Jermaine O’Neal was careful not to give much credit to the Boston Celtics, even after the C’s defense limited Miami to only 10 fourth-quarter points in Saturday’s Game One. (NBA.com)
“More than anything, [Game 1] wasn’t necessarily about what they did,” O’Neal said. “It was more about what I allowed to happen. And that’s guys shading off me to go help on other guys. And that hasn’t happened in years. And I just absolutely just sat on the other side and let them do it. That’s one thing that I was really disappointed about when I looked at the film. And I can guarantee that won’t happen again.”
To be fair to Jermaine, he wasn’t the only player who the Celtics could afford to help off. Michael Beasley only scored 6 points and two major bench contributors, Dorell Wright and Mario Chalmers, combined for only 13 points on 3-14 shooting.
“We had a lot of guys who weren’t aggressive,” [Dwyane] Wade said. “I thought we relied on me too much at times to make the plays and get into the paint, when [the Celtics] weren’t allowing me to do that at certain times.”
Was it really Jermaine O’Neal’s fault the Celtics played lockdown defense over the past 20 minutes or so of Saturday’s game? Not entirely. But Miami wouldn’t mind if the big fella shot better than 3-14 next game.