The Celtics finished up their final road game of the season in style. They fought back from a 10 point deficit to take the lead and keep it close throughout the 4th quarter. With the score tied at 89, the Celtics had the ball with 19 seconds to go. Green's shot on the baseline was blocked out of bounds with 2.6 seconds on the clock. Rondo inbounded the ball to Big Al who hit a hook shot with the defender in his face to put the Celtics on top with .1 second to go. Perk blocked the alley oop pass by the Heat and the Celtics got their first win in 8 games.
Doc is certainly using different strategies in the last 2 games then he did in the previous 5. Rondo, West, Gomes, and Al are playing big minutes. Ray is back down to 3 minutes, Powe played only 11 minutes and Telfair played only 17 minutes. It is also interesting to note that when he should be getting more minutes and playing strong going into the off season, Green seems to be getting fewer and playing worse. Tonight he played 19 minutes and shot 1-9 from the field for 3 points to go with 2 rebounds and 1 steal.
Rondo just gets better and better. His shot is improving and he just seems to be everywhere, going for the steal, scrapping for loose balls, and grabbing rebounds. Tonight he drove into the lane and ran into Shaq. He looked like a rag doll hitting the floor. The Heat announcers said that they bet he wouldn't try to venture into the lane again. Three plays later, there he was again, drawing another blocking foul on Shaq and hitting the floor again. He also was involved in a collision with James Posey and he hit the ground hard after having Posey land on him. But he was up and manning the point for the next play while Posey went to the locker room with a sprained wrist and shoulder. Rondo finished with 17 points on 5-10 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 8 assists.
Delonte started off slow, shooting airballs on his first two shot attempts but came on strong to finish with 28 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 1 block and the Tommy Award. He and Rondo make a great back court duo. Telfair finished with 3 points, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Allan Ray had only 1 foul and 1 turnover to show for his 3 minutes of playing time.
Perk played only 25 minutes and came out of the game when Shaq did and finished with 2 points and 9 rebounds. Doc put him in for the last play and he blocked the Heat's attempt to tie the game on their last shot. Powe had 7 points and 1 rebound in 11 minutes. Gomes finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Celtics out-rebounded the Heat 43-30 and hustled the whole game, never giving up, even when down by 10. This game gives me hope for the future even without a top 2 draft pick. Rondo is for real and he will be even better next season. Al Jefferson is also for real and with tonight's game winner proved that he can be a go to guy at the end of games. He is a vocal leader on the floor and that is something we very much needed. Of course, getting a top 2 pick sure would be nice, but if we don't, we still are going to be a very good team next season.