any chance of winning this game. And somebody needs to put a body on D-Wade while they’re at it.
Celtics start the quarter with a turnover. Doc can’t be pleased.
D-Wade throws down a dunk off a missed shot. Another offensive board causes Doc to call for a quick timeout. The Celtics are a mess right now.
Q hits his seconds three of the quarter. He’s killing them from beyond the arc. His third of the game.
Flash just cut threw the Boston D like it didn’t even exist. This is embarrassing for the Celtics right now. 59-45 with 7:26 to go.
Flash again. Flash block!
The Celtics go on a run due to a lot of Paul Pierce and some actual defense. Heat within three, 2:32 remaining.
Pierce just gestured to the crowd after getting hit to the floor. Crowd back in it. Celtics back in it. Pierce puts up 11 and it’s just a 66-62 Heat lead to end the third.
The lack of celebrity power here at the TD Garden is puzzling. It makes it completely about the fans, but how much of drunk fans and a leprechaun can you take on the jumbo-tron?
Pierce, Rondo, Tony Allen, Davis and Sheed to start the fourth.
Wright, Chalmers, O’Neal, Arroyo and Haslem for the Heat.
The Heat are falling apart right now. Dribbling off the foot for TO’s and careless play.
Big Baby just fell on the floor and flipped up like an acrobat, hitting the and-1 in the process. Who knew he was so nimble?
Wade with the clear alley-oop to Haslem, who blows it. Pretty much sums up the Heat play right now. Next possession down, Wade dribbles a ton then chucks up a three that hits nothing. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but let’s hope he gets some help over this summer. 74-68 Celtics.
Dropkick Murphys’ Boston anthem is played during the timeout, and then KG proceeds to slam it home.
Ray Allen bricks another J, giving him just six points on the night. Something’s not right with him.
Beasley barrels into the Boston defense, drawing the offensive foul. It takes Q to restrain him from going after the ref. Frustrating night for the young fella.
With the game pretty much locked up, Pierce is on the floor grabbing his mouth. Looks like it was started by Q, who started pushing and gesturing. KG pushed and pushed back. Hard to tell from up here. Haslem and Glen Davis get a T each. Twitter is telling me it’s KG’s doing. Still need to see a replay. After a ref review, KG has been handed two T’s and is tossed from the game. Uh oh.
Game 1 ends 85-76. Celtics up 1-0.
Kevin Garnett on the incident:
“I saw Q standing over him talking nonsense and I asked him to give him some room and before you know it mayhem just started. They have history from bumping heads in the past, I have no beef with Q, I know him personally. I thought what he did was a bit disrespectful by standing over him. I’m a vet, I gotta use my head. I don’t even remember elbowing anybody. I was just concerned about Paul, that was it. You make your bed, you gotta lay in it.”
Paul Pierce on the incident:
“Kind of numb my whole arm and I went to the ground. I really didn’t know Q was standing there. I was feelin the pain going down my shoulder.”
Doc Rivers on the incident:
“I haven’t seen it yet, so I’ll look at it tonight. The only lesson there for us, we gotta get out of there. We had the lead and nothing good can happen to us in that situation. I know they were concerned about Paul. I just kept telling them, we have the lead guys. I don’t think he (KG) was the instigator, I did see that much.”
Dwyane Wade on the incident:
“It made it a playoff. A couple of basketball players acting tough.”
A common theme between all of their press conferences was the solid play of Tony Allen. He came off the bench and provided solid defense on D-Wade for stretches of the game and chipped in 14 points on 7-12 shooting.
It remains to be seen what, if any, suspension is handed down to KG.
This series was just taken to a whole new level.