Quantcast
Sunday, May 8th, 2011 at 8:40 am  |  70 responses

Post Up: Celts Hit Back

Boston takes game three; Grizzlies go up 2-1.

Memphis 101, Oklahoma City 93

Just give me the damn ball!

That’s what Keyshawn Johnson told America in 1997 with the title of his controversial autobiography. It’s also what Kevin Durant should have told Russell Westbrook at the end of Game 3 Saturday.

Hey, little man. Stop jacking bricks and feed me.

Durant is the top scorer in the League. More importantly, he’s the top fourth quarter scorer in the Playoffs. Heading into this game, he was averaging 10.6 points in that quarter on over 60 percent shooting. When the Thunder blew a 16-point third quarter lead, they should have gone to Durant to stop the bleeding.

Instead, Westbrook took it upon himself to jumpstart the offense, taking wild shot after wild shot in an attempt to fend off the ravenous Grizz. It didn’t work. The Thunder went through an eight-minute stretch without a field goal, much of it thanks to Westbrook’s ballhoggery.

Yeah, that’s a word now. Ballhoggery. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, here’s the definition.

In the end, Memphis’ unselfishness won out. The Grizzlies rode the hot hands of OJ Mayo and Mike Conley (both of whom scored 18 points), and the standout defense of Tony Allen, to a 101-93 overtime victory.

Zach Randolph was stymied all day by the barbed wire defense of Serge Ibaka (6 blocks) and Kendrick Perkins (who broke the all-time record for scowls in a game). He scored a team-high 21 points, but together he and Marc Gasol shot a combined 12 for 36.

The Thunder executed Scott Brooks’ defensive gameplan perfectly. They limited Z-Bo and Gasol inside and dominated the boards. They put the game in the hands of Conley, Mayo and Sam Young—a scary prospect if you’re at all familiar with that trio’s regular season stats.

Still, the Grizzlies won by doing what they’ve done all Playoffs: fighting their way out. They erased a 16-point late third quarter deficit through sheer will and determination and won.

That doesn’t bode well for the Thunder.

They’re clearly the more talented team, but if they’re going to come back and win this series Durant is going to have to unleash his inner Keyshawn. —Patrick Crawley (@BasketballFiend)

Boston 97, Miami 81

Rajon Rondo’s tough as nails return from a dislocated elbow understandably stole the show, but it was Kevin Garnett’s 28-point, 18-rebound performance that was the biggest reason for Boston’s 97-81 victory. For a stagnant C’s offense, Garnett was aggressive in looking for his own shot and commanding the ball on the block.

KG 2.0 has carved out a very respectable Celtics career as the defensive quarterback who will pick and pop his way to all-star numbers. Sheer domination from KG seemed like a distant memory. Wade and James certainly reinforced that belief in game 2.

Turns out that reports of Garnett’s demise were greatly exaggerated. The Big Ticket put the C’s on his back when the C’s needed it most. On defense he was everywhere and took Bosh from marginal down to irrelevant. It’s not just that he got 28 points, but it’s the how and the when that make this performance noteworthy. In the critical third quarter, Garnett totaled 14 points on a beautiful array of spins, hooks and drop steps. KG put in work in the paint to steady what was an emotional quarter of basketball. He ended up just one point shy of outscoring Miami by himself in the period.

“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,” Coach Spolestra said without hesitation, when asked about Garnett’s performance. “That’s what it reminded me of.”

“I looked for my shot to be honest,” Garnett said. “I took my opportunities and stayed aggressive.”

Garnett’s steadying presence was needed as Boston had to deal with what appeared to be a brutal injury to Rondo. After getting tangled with Wade, Rondo extended his left arm to brace for the fall and gruesomely dislocated it in the process. Rondo made a dramatic return in the fourth quarter and essentially played the rest of the game one armed with surprising success. Though by that point, KG had put in his stamp on the game to set Boston up for the win.

Wade paced Miami with 23 points and a few cheap shots for good measure. Joel Anthony, quickly stepping up as Miami’s best performing big man, was huge with 12 points and 11 boards. James went for 15 mostly uneventful points on 6-of-16 shooting.

The old adage is that it’s not a series until one team wins on the others court. This one’s in full swing because Boston has finally played to the level of their talent. Performances like this one from Garnett will go a long way in keeping the reign of Boston’s big three intact. —Jonathan Evans

  • Add a Comment
  • Share
  • RSS

Tags: , , , ,

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Paul Pierce gave it to Bron last night.
    As crazy as Russ was down the stretch, Durant was 0-7 during the 4th and OT. Lets not pin this all on Westbrook, KD had chances too. He missed the go ahead shot with only four seconds to go, remember.

  • Benn0

    In your face eboy. good to see bosh having a good game.

  • Angel of Stern

    that was a horrible game by Miami, they really need to stop playing Ilgauskas. He has to have the worst +/- rating in this playoffs (its -67 in 100 minutes)…. -67 for a team that is 6-2 in these playoffs!

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    LOL! Is Eboy going to be pulled out of week end retirement?
    Phil where you at? Bron was terrible last night. Gotta take the bad with the good, I suppose.

  • http://Slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I will never say another bad thing about Rajon Rondo. Ever…
    That is all.

  • ripslam

    Why was Zydrunas Ilgauskas hurling alley-oop passes from the three-point line? Anyway, KG and Pierce were beastin’, loved Rondo’s comeback.

  • reflex

    cosign Bryan Crawford, Rondo went up in my books last night, he had no business returning to the game after his elbow contorted like it did.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lights out

    Rondo to LeBron: this is what REAL elbow injury looks like.

  • HAMMER

    Who does KG think he is? Playin like he’s 28. Somebody needs 2 tell him he should no longer b playin like that. Haha! Awsome performance no doubt

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Co-sign Bryan Crawford.
    I’ve never really said anything bad about Rondo. And, if the Celtics have to use Delonte West as their point guard to beat the Heat, then the Celtics will have a more difficult time. This is obvious, though.
    Back to Rondo.
    If anyone ever questions this young man’s heart or guile, then they just may have something against Rondo.
    One hand.
    Legendary.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Shout out @AllBall, and The Fresh Prince of Nsam.
    Nsam, my bad about yesterday.
    You ARE the resident prince. lol

  • cuseburg

    Cosign allball, the whole thunder team was awful in the 4th q/overtime, tpu is making it look like it was all Westbrook, and it’s always gonna seem like he has the ball more because he’s the freakin point guard and on most teams in the nba the pg is the primary ball handler. You guys do realize Durant had more shots in that period right?

    On the same note have any of you noticed how ever since that 30 shot game, when ever Westbrook takes a shot and misses, the commentators and analysts go on a minute long rant about taking too many shots, shot selection, and Kevin Durant. Its like they expect dude to either not try to score or go 100% from the field, obnoxious and bizarre. Prolly part of the ESPN bullet note agenda they gotta follow. And not to say westbrook wasn’t terrible in that stretch (he was as was most of the team including Durant), but the media obsession with the idea the “closer” is getting a bit too much, especially when they start excessively going after dudes and pinning losses and wins on individuals instead of discussing team play and actual reasons to why teams are winning and losing. Heat in 6 Thunder in 7.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Miami got absolutely SMOKED in Boston, and with their big 3 healthy…

  • ripslam

    The funny thing is that this year’s Grizzlies are looking like the Thunder of last year. I predict the upset, I think it’ll go 7 games though.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I’m sticking with Grizz in 5.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    Couple things..props to rondo…but the c’s are still dead in the water. You can’t depend on kg and pierce doing that every night. Also I heard Westbrook wasn’t passing bc durant was always well defended and never in a position to score…that’s what a friend of mine said

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    ^ The Heat aint winning in Boston, kid. lol

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I hate that hypothetical stuff^^. Pierce and Garnett are HOF’ERS. James Jones is not going to score 25 ever again, with out that Miami might be down 2-1 now. Miami were the better team twice, Boston were the better team last night. They still have to win GM4 to make it a real series. They do have the momentum in their favour now, though.

  • DeeDre

    Vintage Celtics. For all the haters talking about how the Celtics can’t play defense because of Perkins, see game 3! That just shows if they put together a collective effort and play team defense they can shut down any team in the playoffs defensively.

  • T-Money

    I didnt have a chance to watch the game on a busy Saturday evening. However I saw that Z was -19 in 10 mins and Joel was +5 in 38. That’s ridiculous. Go small, Spo! Start Joel and Rio! Props to Rondo tho. But seriously, Miami is still in control of the series and have a chance to go back home 3-1. Let’s not overreact. / About the OKC thing. If KD wants the rock thenits up to him to take the rock. Cmon now.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    How are Miami still in control of the series? Boston beat Miami at home worse than Miami beat Boston at home. Boston have the momentum going in to game 4. Right now, this is any ones series. If Boston win the next game, it will still be any ones series. If Miami win the next game, it is likely over.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Interesting to see how Tony Allen is slowly but surely taking KD out of his comfort zone. Durant likrs to catch & shoot, nice rhythm shot. When he mixes it up it’s a swing-through move and short drive that he usually ends with a short J.
    TA is bumping and shoving him even before he touches the ball, then lunges hard at him when Kevin creates separation. Very agitating swipes and great defensive stance. Really good.
    The one time he tried a shot fake, he missed the jumper. KD, smooth shooter he is, still needs work on his footwork, TA is starting to put his mark on that matchup. Plus, Marc G. Played fantastic help D in Gm 3. Repeatedly left his man to help out on shooters and drives, fantastic foundation for that Grizz defense.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    That old adage about a series not starting until a team loses at home seemed empty, but after last night it may ring true.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    And my goodness, how the hell did Rajon come back from that awful injury?! Kid’s got big brass ones, even dove for a loose ball after the injury.
    Hope when the adrenalin wore off, he could still bend that arm. Without ligament damage he should be able to play Game 4, but he’ll be sore as hell today.
    I love this game, the ’11 playoffs are turning into classics already.

