at Miami Heat (0-0) at Boston Celtics (0-0)
Tuesday, April 27
7:00 PM ET
Round 1 Game 5 Home Game 3
NBA-TV, CSN-NE, Sun Sports
Radio: WEEI, WINZ
TD Garden ProbableStarting Matchups Point Guard
Rajon Rondo 13.7 PPG 9.8 APG 2.3 SPG
Carlos Arroyo 6.1 PPG 3.1 APG 0.5 SPG Shooting Guard
Ray Allen 16.3 PPG 2.6 APG .363 3P%
Dwyane Wade 26.6 PPG 6.5 APG .300 3P% Small Forward
Paul Pierce 18.3 PPG 4.4 RPG 3.1 APG
Quintin Richardson 8.9 PPG 4.9 RPG 1.2 APG Power Forward
Kevin Garnett 14.3 PPG 7.3 RPG 0.8 BPG
Michael Beasley 14.8 PPG 6.4 RPG 0.6 BPG Center
Kendrick Perkins 10.1 PPG 7.6 RPG 1.7 BPG
Jermaine O'Neal 13.6 PPG 6.9 RPG 1.4 BPG Off the Bench Reserves
Rajon Rondo (bruised fingers) will playOff the Bench
Udonis Haslem Injuries
None Key Stats from Game 4Free ThrowsCeltics 16-27, Heat 15-25
A couple of things about free throws. First, while the number of free throws shot were very close between the two teams, fouls played a big part in giving the Heat an advantage. Both Ray and Pierce picked up 2 quick fouls in the first quarter. Not long after returning to the game, both picked up another quick foul. Both ended up with 5 fouls for the game while no Heat player was in foul trouble throughout the game. Pierce and Allen both were key in the first 3 wins and with both having to play tentatively because of foul trouble, it limited them through much of the game in this one. Second, the Celtics missed 5 free throws down the stretch. Ray missed 3 in a row and KG missed 2. The Celtics must make their free throws. If they are going to get to the line, they have to make them count. ReboundsCeltics 31 (4 offensive), Heat 43 (9 offensive)
Rebounding for the most part are the result of hustle energy and effort. The Celtics out rebounded the Heat in games 2 and 3 and the result was 2 wins. The Heat put more effort into grabbing rebounds, especially on the offensive end for second chance baskets and they pulled out the win in this game. Field Goal Percentage Celtics 49%, Heat 50%
The Celtics struggled from beyond the arc and hit only 8-21 while the Heat hit 10-18 from the outside. The fact that the Heat shot 50% is evidence that the Celtics defense let down their guard, literally. If they want to close this series out in 5 games, defense must be a priority.Key Matchups
Ray Allen/Tony Allen vs Dwyane Wade
Ray shot the ball fairly well (5-10 from the field, 3-6 from three) but he was in foul trouble for much of the game and so wasn't as aggressive as he might have been otherwise. Wade simply took over down the stretch. He finished the game with 46 points. The Celtics must slow Wade down in this game and get Ray some open looks.
Rajon Rondo vs Carlos Arroyo
Rondo continues to dominate the Heat point guards. He finished this game with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. He bruised his fingers on a hard foul by Joel Anthony late in the game and hopefully that won't affect him in this game. The Celtics need Rondo to continue to be aggressive. Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs Michael Beasley
Beasley was very active in game 4 and was aggressive on both offense and defense. He showed what he can be capable of if he sets his mind to it. On the other side KG looked the best he has since his injury. The Celtics need KG to continue to play well and be the leader for them and he will also need to keep Beasley from finding any kind of rhythm in this game. Players to Watch
Like Ray Allen, Pierce was hampered much of game 4 with foul trouble. Because of that, his defense on Richardson suffered as did his aggressiveness in driving to the basket. The Celtics need Pierce to be aggressive on both ends of the court.
Richardson became the first and only Heat player other than Wade to score 20 points in a game in this series. He was 4-6 from beyond the arc and the Celtics must cover him better on the perimeter especially if he starts to get hot again in this game. Game Notes
The Celtics had a very good chance to sweep this series and basically gave game 4 away (with the help of some strategically called fouls). Allowing the Heat to shoot 50%, missing layups and free throws down the stretch, and falling behind by 18 points early were inexcusable for a team that hopes to win a championship.
With the Cavs losing a game in Chicago, the Celtics blew a great chance to rest up for the next series. I don't see Cleveland losing a game on their home court to the Bulls so if the Celtics don't want the Cavs getting rested up for them, they must come out and take care of business in this game.
The Celtics have proved they are capable of putting this team away and they need to do it. They can be their own worst enemy. After all the talk from this team about how they were viewing the series like it was 3-3 before game 4, they didn't play with the energy or the effort that a game 4, let alone a game 7 would require. Hopefully they take this one more seriously and get it done. Keys to the GameDefense
The Celtics won their championship because of their tough team defense. They won games 1, 2 and 3 because of tough team defense, especially down the stretch. In game 4 they allowed the Heat to shoot 50% from the field and score 101 points. They also allowed Dwyane Wade to take over the game down the stretch. Defense wins championships and that must be the Celtics main focus in this game. Rebound
Rebounding is very important in the playoffs. Allowing offensive rebounds gives them second chance points. Allowing defensive rebounds allows them to get out on the break. Rebounding is also a measure of a team's effort and energy levels. In game 4, the Heat out-rebounded the Celtics by 12 and that shows that they wanted that game more. They out hustled and out worked the Celtics. The Celtics must win the rebounding battle if they want to close this series out now.
Move the Ball
When the Celtics move the ball, make the extra pass and find the open man, the Celtics offense is hard to stop. They have to avoid the do it myself mentality that they have reverted to in many games this season and even for short periods in this series. They have to make up their minds to win as a team. They need to have the ubuntu mentality in this game and throughout the playoffs if they want a chance to win another championship. Killer Instinct
The Celtics have to come out strong and keep the pressure on throughout the game. They were sleep walking through the first quarter of game 4. They also had a 7 point lead in the 4th quarter and then let up and allowed the Heat to come back to win the game. They have to regain that killer instinct to come out strong to get a team down and then keep them down. Slow Down D Wade
- Wade went off for 46 points in game 4. The Celtics had been able to contain him somewhat in the first 3 games but the defense faltered in game 4. If he scores over 40 points, the Heat has a good chance to win. The Celtics have to do a better job of slowing him down, especially down the stretch. He can't be allowed to take over the game again. X-FactorsHome Court and the Refs
The Celtics will be back at home and in spite of their struggles at home this season, they have to be more focused at home in the playoffs and the home crowd needs to give them the extra energy to close this one out.
If the officiating crew is Bavetta, Salvatore, and Crawford, we may as well forfeit this one and avoid any suspensions and injuries that may occur as a result of these three stooges.