SportsNation Blog Archives Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo will miss the remainder of the NBA season after suffering a torn ACL in Friday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. With their floor general on the court, the Celtics have a 99.2 offensive efficiency rating and a 100.4 rating without him. Does this give Boston hope that they will be a playoff team without their starting point guard?
Much of the focus of the NBA world has been on the Lakers and their struggles, so it may come as a surprise that the Celtics -- who last year were just a game away from the NBA Finals -- have been even worse. Boston lost its fourth straight game Wednesday, falling to 14-17. The Celtics are on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, and seem to be lacking for answers. Can they turn it around this season? And have they been more disappointing than their rivals in Los Angeles?
The age old question
This scene has been far too common this season for Celtics stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who are on the wrong side of 30.
The Celtics have been an Eastern Conference playoff fixture for the past five years, but are currently in ninth place and falling.
The Celtics-Heat rivalry hasn't gone away. Rajon Rondo's foul on Dwyane Wade in the closing seconds of Miami's opening-night win was proof enough of that. Wade didn't appreciate it, calling it a "punk play" and hinting that payback might be coming in their next meeting. Is Rondo, who was called for a flagrant foul in the incident, a dirty player? Or was it just a hard foul meant to send a message? Discuss and vote.
On Thursday, "First Take" debated Doc Rivers taking the blame for Ray Allen leaving Boston for Miami. Rivers said that it was his decision to run the offense through Rajon Rondo and use Allen as more of a sixth man that, in part, precipitated Allen's departure. Stephen A. Smith doesn't think that Rivers' move was a good one, while Skip Bayless commends him for the way he handled the situation. What's your take?
On Thursday, "First Take" debated the future of the Celtics, with a little help from Boston superfan Bill Simmons. Simmons, Stephen A. Smith, and Skip Bayless went through a few different scenarios as to what the Celtics could do -- everything from trying for it with their current group of players to blowing it up and starting over completely. What's your take?
The Heat and Thunder both went through interesting paths to reach the NBA finals, but they'll have to put every tough series behind them if they plan on winning. Both LeBron James and Kevin Durant are looking to win their first rings, although the pressure they face is anything but equal. All that matters is winning four out of the next seven games. Which team will hoist the trophy?
Which team wins?
The Thunder knocked off a surging Spurs team in six games, while the Heat mounted a comeback against the veteran Celtics.
Is LeBron clutch?
Questions about LeBron James' ability to perform under pressure have dogged him for years, but he may have answered his critics in Game 6 and Game 7.
LeBron or Durant?
Both James and Kevin Durant are exceptionally dangerous all-around players, deadly shooters, and fierce competitors.
Ever since their introductory press conference before last season, the pressure has been on the Heat to win more than one title.
The Spurs were looking like title favorites. Then the wheels fell off, to the tune of four straight losses to the Thunder. What does the future hold for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker & Co.? Do they have another title run left? Should the team make changes or keep its core together?
Contender or pretender?
Tony Parker and Tim Duncan showed flashes of brilliance this season, reeling off 20 straight wins. Will they still be title favorites next season?
The Spurs' core of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan has been together for years. Is it time to break them up or should they stick together?
Boris Diaw (unrestricted) and Danny Green (restricted) are both free agents. If the Spurs can sign only one, who should it be?
The one that got away
The Spurs were rolling along -- until Game 3 of the Western Conference finals. Where did San Antonio fall short?
The scoreboard says the Thunder beat the Spurs in the Western Conference finals. But if the Spurs had advanced instead, what would have happened?
Glory is fleeting ... or is it?
It's been five years since the Spurs' last NBA title, but they've kept knocking on the door. Do they still have time to win a championship?
Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett have rather taken control of this series, haven't they? The Heat tried everything they could think of to dominate the Celtics during a vulnerable road game in Miami, and it just didn't work. Boston has now won three straight after dropping the first two games of the series, and it's going to be a tough task for Miami to win Game 6 on the road. Can the Heat pull it off?
Rondo or Garnett?
Kevin Garnett looks like the killer shooter of old, while Rajon Rondo continues to find new ways to win games.
Chris Bosh was excellent in limited time in his first game back from an injury. Should he get big minutes in Game 6?
LeBron James' promise of winning multiple championships during his time with the Heat is in serious danger of ringing hollow.
Remember when both the Spurs and Heat were going to run over the Thunder and Celtics like they were minor inconveniences at best? The Thunder put a stop to that talk late last week, and the Celtics provided a rebuttal of their own on Sunday. Boston has held large leads in three games this series, although it's become somewhat proficient at letting the Heat get back in the swing of things -- an 18-point advantage nearly turned into disaster as the Heat nearly won it after forcing overtime. Fortunately for the Celtics, Rajon Rondo is playing out of his mind, and is very clearly not intimidated by the Heat's star power.
Were Rondo's comments worthwhile?
"What I said was true. I don't take back what I said. That's what it is." -- Rajon Rondo
Did the refs call a good game?
Both Paul Pierce and LeBron James fouled out in this game, LeBron for his first time ever as a member of the Miami Heat.
Last shot for the Heat?
The Heat once again went to Dwyane Wade for the last shot in the game -- a shot that just barely missed capping the Heat's comeback.
Chris Bosh will likely return for Game 5, reuniting the Big Three just as the series reaches a very critical point.