This is one of the few wins that I think people who are rooting for the Celtics to tank — I am one of those people — can really enjoy. The Celtics-Heat rivalry isn’t really a rivalry anymore, but it always feels good just to hand them a loss.
Even without Lebron, it was a pretty impressive effort from the Celtics. Outside of the points in the paint and the interior defense, there wasn’t much to complain about defensively. Their defense on the perimeter was close to flawless and they were able to hold Miami to just 4-17 from beyond the arc. It also didn’t help that Dwyane Wade was pretty awful tonight. Dwyane Wade is still a great basketball player, but let’s not kid ourselves, he just plain stunk tonight. For Miami when Wade has an off night like this and there’s no Lebron, you kind of need Chris Bosh to step up and for he just wasn’t able to, something that is usually not the case for Bosh.
The guy everyone wants to talk about is Avery Bradley. Avery looked great tonight doing what he does best; Catching and Shooting. Outside of his defense, his spot-up shooting remains his greatest threat and is something that needs to keep improving if he wants to be here long-term. His future in Boston is heavily dependent on him becoming a consistent shooter who helps space the floor when a non-shooter and excellent passer, like Rondo, is on the court.
Speaking of Rondo, he was great tonight. Remember when that Eastern Conference scout said Rondo was selfish because “he only passes it to guys who are wide open”? Basically saying that Rondo only passes it if he knows he’s getting an assist, which is maybe true, but even so is that really bad? Probably not. I’d take this 15 assist game over a 25 pt performance from him any and every day of the week. If getting guys involved and improving their games is selfish then I think we need to change the definition of that word. Anyway, Rondo looked phenomenal tonight and played some of his best basketball of the season.
A guy who I haven’t talked about in a while is Brandon Bass. I’ll be honest when I say that there have been multiple times this season when I’ve just kind of forgotten that Bass was on this team. That’s not a slight to his talent of production but he’s just so damn consistent and quiet when it comes to the media that I just forget about the guy. Keep up the good work, Bass.