I thought the Celtics would win, but it would be close and low-scoring. As long as I got the first one right, I'm happy.
Paul Pierce isn't injured. He might be experiencing some pain, some wear and tear. But he's not injured. He scored 24 points, he drove to the hole all night (14 free throws) and hauled in 12 rebounds.
All the Celtics played more aggressively. It seemed like they didn't want to wait for the 4th quarter to win. They wanted to win in the 2nd and 3rd. And they did. Convincingly so.
Rondo was amazing. He took his shots, scoring 23. And he had 14 assists.
Garnett also had a big night. 13 rebounds and 27 points.
All the Celtics were physical. They ran all over the 76ers. They sped the game up. Before this series, the experts didn't think the Celtics could play a full court game against the 76ers and be successful. The C's proved that wrong last night.
The Celtics have Rondo. And Rondo can run all day. And by speeding up the pace of the game, the Celtics put the pressure on the 76ers to execute on every possession. You could almost hear the Celtics collectively saying "Try to keep up with us." The 76ers started making mistakes, turning the ball over, missing shots. It wasn't rampant, but it was enough to give the C's chances to add to their lead, and also add to the pressure.
The Celtics sprinted in the first three quarters, then walked through the 4th. But by then, they had a big enough lead that they didn't need to run anymore. So essentially, it was a 3 quarter game. The Celtics can run for 3 quarters. And after running, they're better at executing than the 76ers.
There are simply too many weapons on this team to lose a series to Philadelphia. The 76ers aren't equipped to stop Pierce, Garnett, and Rondo every night. Now Pierce has started his engine, KG is rolling, and Rondo is red hot. Which is more likely, that two of these guys are shut down, or that Lavoy Allen will score 10 and get 8 rebounds off the bench?
Game 4 Friday night in Philly.