In the second chapter of "A World Without Rondo", the Miami Heat took a swing at the star-less Celtics and pulled out a 100-84 victory at home.
It was not a pretty game to watch as the Celtics looked discombobulated without their floor general. They struggled offensively, shooting 39.8% from the field and 26.1% from deep. Tyler Zeller was one of the only bright spots on offense. He scored 13 of his 22 points in the 3rd quarter and lead a short comeback that was quickly extinguished by Luol Deng and his hot hand. Zeller finished the night 10-15 from the field with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The newcomers played their first game in green tonight, but none of the three made much of a difference. Brandan Wright played 13 minutes, scored 6 points, and showed off a bit of his length and athleticism that has got Boston on their toes for. Jae Crowder played nicely and hustled hard for 7 minutes. Jameer Nelson gave us a reason to miss Rondo. The veteran could not connect and finished the night 1-6 from the field. Nelson set Zeller up for a few easy layups, but other than that, it was a lackluster night for Jameer.
Marcus Smart got his first start as a pro and was underwhelming on offense. However, he was physical on defense and did a nice job crashing the boards.
Kelly Olynyk had a solid game scoring inside but missed all of his three pointers. Avery Bradley struggled as well, shooting just 1-10 from the field.
Despite the loss of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat had no problems scoring against the Celtics. Through the first half, they shot nearly 60% from the field. Six of the nine active players scored in the double digits, including Luol Deng who had a team leading 23 points. The rookie, James Ennis, shot well, scoring 16 points and playing the spark plug off the bench for Miami.
Life without Rondo is looking bleaker than ever. There was barely any facilitation coming from the guards. The game simply does not flow as smooth as it did before. It will take a few practices for Crowder, Nelson, and Wright to get fully integrated into the Brad Stevens system, but overall, it was a dreadful game on both sides of the ball.