  • paul

    Boston added to Celtics Lore, while changing the narrative of the series, and putting the Heat on the defensive.

    BUT, they still have to win on Monday night, and that looks like a tall order right now. Not too tall, but tall.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    A Hadadi sighting too… Woohoo!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    The magic needle get Rondo ready for game 4.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    *will get

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    I would love to see Dirk close it out tonight. I don’t want to hear the chatter about the Lakers maybe coming back from 0-3 to inevitably lose. I also want Dirk to cement his career with at least one ring right now. If the Lakers some how came back Dirk will for ever be known for this and the Heat series.

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics Byebye

    Kg was hot an paul made a few threes but it’s one game let’s see if kg will have two good games in him on short rest lol where is bosh he ain’t done nothing in the playoffs brand killed him too smh

  • Fat Lever

    Loved the shot Jack Ramsey took at Pierce. His broadcasting partner on ESPN radio, after Rondo came back, was like this is shades of Pierce coming back after getting wheeled off in a wheelchair. Jack’s response, yea except Rondo has a real injury. That kid is one tough sonnofa…

  • Fat Lever

    And I want to see if KG keeps the aggressive nature going offensively in this series, because that’s the only way the Celts can beat the Heat. I think KG realizes that as well.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Remember a little while ago when I said Westbrook’s shooting habits would potentially hurt the Thunder and lots of people doubted me? Yeah, I’m looking at you c cantrell.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’ll never say anything bad about Raptor Face ever again.
    I’m still p*ssed at how he tried to hurt our white boys (Hinrich and Miller) in ’09 like his name was Rajon X or Rajon Newton, circa 1962.
    But he’s earned a lot of respect from me after coming back from that gruesome injury (did y’all see…DAMN).
    I loved watching KG get his “All Alone 21″ type game on again, too.
    The Grizzlies are playing so damn well right now, nobody’s laughing at Randolph and Conley getting paid now (would’ve been nice if Gay was playing too though)

  • el_larsen

    ouf !c’s still alive!
    that rondo injury was awful!
    kg and pierce were amazing
    jeff green is still a disappointement.shaq was limping 30second after he came in.scary.
    the westbrook/durant”gimme the ball” war is hilarious.
    in the fourth on 3 play ,westbrook dribbles down and shot without a single pass .but yeah when kd finally got the ball ,he missed so.is JAMES HARDEN the savior?lol
    hey the grizz will win in 6(love the sam young dunk)

  • el_larsen

    BUT PLEASE celtics “stop that guy called joel anthony”!!the guy averaged 2 points per game in the season and here he is cruising in the paint .it s obscene

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    Can I also add, it’s always nice to watch a Miami playoff game that’s not in Miami?
    I’m sorry, but Michael Baiamonte is just annoying as hell to me.
    “LEBROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON JAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMESSSSSS!”
    “DWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAANNNNEEE WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE!”
    By the time he gets their name out the other team has like 10 second left on their shot clock.
    And if it’s a LeBron score off a Wade dish or vice versa? Forget about it. By the time he gets it out, LeBron has already scored off a Wade dish AGAIN, and he has to do it all over again.
    lol

  • Angel of Stern

    lol at Michael Baiamonte

  • Heals

    Doc said it best post-game “They’re just a bunch of ballers…”

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    5 letters : H.E.A.R.T!
    The C’s played with heart yesterday and made me proud as a fan.
    From RONDO! 2 KG! PP! 2 the shells of the O’neils, West and even Green finally gave us something…
    At least, we are not gonna be swept…
    Cuz 2 me, The Heat still looks like the favorite 2 win this series, but like Coach T. once said, “never underestimate the H.E.A.R.T. of a Champion”.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    To be fair, Kevin Durant wasn’t shooting too well himself in the fourth quarter and in OT. He shot something like 2-10 in the final two periods.
    The Thunder have a pretty limited offense right now–if it isn’t Westbrook going 1-on-1 and pulling up, it’s Durant going 1-on-1 and pulling up. Or, it’s dribbling out the shot clock and then passing it to Durant, who has no choice but to jack up a three. Scott Brooks should seriously consider starting James Harden, or at least letting him play starter minutes over Sefolosha–just for this series. Sefolosha is a defensive stalwart but there isn’t anyone on the Grizz from positions 1-3 that are THAT dangerous (compared to their bigs, at least). Harden, on the other hand, gives you another option at the 2 guard who can create his own offense. They desperately need someone besides Durant and Westbrook to score right now, because the two of them aren’t always going to be red hot.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ cuseburg: Sure Westbrook can score, and he can shoot a lot as well. The only problem is, he’s a point guard–the point guard’s job is to the RUN THE OFFENSE. Several times in each quarter he’d bring the ball up, dribble out the clock, and jack up a jumper without making a SINGLE PASS. Not ONE pass! At least swing the ball, get SOMETHING going, and then shoot. There was one time Durant went up to set him a screen and he waved him off to go 1-on-1, and then he drove and lost the ball.
    I like Westbrook, believe me. His defense is impeccable, and offensively, if he picks his spots, he can be unstoppable. But you cannot be a point guard and shoot 7 of 22 from the field.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I wasn’t aware that Westbrook had 12 assists though–that’s good. And I’m aware that OKC needs Westbrook to score because, outside of he and Durant, no one else really does so reliably.

