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Celtics need stability for Game 2. That means Horford and Smart.

 The Boston Celtics sorely missed both Marcus Smart (foot) and Al Horford (COVID protocols) in their 118-107 loss to the Heat in Game 1. Sure, Jimmy Butler was a culprit if the defeat , but the Miami brain trust of Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra were also focused on the two missing Celtics stars. The Celtics let this one slip away , starting in the third quarter. Smart and Horford are not merely starters for Boston - they supply the stability on both ends of the court, and Miami took advantage of their absence. The starting replacements simply didn't have it in this contest . Grant Williams notched seven points and one rebound in 35 minutes, while Derrick White registered three points and four assists in 25 minutes of action. But more important, neither has the tenure with The Jay Team that Smart and Horford have. We await the news on the availability of Marcus and Al for Game 2. The Green need at least of of the duo back - preferably both. Stay tuned.
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Four suspects in Celtics 118-107 loss to Heat

 My readers already know one of the suspects in Boston's loss to Miami. Yes, "The Butler" did it - to the tune of 41 points, nine boards, five assists, four steals and three blocks . And if you want a top-notch on-court leader, they don't get much better than Jimmy. Second suspect? That has to be Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra who has been with the Heat for a quarter century. And he has two Championships to his credit. He knows the ins and outs of playoff basketball, and it showed last night. Number three? That would be a 77-year-old relic by the name of Pat Riley , President of the Miami Heat.. "Riley" rhymes with "wiley" , and that may fit the guy that has been a head coach in the NBA since 1981. Wiley (definition): sly, cunning, crafty, wily, tricky, foxy, artful, slick mean  attaining or seeking to attain one's ends by guileful or devious means . Now we come to Suspect #4. If you have ever watched either version of the movie, War of the Wor

Game 7 Heaven

  Not sure about anyone else, but my nerves were at peak numbers before and during the game. To get ready I watched KGs retirement ceremony again. That team and group was one you could be proud of. While the first quarter didn't start off great these Celtics fought hard and didn't give up. In the second quarter we saw them scrap and claw to a five point lead. They never lost it after that!  The third quarter saw the Celtics come out hot, and they never looked back. Defensively they forced other Bucks players to beat them and even made Giannis hear footsteps of the Celtic wall!  Yesterday was a true team effort, we saw both stars do what they needed to but we also saw GWill and PP go off! DWhite despite the poor shooting early on made a big shot.  This team is never truly out of any game, they have heart and grit. Next up we see the hated Heat, with mastermind and old for Pat Riley. The Heat are well coached and play a tough brand of ball, but this Celtics team is gonna hit them

GWILL and PP lift Celtics up to move on to Eastern Finals

 This post will be short since my computer is acting up, but the Celtics dominance of the potent Milwaukee force needs attention. It has been some time since I have been this excited by the success of a Celtics team. The Green Team as a whole held the line and will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals after taking out the World Champ Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7, 109-81. Grant Williams had a career game, pouring in a team-high 27 points on 10-of-22 from the field and 7-of-18 on 3- pointers.  Payton Pritchard stood out with 14 points, 5 boards (how does he do that!) and 3 assists. He was 5-of-7 from the field and 4-of-6 on treys. All of that in 17 minutes. I am proud of the team - of their coach - and their GM. And the many Boston fans that stood by this crew. More to come. 

Resilience, Heart, Grit - The Green are my Team

  As many of you know I've been given a chance to write for Mr Lane and his blog. It's been quite a ride to this point. Watching and writing about this team has been an escape since my Mom passed and I was in the hospital with what could have been life threatening injuries. Through all of that writing about this team has given me joy more often than not. I can remember being in the hospital watching and writing during one of their games.  Let's talk about last night, first about the Bucks. This team has the heart of a champ and yes while he does get calls and travels a bit Giannis is other worldy on the floor. He's carried this team as the thru greats often do, watch out for a big performance from him on Sunday afternoon. It's been six games of hearts beating fast and plenty of emotions.  Now can we talk about this Celtics TEAM. They are still young yet they are learning to win. They have come to realize that they need to trust in each other and also never stop exec

Celtics vs. Bucks: The kind of series fans live for

 Celtics and Bucks fans are only watching the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, but pro basketball doesn't get any more exciting than this. It's Jayson Tatum (46 points last night ) against The Greek Freak (44 points) - as Boston evened the series at 3-3. Perhaps the greatest player on the planet (Giannis) versus one (Tatum) that may some day take over that label. And we are seeing two savvy coaches preaching tough defense, and neither team giving an inch.  The matchup brings me back to the Bill Russell-led Celtics against Wilt Chamberlain and the 76'ers or Warriors. Sam Jones matching up against Hal Greer - and sometimes against Wilt (see photo below) . K C Jones against Wali Jones. The outcome was never assured for either team.  We see the same with the Celts and Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo has no weaknesses , and he never takes the easy way out. He very well could be the most-omnipotent physical force the NBA has ever seen . And Jayson Tatum? When he is on his game,

Celtics need better board work to rebound in this series

 Time for the Celtics to get back to basics , and improved rebounding may be a good start. It wasn't just the Bucks Bobby Portis grabbing an offensive board - and laying the ball in - after a Giannis missed free throw. The Celtics were outrebounded 49-36 for the game , and Portis had 15 all by himself - with seven coming off the offensive glass . Boston had a mere five offensive caroms , compared to 17 for Milwaukee . The Celtics clearly miss Rob Williams' scores off put-backs and lobs .  Boston's offensive spacing on the floor for uncontested 3-pointers may be partly to blame for the low offensive-board count. They often are poorly-positioned to follow through on their missed shots . There will be those that put some blame on Marcus Smart for his execution in the closing seconds of the game, but The Green generally should have kept their composure - and, yes - worked harder to bring their offense into the paint and grab several more caroms off the offensive boards f