MIAMI, FL - MAY 28: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat smiles as he holds out the ball in the second half against Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 28, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Celtics Stumble In South Beach, Heat Win East Finals Opener

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade picked up the pace after halftime to help the Heat beat Boston with ease.

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Ray Allen Injury: Celtics Guard May Sit Game 2 To Rest Ankle

The Boston Celtics may rest Ray Allen and his injured ankles for Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat, head coach Doc Rivers told Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston on Tuesday. Allen struggled in Game 1, going 1-7 from the field and an almost inexplicable 3-7 from the free throw line.

"It's a tough call with him," Rivers said. "We're trying to figure out a different minute rotation for him, maybe that will help him. We're even considering sitting him for a game, getting him a longer rest and then playing him, and then sitting him for a game. We don't know what the right thing is."

Allen hasn't been himself throughout the playoffs. He is averaging just 9.6 points per game this postseason, and his 39 percent shooting mark would be the lowest playoff average of his career if it holds. Some time to rest could do him some good. As it now stands, Allen isn't doing much on the floor for the Celtics.

For more on the Celtics, check out SB Nation Boston and CelticsBlog. For more on the Heat, head over to SB Nation Tampa Bay and Peninsula Is Mightier.

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The Heat Finally Slow Rajon Rondo, But He'll Bounce Back

Have the Miami Heat figured out Rajon Rondo, or did he just have one bad game. We're leaning towards the latter.


NBA Playoffs: Miami Turned On The Heat In Second Half To Beat Boston Celtics

Monday night marked the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals, and unfortunately for the Boston Celtics, it may have also marked the beginning of the end. It looked as though Boston might be able to make it competitive after closing strong in the first half, but it apparently just wasn't meant to be.

It wasn't the best game one that anyone is going to watch in this year's NBA Playoffs, but the Heat's ability to turn it on after halftime is something that should worry the Celtics' faithful. Especially because, as SB Nation's Peninsula Is Mightier noted, Miami seemed to find a whole 'nother gear in the second half.

Wade scored just six points in the first half, but aggressively attacked a hobbled Ray Allen in the pick-and-roll to score a few easy buckets and get to the foul line. Shane Battier also had a nice defensive sequence in the third quarter, blocking Paul Pierce on one possession and then stealing the ball from him on another. And in the fourth, Wade and James each made a sensational bank shot over Kevin Garnett to keep Boston at bay.

Miami turned in an impressive performance on Monday night, to be sure, but the Celtics had their fair share of miscues. One of the biggest issues, according to SB Nation's Celtics Blog, was the inability to effectively swing the ball in an effort to get easy buckets.

Far be it for me to presume that anyone would listen to what I have to say about the Celtics offense. I've reminded you time and again that I'm no scout or coach. However, it doesn't take a scout or a coach to see that the Boston Celtics need to move the ball on offense to be successful.

Some teams can get by for stretches with one-on-one or relying on their first or second options every time down the court. Not the Celtics and certainly not against the Heat.

Rondo can't be slow to get into his sets. Pierce can't catch and wait for the play to develop. Bass can't be a black hole. The ball has to move like a hot potato. It has to fly around the horn like a baseball drill. The offense needs to execute and look for open shots.

It's true -- for as good as the Heat looked on Monday night, the Celtics -- for all but a solid run in the second quarter -- looked just as bad. It's not going to be impossible for Boston to turn things around, of course, but it won't be easy to shut down James and Wade if they're able to continue playing well.

For more on the Celtics, check out SB Nation Boston and CelticsBlog. For more on the Heat, head over to SB Nation Tampa Bay and Peninsula Is Mightier.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


Changes The Celtics Must Make To Have A Prayer Against Miami

The Boston Celtics are going to have to alter their approach against the Miami Heat if they hope to make the Eastern Conference Finals a competitive series.


Rondo On Slowing LeBron, Wade: 'They've Got To Hit The Deck, Too'

The Boston Celtics didn't look particularly impressive in Game 1 against the Miami Heat on Monday night. The Heat ran wild late in the game en route to a double-digit win to open the Eastern Conference final series. While the Heat seemed to be having a blast in the second half, the Celtics looked increasingly frustrated. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade repeatedly drove the lane in the game and may be in store for some payback.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports this early Boston frustration may manifest itself in more physical games later in the series. Rajon Rondo was asked how the Celtics would respond.

"Shrink the floor," Rondo spat out in the visiting locker room, and when asked if making James and Wade pay for driving the lane was the appropriate counter, he offered the quote that will define Game 2.

"Nothing dirty," Rondo said. "But, you know, they've got to hit the deck, too."

James was told about Rondo's comments and responded thusly:

"That doesn't change anything for us," James said. "We expect to hit the deck every single game, me and D-Wade. It's how we feel like teams approach us. They feel like they need to put us on the floor, hard-foul us. It doesn't change our approach. We still have to be in attack mode no matter what happens, because that's when we're at our best as a team."

The Celtics may be hoping to take the Heat to church in Game 2 and beyond, but they didn't really look capable of muscling around the Miami team at any point in Game 1.

For more on the Celtics, check out SB Nation Boston and CelticsBlog. For more on the Heat, head over to SB Nation Tampa Bay and Peninsula Is Mightier

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


Heat Vs. Celtics, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 1 Final Score: Miami Wins Opener, 93-79

On Monday night, old rivals the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics faced off in South Beach in the first game of the NBA Eastern Conference final. At the end of the evening the Heat had picked up the 1-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series by a final score of 93-79.

The Celtics were outscored 21-11 in the first quarter, but exploded for 35 points in the second quarter to enter halftime in a 46-46 tie. After the break, the Heat quickly regained the lead and pushed it out to double digits by the end of the third quarter. The Heat easily held onto their lead over the last 12 minutes and coasted to the win.

LeBron James had a big double-double for the Heat, finishing with 32 points and 13 rebounds. Dwyane Wade added 22 points to the winning effort. Kevin Garnett led all Celtics scorers with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Game 2 of the series will be on Wednesday, when the Heat will attempt to take a 2-0 lead while still on their home court.

For more on the Celtics, check out SB Nation Boston and CelticsBlog. For more on the Heat, head over to SB Nation Tampa Bay and Peninsula Is Mightier

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


LeBron James Laughs In Kevin Garnett's Face

It must be nice to weigh 265 pounds like LeBron James. That way, he can get away with laughing in Kevin Garnett's face without fear of retaliation.


Nice Emperor Palpatine impression, LeBron. Too bad KG was turned to the dark side many years ago.


7 Important Questions About The Heat Vs. Celtics Series

It's the Heat and Celtics, playing in a key playoff series again. What are the keys to either team coming away with the victory?


Chris Bosh Injury Status: Miami Heat Forward Recovering, But Likely Won't Play Game 1

The Miami Heat were able to get by the Indiana Pacers without the services of Chris Bosh, but they didn't exactly make it easy. It's likely that the Boston Celtics are going to exploit his absence a bit more in the Eastern Conference Finals, though, making the latest injury update an interesting one for Miami.

Bosh seems to be recuperating from the abdominal strain that's caused him to miss the last two weeks, but it doesn't sound as though the recovery is going quickly enough for him to be ready to play in Game 1 on Monday night. Bosh was able to go through a workout on Sunday afternoon, according to ESPN's Michael Wallace, but it doesn't sound as though that changed anything for the immediate future.

Bosh was not present on the practice court at the arena when the Heat wrapped up a workout earlier Sunday afternoon in preparation for Game 1. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters after practice that there was no change in Bosh's status, and that he was preparing to be without the perennial All-Star forward going into the series opener.

"I'm not even preparing for that right now," Spoelstra said earlier Sunday when asked about Bosh's status for the series. "I'm preparing for who we have in the gym. So our focus is (Monday). And that's all I can concentrate on. We have enough to win (Monday). That's all that any of our guys should be focused on."

Bosh's presence on the floor opens quite a few things up for the Heat, but if he's unable to go, the Heat's "small" ball lineup could also give the Celtics fits as they attempt to matchup on the defensive end.

For more on the Celtics, check out SB Nation Boston and CelticsBlog. For more on the Heat, head over the SBN Tampa Bay and Peninsula Is Mightier.


LeBron James Can't Win Against The Celtics

LeBron James must beat the Celtics to continue his journey toward a proper legacy, but he can't actually win against Boston ... all because of 2010.

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