MIAMI The Boston Celtics have every intention of being more aggressive in tonight's Game Two matchup with the Miami Heat.
But if you're looking for a Dexter Pittman 2.0 moment, or a Udonis Haslem retaliation, WWE-style takedown, you will be disappointed.
"We're not trying to do that," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "We don't want to, hopefully, foul."
Following the C's Game One loss, point guard Rajon Rondo talked about the need for the Celtics to be more physical tonight and at times make Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade "hit the deck."
Not surprisingly, Rondo's comments took on a life of their own.
Both Rondo and the C's were in clarification mode afterward.
"You guys take the words and you run with it," Rondo said. "But this is basketball. Nothing dirty about I hit the deck every day. You go to the hole, you're going to get fouled, you're going to hit the deck. I didn't say flagrant. I didn't say take them out, play dirty. It's basketball."
Specifically, the Celtics want to take away, by Rivers' count, the 19 uncontested or lightly contested lay-ups by the Heat.
"We're not saying we want to foul them 19 times," Rivers said. "We don't want them to get to the basket. When we say we have to take away lay-ups, we're not saying we need to take away them, r take out them. We're saying we need to slide our feet, move them off, keep them out of the paint."
But there is a balance that has to be struck between playing with the kind of force needed to compete, but not getting into a foul-inducing, hacking brand of basketball that at times was prevalent in Miami's previous playoff series against Indiana.
"It's not about getting technicals or things of that nature," said Boston's Paul Pierce. "It's about being a little bit more scrappy to loose balls; not allowing layups, that kind of physicality, boxing out, no second shots. Getting your hands dirty in the paint, getting tough baskets. That type of stuff. It's not about going chest-to-chest or getting technical fouls. That's not toughness to me at all."