All grown up
A lot is made of the Celtics being veterans but their newly anointed best player is still fairly young by comparison. So it should come as no surprise that he's improved as he's matured.
"That’s a great area of growth," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Rondo’s biggest opponent a lot of times is Rondo. He’s so hard on himself. He wants to be great every play, every possession. "Early in his career, and it still happens now, he has a couple of bad moments and he gets down on himself. Then he’ll have a bad six or seven minutes, or even sometimes a game. I think his growth has been that he’s been able to pull out of it quicker and quicker, which obviously allows us to be a better team."
On the flipside, the Heat players might still be suffering from immaturity issues.
Watch what happens to the Heat after they miss a shot. Quite inexplicably, this athletically gifted team of defensive stoppers sometimes doesn’t get back quickly to cover the Celtics. Rajon Rondo may not have been tactful, but he was absolutely correct when at halftime of Game 4 he called the Floridians out for "complaining and crying to the referees in transition." It’s clear Miami believes it should be disposing of the Celtics more easily, and the frustration is manifesting itself in ways that would drive a youth league coach to distraction. It will, thus, be interesting to see how the Heat react when the Celts make a run. Their body language could speak volumes.
And it doesn't help that their young coach seems outmatched by the guy on the other bench.
To borrow an old political buzzword that gets tossed around once every four years, beginning with the New Hampshire primary and extending all the way to election day, one of these coaches comes across as presidential. And one of them does not.