  • Feez22

    Lebron & bosh were pathetic last night. Wade was OK but his shot selection is still paltry. This was one of the rare times this season where the big 2.5 of Miami let down the bench. Joel Anthony had one of his best playoff games, charmers did well… If the big 2.5 score their regular 65 pts they have a chance to win. Pierce and Garnett owned big time. To the grizz… Westbrook clearly wants to be the “man”. It doesn’t get any more obvious than last game. IMO Durant was being guarded physically by Tony Allen and just like he did v artest last yr, he folded. Westbrook is still a he’ll of a player. Still underrated. However, his passing and ballhandling clearly has to improve. 7 turnovers … Twice in the past 3 games…

  • add

    thats why i respect the celtics, nothins gonna stop them from playin the game

  • O

    Real talk, I can’t stand Rondo. But he manned up last night and had a few dope plays after the injury. I respect that little bastard.

  • JTaylor21

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    J

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    E

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    T

  • Riggs

    THE BROOM IS OUT

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    ^ Not only did the Lakers get swept, they got the entire broom shoved up their arses. LMAO!

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    S

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    W

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    E

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Hahahahahahahaha!
    It’s a celebration, biatches!
    What a series, gotta beat the best to be the best!
    Dallas Mavericks, years of ridicule, heartbreak, disappointment and now this:
    Most humiliating of sweeps.
    Hey Mambiatch, way to not back up your words with deeds!
    This is freaking fantastic!

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    EP!

  • JTaylor21

    JWest wouldn’t have…………

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-ImCpNqbJw IAMORANGE4EVER

    Come home Phil, come home. Back were you belong… New York.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-ImCpNqbJw IAMORANGE4EVER

    *where

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    A big Happy Mother’s Day to all you mommas out there reveling in the Lakers getting swept while perusing the SLAM comments section. lol

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Can we all agree that Andrew Bynum is despicable?

  • vtrobot

    “ANYTHING’S POSSSSSIIIIBBBBBLLLEE!” C’s in 6. Shout out to the beast, Joe-L Anthony. @ Caboose, I’ll agree on that. Lay out the smallest guy on the other team while he’s in midair and then show everyone your baby fat on your way to the locker room. Brilliant thinking. Lakeshow, way to give your HOF coach a hard fought and classy effort in his final game. Have a great summer remembering that series. Wow. Your summer will feel as long as Dallas’ did a few years ago.

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    My bad I forgot your a celtic fan now orange smmfh…let’s just see how the celtics do with a little less rest before you declare the series over little guy. Don’t you dare act like a half dead kg and pp can get 20-15 again…you do realize rondo’s arm is broken and Shaq can barely get up the floor? The heat are winning this series son

  • http://Slamonline.com Datkid

    Seriously you guys gotta stop acting like Miami can’t beat the celts…smmfh

  • giogolo

    Bosh and Pau are almost alike in their res. series. Bosh has gotta go next year. can anyone say Nene..

  • el_larsen

    bynum ‘s foul on barea was unclassy to say the least.the artest one on game 2 was smarter.can t believe i m saying this.

  • ClydeSays

    KG definitely gets the game ball, but Rondo?! The craziest thing is when he used his dead arm to poke the ball away from Bosh and went in for a layup. Unreal.

  • ernied

    Tough Celtics team. Painful watching Shaq, Rondo and Delonte play in so much pain. I don’t see the heat totally collapse, especially with two games left at home. Lakers showed no class, and no focus. Ko-me has finally blown the team up with his selfish ego. Way to rally around your superstar, and your brilliant coach! I like Phil, and respect Kobe’s game, but they showed the only fight they had left was in the form of a few cheap shots when they were down by 30.

  • Pingback: Russell Westbrook redeems himself with Game 7 triple double | Patrick Crawley | Basketball Fiend

Advertisement