Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Zahid: Celtics taking a lot of body blows

Rizwaan Zahid, a Carleton student who been a contributor to fightnews.ca, fightfan.com and The Fight Network, also loves him some roundball, so he's shared some thoughts on the NBA playoffs. How about that other Chicago team which wears red and black.

Hey, it could be a lot worse for the Boston Celtics. Ray Allen and company could have been down 2-0 heading to the United Center for Game 3 Thursday. After a huge upset in game one, the Celtics responded with a mediocre game again… just not as mediocre as the series opener. It’s hard not to root for the Bulls in this series. They have the lower ranked seed, the all star rookie, Derrick Rose, and the legendary franchise status. It's got an entertaining series upset written all over it.

By the time Game 1 was done people could see that this is not the championship team from last year. That team may have struggled in the playoffs last year, but they only lost once at home. After this game they were already 0-1 at home. With Kevin Garnett already out of the series with his knee injury, the first game did not start off great for the defending champs.

Rose had already shown some of his brilliance in his rookie year. Dropping 36 points and 11 dimes in a playoff debut against the defending champs is something that would even have the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar smiling, especially since the 36 ties Kareem’s record for the most points in a playoff debut.

The support was there for Rose though, as Ben Gordon dropped 20 for Chicago. Joakim Noah was excellent on the boards as he grabbed 17 to go along with his 11 points. Garnett was already absent and it appeared as if Allen was as well. Game 1 also pointed out Boston's problems when one of the Big Three isn't firing, since Allen shot 1-of-12, putting too much of the burden on Paul Pierce who scored 23. Rajon Rondo who had a team high 29.

You could thank Allen though for giving Game 2 to the Celtics. The nine-time all-star scored 30, including six 3-balls, one of which was a game winning shot with two seconds left. If there is a positive for the Celtics it’s that Rajon Rondo managed to get a triple double (19 points, 16 assists, 12 rebounds). But nothing seems to be going well for the Celtics, since it appeared that Rondo injured his ankle, even though he did come out for the second half afterwards.

Rose struggled a bit this time around only scoring ten, but Gordon made up for it with his 42. It's funny that even though the Bulls lost, they are probably feeling more positive and then the Celtics are. Gordon was happy with the team’s efforts while the Celtics know they just escaped being down 2-0 to a seventh-seeded team. They surely don’t want to be like the Miami Heat who exited in the first round the year after their 2006 championship.

Boston may still win the series but they seem to be getting more and more vulnerable. They're like a boxer who does not have all the weapons he did in his last fight. Even if he wins his next fight, the competition will only get stiffer, and eventually he will succumb to defeat.

No comments: