Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't blame the point guard

When Ray Allen drained a 3 with 2:41 to go last night, tying the game at 83-83 and bringing the Celtics back from a big second half deficit for the second time, my buddy and I simultaneously texted each about how amazing a game it was.  Unfortunately in the end the C's came up one play short, and fell to the Hawks 87-86.  Who would have thought Al Horford could return and contribute so much for Atlanta, or that Ryan Hollins would log 19 minutes (Greg Stiemsma played just four) at center for Boston?  And where was Avery Bradley last night by the way?  The energetic starting shooting guard was just 1-2 with two points in only 18 minutes of action.

Rajon Rondo is taking a lot of heat today for failing to get the Celtics a final shot and a chance to win as the clock ran out, even though they never would have been in that situation if he hadn't stolen the inbounds pass seconds earlier.  Not to mention the fact that he completely changed the game all by himself in the span of less than a minute towards the end of the 3rd quarter.

Atlanta led 66-56 with 1:15 to go in the period when Rondo grabbed the offensive board and scored on a put back off a Ray Allen missed three.  A few seconds later he stole the ball, then nailed a jumper to cut the Hawks lead to 6.  On the ensuing possession he drew an offensive foul on Al Horford, then scored again to make it 66-62 with 25 seconds left in the quarter.  Rondo had 6 points, a steal, an offensive rebound, and a took a charge, all in just 50 seconds (reminiscent of a couple 21 second bursts he had in one game vs the Bulls in February).  Another steal by Ray and a Pietrus bucket cut the lead to 2, and all of a sudden it was a whole new ball game to start the 4th quarter.

Afterwards it was clear Rondo was frustrated and blamed himself for the loss.  I expect him to come up huge in Game 6 back in Boston on Thursday.

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