The Celtics have gotten rid of their morning walkthrough, but that doesn’t mean we have to. Here are a few Celtics links, and maybe even an NBA link or two, to help wake you up and get you focused for the day.
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston – “After the timeout, Allen popped to the top of the key, acting as a decoy, while Rondo ran off a screen from Glen Davis on the wing and curled hard to the basket. Pierce then delivered a perfect lob to the right-hand side of the rim, and Rondo easily caught the pass and layed it in to force the extra session. In OT, Rondo scored three more buckets to help Boston to victory. ‘We’ve been working on that play for a long time, actually since last year,’ Rondo told reporters after the game. ‘As soon as Wade stole the ball, I knew exactly that was the play we were going to run. I just had to catch it and lay it in. [Pierce] wanted me to dunk it, but I didn’t want to miss a dunk for the game, so I just laid it in.’ ‘It worked against us in practice a couple of times,’ coach Doc Rivers said. ‘The tough part is the pass. We needed it. What a great win for us.’”
Steve Bulpett, Boston Herald – “The OT was rather anticlimactic, for people will be talking for quite some time about the wild end to regulation. The Celtics had the ball with 5.5 seconds to go in a tie game and were looking for the last shot. But Wade stole the ball from Allen and raced in to jam with six-tenths of a second left. Doc Rivers had to yell to hustle his dejected troops in for a 20-second timeout, but their mood would change shortly. ‘I had to drag them to the timeout,’ the coach said. ‘They thought the game was over. (Assistant coach) Kevin Eastman kept yelling, ‘The game is not over.’”
A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE – “And Pierce, whose minutes were supposed to be limited, came pretty close to playing a full game. Afterward, Doc Rivers said he did notice that the 43-plus minutes played by Pierce was affecting his play in the fourth quarter and overtime. ‘I thought he got tired at the end,’ Rivers said. ‘That’s why we went away from him down the stretch, put the ball in Ray’s and Rondo’s hands more. We just thought he was running on ‘E.’ But he’s a hell of a decoy.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “The Celtics not only rallied to even the Heat, they took a four-point lead with under a minute left, only to blow it and have to rely on a perfectly executed alley-oop to Rajon Rondo for the tying bucket at the buzzer to send it to overtime. By that time, the Celtics had figured out how to contain Wade, who scored 44 points, and force other Heat players to deliver. They didn’t. Rasheed Wallace said after the game that the Celtics knew that most of the Heat players didn’t want to take the big shots, so they relied on Wade, who took 33 percent of Miami’s shots.”
Jerry Spar, WEEI – Wallace was fighting for a rebound with Udonis Haslem when the whistle blew. He was done for the night and he did not agree with the call. This set up one of the most critical moments of the fourth quarter. If Wallace argued the call, he could have been T’d up. That would have put the Heat at the line in a close game, plus put Wallace one step closer to a suspension. Aware of this, the Boston bench immediately snapped into action. ‘I gave the MVP, I told all the guys, to the bench when Rasheed fouled out,’ Rivers said. ‘They all grabbed him and dragged him off the floor. I thought that might have been the most important play of the game because a tech was coming soon. I’ve never seen Scal [Brian Scalabrine] and J.R. [Giddens] and Billy [Walker] [do that], I thought that was terrific.’”
Chris Forsberg, ESPNBoston - “Celtics coach Doc Rivers won’t be thrilled with his team’s overall performance when he watches tape from Wednesday’s overtime thriller against the Heat, but you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face following the 112-106 triumph in Miami. ‘What a great win for us,’ Rivers beamed after recapping the final play of regulation, in which Paul Pierce lofted a perfect alley-oop to Rajon Rondo for an overtime-forcing lay-in at the buzzer. ‘We had it in our hands and literally gave it back. Then for us to keep believing.’”
Gary Washburn, Boston Globe – “Lester Hudson has to clear waivers — he has until Friday to do so — and the Celtics could bring him back on a 10-day contract. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge said the Celtics could “possibly” bring Hudson back if he is not claimed by another NBA team or they could keep the roster spot open and bring in another player on a 10-day contract.”