Chris Bosh had a pain in his neck during Game 3.
During Game 4, he was a pain in the Celtics' neck.
If the Celtics were to move on in this series, Kevin Garnett had to win the matchup battle between the two. So far, that has held true. Garnett only won the Game 3 matchup, and the Celtics won handedly.
Instead of building on that game, Garnett played his worst of the series, going just 1-for-10 from the field, hitting his first shot and missing the rest. Jumpers weren't falling, put-backs weren't happening, and KG never got in any sort of rhythm. He grabbed ten rebounds, but none of them offensive.
On the contrary, Bosh followed up his worst game of the series with his best. Bosh dropped 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on the Celtics, none bigger than the two-point put-back that put the Heat up by five points with just 24 seconds to play and no timeouts left.
Up three points, the Heat had the Celtics in a switch, with Garnett at the key on LeBron James. Once James hoisted the shot, the rebound was up for grabs. Garnett wasn't in position to box out, and that left Bosh open for the easy tip-in.
"There has been so much discussion about Chris and usually it's revolving around how many points he scores," Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said. "I continue to remind him (that) he doesn't have to answer to anyone's critics and expectations. He has a specific role for us.
"He played extremely tough in the second half. We needed all those rebounds. Fifteen (points) and nine (rebounds) I believe he had in the second half. When he rebounds well, we usually win. When he focuses in on his rebounding, defense and covering ground it generates a lot of good things for him."
It may appear that with just ten total shots, the Celtics weren't trying to go to Garnett. That's not the case though, as the Heat just simply defended him much better this time around.
"We tried to get him the ball," Rondo said. "Give them credit they did a good job of fronting him and double-teaming. He's a very unselfish guy, he's not going to force shots."
Rondo makes a good point. Simply adding more pressure, or double-teaming at times will basically take Garnett's offensiveness out of the game. The problem with that for opposing teams is that Garnett is a great passer, and can often times find the open man or make the right decision if he's double-teamed. But just two assists on the night doesn't back that argument up much.
"They trapped him a couple of times and I thought he was probably looking more for traps," Coach Doc Rivers said. "We have to get him down there more; we tried. I think he was looking for - he was looking to be a passer to me more than being an aggressive scorer. And that was that."
Maybe it was the lack of rest after Garnett's monster Game 3 that put him behind the eight ball Monday night. If that's the case, another one-day layoff before Game 5 isn't good news. But Garnett knows that his days, and the Celtics' days as legitimate contenders are numbered, so if you don't think he plans on coming back strong from this game, you don't know Kevin Garnett.
After the game, somebody asked him what he thought of Bosh's play.
Garnett doesn't want to talk about opposing players, fine. But the question won't be asked if Bosh is silenced on the court.
The Lakers Exit
If you ask any Celtics fan, their dream NBA Finals scenario is Celtics vs. Lakers. It's happened twice as of late, with each team taking the title. A third and final round would have been epic, but with the Lakers being swept out of the playoffs, it's not in the cards.
Prior to Game 4, Ray Allen was asked about his thoughts on the series, and what happened to the Lakers.
"So many times you wonder what happened, but Dallas just beat them," he said. "You have to give Dallas credit. They played the way they wanted to play. They kept the Lakers from being who they are. They exposed whatever weaknesses they had. That's the whole point of executing the playoff game plan."
Now, the Celtics face elimination down three games to one to the Miami Heat, and Ray Allen may be able to substitute "Miami" for "Dallas" and "Celtics" for "Lakers".
The similarities might not end there either.
The Celtics, like it or not, may be heading down the same path as their hated rivals. Both teams are at the point where they have to make major roster decisions. Do they blow it up? Do they keep the core together? What's going to happen with their head coach? All these questions remain unanswered, but the one thing the Celtics still have going for them this season is hope.
If the Celtics do go out, they won't go out the way the Lakers did - with little to no effort and little to no class. It's a shame that if Phil Jackson does end up retiring, he will do so with that as his last career game as a head coach.
"It's too bad, because he's the greatest coach -- won all those championships -- maybe in American sports, not just basketball," Doc Rivers said. "For a coach, and a guy that's been around the league, even against him as a player, you don't like to see guys like that leave the game. They contribute to the game.
"I wouldn't be shocked someday to see him back, personally. I understand what's he's doing."
Perhaps Rivers offers yet another comparison with that last statement.