The Boston Celtics lost 93-86 last night to the defending NBA champion Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena in Miami. The Heat, who were playing without Dwyane Wade (or “Flash” as their ridiculous jerseys would have it), were able to hang on to the win after Rajon Rondo missed two critical free throws towards the end of the game that would have put Boston down one possession late in the game. Here are some quick thoughts about last night’s contest with the Heat:
- Rondo’s missed free throws are not a concern. He has never been a very good free throw shooter, and it’s not like he has played in a lot of games this season to get into any type of rhythm. The one concern is now that he is their “Captain,” Rondo will probably be the guy with the ball in his hands towards the end of games. I would hope Brad Stevens would be able to relieve Rondo of late game free throw shooting, say in games where they have the lead, but hopefully Rondo doesn’t spiral under 60% at the line.
- I really like Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk on the floor at the same time, at least on offense. Sullinger has a pick and pop game, but he is at his best when he is bullying thinner forwards/centers underneath and fighting for putbacks from Rondo misses. With Olynyk on the floor to help space, Sullinger can operate around the rim. Last night, he had two offensive rebounds where he basically ripped through Chris Bosh, and Bosh has no help underneath because of the need to keep an eye on Olynyk away from the hoop.
- Kris Humphries had one of his best games of the season last night, and he is proving that he can maybe be a fourth big man on a team trying to make an impact in the playoffs. He also has that juicy expiring contract for a team that wants to compete, but not spend beyond this season. Teams seem to be unsure about moving for Brandon Bass and Humphries may offer a better alternative.
- Avery Bradley rolled his ankle early in the game and it was called a sprain, meaning he should miss the game Wednesday against the Washington Wizards. Bradley has been a scoring machine as of late, and the return of Rondo has allowed for Bradley to get a lot more easy jumpers. Look for Chris Johnson to step in for Bradley, but I do love Phil Pressey and the way he plays. Hopefully we see more Pressey with Bradley out. (Note: According to Rotoworld.com, Bradley is going to “miss a couple of weeks with a right ankle injury.”)
Topics: Boston Celtics