|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets||Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves|
The Celtics now trail the Heat 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, the same predicament they were in last year’s playoffs against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Game 4 is Monday night at the TD Garden.
Read more of Ryan’s live blog here:
We’re here live from
the TD BankNorth Garden Wrentham, MA for Game 3 of Celtics/Heat. Ryan Hadfield has with him a sixer of Miller Lite (You stay classy, Ryan), 7 slices of Papa Gino’s Pizza, and a coffee for when the inevitable food coma hits. Interesting life decisions made by Ryan Hadfield, considering all three items will make his trip to the gym obsolete within 20 minutes….
Notice how Ryan is referring to himself in the third person? Annoyed by that? Think it’s a little pretentious, and wondering why he keeps doing it?
Well, Ryan Hadfield is mimicing Celtics captain Paul Pierce who yesterday said the following:
“Paul Pierce being in the game in the fourth quarter is always going to help the Celtics.”
If not, I’ll delve a little further and broach some other pregame storylines as tip-off approaches..
7:50 – My mom, enters the room and swiftly mentions she wants to watch the end of Hope Floats on the WE channel. I tell her about my plans, and she replies angrily, “It’s only 20 of?” God I love living at home…
7:53 – ABC has the game starting at 8:15, I pressumed it was an 8 PM start, because that would make sense. Vacillating between Donny Marshall, Greg Dickerson and CSN’s coverage and Hope Floats. Maybe my mom was on to something?
7:57 – I’ll say this much: With Marshall’s power suits (the only analogous is Kirk Herbstreit from ESPN’s College Gameday), Gary Tanguay’s Buddy-Holly glasses, and the inside acesss — CSN does a GREAT job covering the C’s. As my colleague, Brian Moller, tweeted CSN’s coverage of the Bruins is better than NESN’s, and they don’t even carry the games?!?
7:59 – D. Marsh mentions the Celtics can’t play ‘hero basketball’ tonight, if they want to win. I’m getting teary-eyed since ‘hero basketball’ was the first thing I wrote about for Sports of Boston. D. Marsh winked, pounded his chest, and name-checked me. None of that happened, actually, but I felt like in a different life it did.
8:05 – Switching over to national coverage. Immediately, it’s evident Jon Barry spray tans. Barry continues a strong performance calling Mike Wilbon, “Wilby.”
8:08 – A new Buick commercial tells us how a new model has an astronomical amount of ‘thoughts,’ leading me to think we’re drifting slowly towards IRobot becoming a reality.
8:11 – I swear, eventually, this blog will involve some basketball analysis.
8:12 – Really hope they show the player intros. Always fun to watch. In other news, Stu Scott just called Wilbon, “Wilby” too. When did we decide this nickname? Was there a referendum? From the Really-I-didn’t-see-that-coming department, to close the show, Magic Johnson picks Miami to win tonight.
8:17 – No player intros. Makes as much sense as the 8:18 start time. Whatever. Lets jump it up!
(Done in time remaining in the quarter)
10:40 - First two Miami possessions include a Mike Bibby contested three with plenty of time left on the shot clock, and Big Z awkwardly driving in the paint.
8:40 – That’s obviously a great sign for Boston. Pierce makes Bibby look, well, like Bibby and draws a foul on a three pointer. To Bibby’s credit, he’s played well for Miami thus far. LBJ nails a jumper, Rondo is abused, JO blocks Wade in transistion, and Truth nails a three….Dear God! 8 points for Pierce. There was something to that whole, “Paul Pierce playing for the Celtics is always good” stuff.
7:00 – Am I the only one who still freaks out whenever KG lands, because of his knee injury that ruined the promising 2009 season? Maybe I’ll make a facebook group. Is it a red flag that this is the largest lead the Celtics have had in the series and we’re 5 min in? Pierce has 10.
Commerical Break – Excited that this year’s “Price of Persia crappy summer movie that NBA fans will have to watch 8,072 previews for” this season is Pirates of the Carribbean 17
2:41 – LBJ with a great block on JO. Joel Anthony (from north of the border) lets Canada down after traveling. LBJ nails a jumper in Pierce’s face, Jeff Van Gundy tells us if he nails those shots then the C’s are in trouble. Thanks for that, Jeff. D-Wade on a break-away jam created from LBJ hustle. Ray Allen knocks down a three, but no cut to his mom Flo. Mike Bibby ‘Bibby’d’ another shot, and Pierce makes Miami pay on the other end. Joel Anthony with back to back baskets, at least you have him to pull for Habs fans. Mark Jackson makes some terrible pun about Pierce and the Truth. C’s still up. Great pace. 23-17.
2:20 – Underrated subplot from first two games, Delonte West played great. Comes in and knocks down jumper. 25-17 C’s.
1:10 – Shaq hits awkward lay-in, and looks like a present day old wrestler who shouldnt be in the squared circle while tracking back. Ric Flair? Or maybe Hulk Hogan?
End of First Quarter – Not happy I just compared a key cog to a broken down professional wrestler, but that wasn’t exactly a Willis Reed-esq 2 min appearance from Diesel. Also a little worried that the C’s punched Miami in the mouth, Miami looked at it’s own blood, turned and smiled almost as to say, “Is that all you got?” They are not going away.
Commercial Break – Lipitor tells us the seriousness of high cholesterol. NBA going with the talking ball gimmick this year, I enjoyed the “Where amazing happens” spots better.
10:26 – 27-23, Celts still up. Do you think Miami would give us Joel Anthony for Jeff Green?
10:00 – Chalmers did not have posession, dubious call on Ray there. Still no Flo? Chalmers with a foul and 1, though no way he called glass on that.
9:08 – Delonte West had a guitar case full of guns; Mario Chalmers got caught smoking weed – both of these guys are going back and forth. And yes, we’re rooting for the guy who was pulled over on his motorcylce with the guns like he was a character in the original Punisher movie.
Commercial Break – Ugh Miami is pulling closer with the likes of Chalmers and Anthony. Meanwhile, Big Baby is getting worked by Anthony on the glass and Jeff Green is doing Jeff Green things. C’s up 1.
7:00 – KG stops the bleeding with a tough jumper, but Anthony puts back a blown lay up. THEN Anthony foils a Ray Allen break away lay up — Anthony is on his way to earning the Leon Powe Memorial Award given to a guy playing wayyyyy above his capabilities.
5:12 - JO stuffed at point blank range for the second time tonight, Chalmers nails a three. Miami up 2. Anthony hits another fall-away in traffic, dear God. Miami up 4. Chalmers/Anthony will be on the Miami Heat chamipionship DVD, while I drink whiskey to suffice the pain. Anthony is playing better than Bosh, and answers the question: Miami would not take Green for the pride of Canada. Jackson says “Three pointers are Challlllmmeers (going for charmer but it was a stretch)” and I crack open another beer.
4:00 – Celtics offense in a funk at an inopportune time, as we were just treated to a Joel Anthony montage.
2:30 – KG refuses to die quietly, knocks down two jumpers in a row. Delonte for THREEEEEEEEEEE! WE’RE BACK! WE’RE SO BACCCCCK. AND WE’RE THE THREE BEST FRIENDS THAT ANYONE COULD EVER HAVE!! Celts up 1, no eulogy…..yet.
Commercial Break: How great would it be if during one of these Gatorade “Before, During, After” commericals, they showed a baseball locker room during the before and cut to one of the players shooting up some steroids, while the other is using Gatorade?
20 Seconds – West channels his inner Paul-Pierce, gets injured, and comes down the court - while visibly ailing – and knocks down a three. Wade answers with a dunk from a LBJ feed. Timeout, Celtics.
4 Seconds – Rondo throws the ball away, as Pierce gives him the “I’m not mad, just disappointed” face. Me too, Paul. Me too.
Thoughts: Joel Anthony’s swan song won’t drivel into the second half, but Wade and LBJ have yet to play their best – and that’s frightening. Meanwhile, the Celtics are only down 2 but it feels like 12. Not good vibes from the Gahhhden whatsoever. Hopefully things take a signficant turn, or else we need to start thinking about the Dwight Howard and Rajon era. With that thought, I’m going to go get another beer. I’ll be back at the start of the third quarter…
11:09 – Chris Bosh continues to make ‘The Bosh Pit’ the funniest punch line since “I’m Rick James Bitch”, with his play. KG scores two quick buckets, and the Celts re-take the lead.
9:50 – Rondo throws the ball away (twice) on one trip down the floor. Pierce nailes a three! Pierce and KG playing out of their mind…oh yeah, along with Joel Anthony.
7:51 – Pierce nails yet ANOTHER three, playing like a captain should — leading by example. Celtics back up 8, Pierce with 18 on 6-14 shooting.
7:42 – PP steals the ball coming out of timeout, KG with another bucket in the lane – he now has 18.
7:02 – Rondo is given a Russian Leg Sweep by D. Wade; and our season hangs in the balance with his health.
5:38 – Wade and Allen get into as D. Wade tries taking out starting back court in the span of 2 minutes. Chris Bosh touches the ball, and reacts like he’s playing hot potatoe with it. High comedy.
4:20 – KG hits another jumper, 20 points for the Big Ticket. Joel Anthony picks up where he left off, and continues to make a strong case for a starting spot over Bosh.
4:06 – Pierce with a basket and 1 on the break; Celtics up 9.
2:25 – LBJ gets called for a charge, bad night for him (3-10 shooting, overall non-factor). HOWEVER, KG with 24 points on 11-16 shooting to go along with 12 boards. If he does retire – which is a strong rumor – after this season then you can’t say he didn’t battle to the end.
End of Third Quarter – Pierce lays off a pass to KG, to give the C’s a 14 point lead. Appropriate that those two were involved in the close, since they’ve put the Celts on their collective back. Chalmers answers with a 3, and tells the crowd to SHHHHHHH, which would be fine if they weren’t trailing by 11. Overall, good vibes. Interesting that Pierce was shut out in the second quarter, and that’s when the C’s relinquished the lead as things grew bleak. Rondo’s coming back in the game; after the doctor’s popped his dislocated elbow back into place. Great game so far.
(As it starts, I’m holding four fingers up like I’m a football player..My mom walks in, “There’s on encore showing of Hope Floats on…,” I quickly retort, “Not now, Mom. I’m in the zone)
10:38 - Jeff Green with the first four points of the quarter. Didn’t see that coming, but then again I didn’t see Joel Anthony channeling his inner Charles Barkley coming either.
9:33 – The C’s have Rondo, Ray, Baby, JO, and Shaq on the floor. Dead serious, Big Baby is our small forward – and yet after a Ray Allen three, Boston stretches it’s lead to 16, 79-63. How did we get here?
9:03 – Shaq’s shot-put free throw, don’t miss that.
8:19 – Rondo stole the ball from Bosh, delivered a baby, fixed health insurance, and slammed it home! Boston up 81-63.
7:39 – Jeff Green with a transistion slam, loved the Perk trade, what a steal! Also, note, always a good sign when your team PA team starts playing the song “Shout.”
Commercial Break: I love that Budweiser commercial with the Marine coming home, and his brother throwing him a party in the barn — good stuff. Always gives me the tingles.
7:00 – James Jones burries a three, add him to the list of players who have had more of an impact than Miami’s highest paid player, Chris Bosh. Mike Breen tells us that tomorrows Lakers game is a must-win (since they’re down 3-0 in their series) and Mark Jackson responds, “I think that’s an understatement.” That made no sense, how is that an understatement? And, we’re grabbing another beer….
5:11 – Jeff Green air mails a three; James Jones hits a pretty reverse lay-up and the Heat keep within striking distance down only 13, 85-72.
4:19 – Delonte with a patient pass, off the pick and roll to KG (28 Pts). Boston refusing to relent this lead, up 15.
2:49 - KG vs Bosh —- He’s +22 (28 to 6) and +10 on the boards (15 to 5).
2:00 – Rondo to Pierce for 3!!!!!!! 92-76! Puts the game away, PP shooting nearly 50% from the floor, scoring 24 points. He also was huge on the defensive end.
1:02 – Pierce hits a three from near half court (seriously) with the shot-clock running down, wow.
Last Thoughts – I think there is some validity to what Mike Breen, JVG, and Mark Jackson talked about with the C’s bouncing back on a day’s rest. Can they produce the same effort? Their youngest star, Rondo, nearly broke his arm. Can we expect Pierce and KG to turn back the clock AGAIN? Will LBJ no show AGAIN? It felt like this game was there for Miami to take, but Wade and – oddly enough – Joel Anthony were the only Heat players to show up for 48 minutes. The Bosh/KG descrepancy is real, the Rondo/West vs Bibby/Chalmers descrepancy is also real, BUT – and there’s a but – Pierce will NOT outplay LBJ like that again. It’s not 2008, and I haven’t seen Pierce play that well since the NBA Finals that year. That being said, the Celtics only need one more win at home to put the pressure right back on the Heat. We know Boston is battled tested, but are the Heat? Will Miami fold if Boston takes Game 4? I don’t know, but I do know that we’re one game away from finding out.
Thanks to everyone checking out this live blog. It’s been fun.
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