Heat gracious towards Celtics in victory


Heat gracious towards Celtics in victory

CSNNE.com wire reports

MIAMI -- The Heat said it often in this series: The Celtics laid the plan for what Miami needed to ultimately do to become champions.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade said it again when their team eliminated the C's in Game 5 Wednesday night.

"It's a great team," James said of Boston in the on-court celebration. "Like I said, I got the utmost respect for that team. They're the reason why all three of us came together, is because of what they did, that blueprint they had in '08 when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen all came together."

And the Heat knew that, to get where they wanted to go, they had to go through Boston.

"For us to go through the playoffs without playing Boston wouldn't have been right," said Wade.

"It was a series that all of us wanted, really since training camp," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

James put Miami up for good with a 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining, then added a game-sealing - more aptly, a series-sealing - 3 with 40.4 seconds left.

"They make you fight for everything," James said of the Celtics. "You can never take the foot off the gas. You can never take a second off against that team."

And Wade believes the Celts will be back.

"The Boston Celtics ain't goin' nowhere," said Wade, who later added: "Obviously, this summer, those Hall of Fame guys, that organization's, going to be driven to avenge the defeat. And we wouldn't want it any other way whatsoever . . .

"They're going to continue to drive us, and we're going to continue to drive them."

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”