Last night, the Celtics played the crucial Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Heat. After going down 2-0 in the series, they reached down into their veteran hearts, played with grit, balls, and determination, and went on to win three straight games! Now they have the chance to win the ECF at home in Boston on Thursday night!
Once again, there were some terrible calls by the refs, but they went both ways, so it evened out. There were also some great plays and hustle on both sides. For the Heat, LeBron James led the way with 30 points and 13 rebounds, carrying the team through the game with a lead over the Celtics for the majority of it. Dwyane Wade helped him with 27 points, but no other Heat players hit double digits. Everyone expected that the return of Chris Bosh (who had been out with a strained abdominal muscle) would be a big help for them. He played well to start, with 9 points and 7 rebounds, but coach Erik Spoelstra made a bad decision by only playing him for 14 minutes, and not at all in the fourth quarter, even though he said he felt fine and was ready. He said it was to be “fair.” ..huh? So Bosh ended up being a non-factor.
So to start the game, the Heat held a lead by as much as 13 points. I was actually starting to get worried because if the rest of the game went the same way, we would’ve gotten blown out. However, the Celtics rallied to come back and finish the first half only down by two points. In the second half, there was some back and forth with the scoring, but the Celtics continued on their path of determination. They were led by Kevin Garnett, who had 26 points and 11 rebounds. It was his ninth game of these playoffs with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds, which leads the NBA. Probably his most important points were from making both free throws in the last seconds of the game to seal the deal. He has been the MVP of this post-season. We’re significantly better when he’s on the floor. Paul Pierce was also big. After struggling to find his shot in the first half, he had 19 points including a HUGE 3-pointer right in LeBron’s face to give us a four point lead with 52 seconds left in the game. Rajon Rondo was another key player. Even though he struggled to score, he still made great plays, as usual, to lift the Celtics. His 13 assists gave him his 39th career playoff game with 10+ assists, which set a new franchise record.
The turning point in the game came at the end of the third quarter. The Heat had been leading the whole game and with six minutes left in the quarter the score was 59-50 in their favor. Then, the Celtics went on a 15-1 run with an 11-0 stretch to finish the quarter ahead 65-60! The best part about it was that it was fueled by bench players like Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling, and Greg Stiemsma. This gave Boston the confidence they needed to keep pushing for the win. The Heat did fight back, however and with six minutes left in the game, they were ahead 78-72. At that point, Brandon Bass went for a dunk which would’ve been huge for us, but Wade blocked it, which was huge for them. But then, Rondo made an amazing tip on the rebound to get the ball to Pietrus.. and he sinks a 3-pointer! After that, Pierce’s 3-pointer and Garnett’s free throws earned us the win.
So they go to Boston for Game 6, with a chance for the Celtics to be the Eastern Conference Champions at home.. and between these two teams, Boston deserves it much, much more.. and by Boston I mean the team and the fans. This may be the last year that our Big 3 is together, the end of an era for the Celtics. Plus these guys are getting old.. it may be their last chances at a championship. More importantly, though, the Boston fans deserve it. We are the most passionate fanbase. Miami fans, on the other hand, are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They don’t really care, they give up, and they aren’t into it. They started walking out last night when they were only down by four points near the end. Their fans are only fans when they’re winning.. or they’re girls that just think Dwyane Wade is hot, like my girlfriend (yes, I’m definitely not happy that she’s a Heat fan, but she’s not a real fan, she just likes to watch Wade, so it’s tolerable.. not ok, but tolerable).
A few months ago, nobody gave the Celtics a chance.. they weren’t even going to make the playoffs.. but everyone seriously underestimated how much heart they have as a veteran team, and how much of a difference that can make. After playing from behind for the majority of this game, then still coming back to win, and in the Heat’s house, this should be very evident.
Keep it up guys and we’ll be going to the finals! GO CELTICS!!!!
Now here’s some video highlights…
Here’s a video of Rajon Rondo getting his own rebound then getting a one-handed layup with his off-hand:
Here’s a video of Rajon Rondo’s great tip to Mickael Pietrus for a 3-pointer:
Here’s a video of Paul Pierce’s clutch 3-pointer in LeBron James’ face:
Here’s a funny video of a kid in the crowd telling the Heat “good job, good effort” after the game …lol:
Here’s another funny video of Chris Bosh being a velociraptor as usual:
Here’s a video recap of the game:
Here’s a video of the whole fourth quarter (part 1/2):
Here’s a video of the whole fourth quarter (part 2/2):
Thanks for reading,