Playoff Picture: Eastern Converence Round 1 Game 2
Time: Tuesday April 20th, 8:00PM EST
Venue: TD Garden
TV: TNT. CSN-NE Radio: WEEI
The Line: Heat are 0-3 in the regular season against our boys, Boston is 6-7 this season
when Garnett is not playing.
Ohhhh baby! It's on! It's here! Playoff basketball. Fights, trash talking, bad blood, come from behind victories...ah but enough about my love life. Lets talk about the game.
Last game was pretty tough. Every Celtics fan out there that has been consistently watching this season walked into this series holding their breaths praying that the Celtics would just suddenly gel. Well, they didn't. Down three at the half and down 2 after the third, it took tremendous contributions from Glen Davis and Tony Allen to pull that one out, and it probably didn't do too much to dissuade any fears about tonight.
Well, I'm here to tell you not to worry. While it is true that the Celtics are 6-7 this season playing without Kevin Garnett, Forget about that. Last season, when Baby and Powe Power were manning the 4 when KG was out, we went 21-8 during the regular season. Last post season, when KG was out, we went 7 and 7, losing out to the eventual Eastern Conference Champions without Kevin Garnett, and Glen Davis starting.
Forget about this season, because to paraphrase the illustrious German singer Nena's fantastic song 99 Red Ballons (in a part of the song which does not belay the ultimate peaceful message of the piece) "This is what we're waiting for/this is it boys, this is war!"
Last game proved that these C's will not go quietly into the light (by light in this instance I mean a job for TNT as a radio broadcaster or analyst). These Celtics will fight, and even if it takes until the 4th quarter they'll pull it out. Garnett might be suspended, but his elbows will be with us in the spirit of an over zealous but well meaning 6'7 300lbs force of nature called...the Ticket Stub. Fear not Celtics fans, we got this.
Spot-on analysis and probably a good portion of hyperbole and bad jokes, after the jump!
Probable Starting Lineups:
The Miami Heat
Injuries and Stuff: Quintin Richardson has a bad case of 'Punkitis' and Jermaine O'Neal has a bad case of 'tough in a crowd', but both are expected to play.
Injuries and stuff: Kevin Garnett is suspended for the game and regrettably it looks like Paul Pierce is...wait...wait! He's up! He's ok! We're all gonna be ok!
Matchup of the night: Tony Allen V Dwyane Wade
This is the biggest match-up of the night by a long measure. Before Tony Allen started playing crazy ninja style drunken master defense on Dwyane Wade the Heat were in control of the game. About midway though the second half though Tony Allen just completely stopped Dwyane Wade from getting to the hoop. Regrettably this means that Ray Allen, nominated by Dos Equis as "The Most Classiest Man Alive", will lose some of his PT. The Fact of the matter is though that Ray was cold in game 1, and he can't stay in front of Wade. Just can't do it. If the Celtics want this game they need Tony Allen to come up big again and stay in front of Mister GQ Wade.
Runner Up: Glen Davis V Micheal Beasley
This is important two-fold for the Celtics on one front, Garnett owns Beasley. KG is taller, he's smarter, he's more passionate, and ironically (ironic because KG is out of this game for an impulsively thrown elbow) he's more disciplined. Glen Davis is shorter, he's slower, and Beasley is probably going to come into this game feeling pretty good about his odds.
On the other front, Glen Davis had a fantastic game on Saturday in another one of his "Pure Hustle Saturday Night Specials" performances. The Celtics are going to need that in spades tonight, especially with Rasheed getting a lot more minutes, even with Davis starting.
Three Keys To The Game For The Good Guys:
1) Stop Dwyane Wade. Stop Him Now.: Wade had his way with us on Saturday for much of the game. He made us his pretty little girls. Then, enter Tony Allen. The Celtics need to keep in front of Wade from minute one tonight, and force them to consistently go to other inferior options such as Micheal Beasley, or Jermaine O'Neal.
2) When Ray Allen Is In, Make Them Count: There are seriously maybe 1 or 2 things on this team that gets them more juiced than a Ray Allen transition 3. The only things I can thing of is a KG dunk in traffic, or a Paul Pierce and-1. Ray Allen, even if Dwyane Wade did tattoo his name on Ray's forehead last game, is still a very important part of this team. The Celtics need positive contributions from him.
3) Shut Down The Rest Of The So-Called 'Heat': After Wade, the entire rest of the team is a single cover, at worst. These guys are not top tier players. Beasley is the definition of unreliable. Jermaine O'Neal has never, even in his prime days, been a high % shooter. Quintin Richardson is allegedly going to spend the game throwing up because the support staff at the garden is going to put eye drops in his Gatorade. There are literally no viable options beyond Wade, as long as our boys commit.
Epilogue: This win is there for the taking if our boys want it. We need committed defense on Wade from the opening tip. We need committed defense from the rest of the team against what should be very do-able assignments. We need Paul Pierce to play well and not get into it with Quintin Richardson. That's why we have things calls "Nate Robinsons", or "Sheldon Williamses".Also, We need more Cowbell.
Alright. Enjoy the game. Don't drink too much, you know you have to go to work tomorrow, and be sure to join us in the Chat Room. Tonight is 'Angry Old Man Night', so Master Po and Reyquila drink free!
Goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow.