After all the smoke cleared and the dust had settled, there was only one team standing – the Boston Celtics. On a night when all the analysts questioned, again, if the Boston Celtics would have any gas in the tank after they had suffered a gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of the officials in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. What they should have been asking is, “What do the Celtics need to do to escape the wrath of the officials?”
Well, on a Friday night back in Boston, the Celtics came running out of the gates and had a 24-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The team, empowered by its fans, played on all cylinders and had a break-out performance by Marquis Daniels, which made all the fans wonder why Doc had waited so long to play him? Well, maybe that is an overstatement, but you can’t overstate how much of an impact Daniels had in this game.
For the first time in the series, the officials had called an even game. Miami, without its star scoring power – the refs – had no answer for the Celtics. The Heat struggled to score without the bailout calls they had become accustomed to in the prior two games. Miami then made a great run in the fourth, but it was too little too late.
One would think, after a loss like this, one would be upset, but not Miami. The Heat were so laid back and carefree, you would have thought they were on a beach in Miami sipping margaritas with a bunch of señoritas. Larry Bird doesn’t even play anymore and showed more feeling about his team’s loss when he came out and called them soft. How can you be so laid back when you realistically just got beat twice by this old and injured squad? They must have an ace in the hole. Might that ace be the officials, who laid off the Celtics in Game 3 to make the series longer so the league can profit from an extended series?
The Celtics need to exercise the same plan of attack in Game 4 that they did in Game 2 to have a chance at beating the Miami Heat and their sixth man. They will need to put all the pressure on the referees again to make the right call or, once again, have the league embarrassed ,as was the case in Games 1 and 2. The Celtics let off the gas in the fourth quarter in Game 3 and the Heat made a run. They can’t afford to do that in Game 4. If they do, Miami won’t need any help from the officials. They will be getting all the help they need from the Celtics.
In all this talk about the officials, let’s not forget Miami is a good team and, as much as people want to hate on LeBron James, the fact is, he is a great basketball player and has been terrific for the Heat in this series. I, for one, enjoy watching him go up against the Celtics, just as long as the officials stay out of the fight.
So, buckle up and hold onto your seats because Game 4 is going to be another 200-mile-per-hour rollercoaster.