Game three of the NBA Eastern Conference Semi Finals was a huge game for both the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. The first two games were split and decided by a combined total of the slimmest of margins that is two total points. Philly stole the last game and home court advantage with it. The 76ers needed game three to keep the momentum and send Boston the message that they truly can beat them in this series. Boston needed game three to take back home court and let Philly know that game two was a fluke. A resounding message was sent by one of those teams. Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics sent a strong message to Philly in game three by beating them in a manner that took the life out of this 76ers team.
The fact the Boston Celtics won is not as important as how they won the game. The Boston Celtics have established themselves as a grind it out on offense team that plays tremendous defense. In game three they showed that they are more than capable of playing an uptempo offensive game and can dominate. The Boston Celtics dominated the post game, the transition game, and half court offense by mixing it up at different times in the contest. The Celtics would torch Philly’s defense for 107 points on the road and have leads as large as 27 points.
The one word that could describe Boston’s offense was attack. They were looking to attack the Philly defense from every angle at all times. The fact that the 76ers came out and gave their best punch in the first quarter and scored 33 points as they hit shots that seemed like prayers and still on the road the Celtics did not fold or even fall far behind. Boston just kept attacking the basket and scoring in the paint. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo just kept going to the paint and scored at will. The alleged Philly defensive wall went down quicker than the Berlin Wall did.
The offense for Boston started with Kevin Garnett. KG knew this was a big game like this entire post season he played like this game meant so much more to him than everyone else. KG established himself in the paint early and often. It did not matter who Philly put on him, KG took them to the basket with his wide range of post moves and scored. After they started playing off him for fear of him driving into the post KG would just bury shot after shot from mid range. KG would lead the charge with 27 huge points.
Boston had other players got to the paint all night long as Rajon Rondo shredded the Philly defense and either scored or hit the right man open for easy baskets. Rondo also ran the 76ers into the ground. The 76ers defense had zero time to set up as ROndo just pushed the ball every time he had the chance. The Celtics were clearly the better team in transition and Rondo was the reason why. Rondo’s 23 points and 14 assists show just how easy he dominated the 76ers.
The other great news was Paul Pierce finally played like Paul Pierce. Despite the knee injury, Pierce attacked the basket all night. Pierce may have missed shots early, but his two drives to the basket that ended in thunderous slams early on let Philly know that he was going to be attacking all night. Pierce would get himself going by driving and either scoring or getting to the line. His juices were flowing and that led to a big 24 points from the “Captain”.
The Celtics also got great games from other guys. Mickael Pietrus kept up his hot shooting as he buried a couple threes and ended up with 14 big points off the bench. Brandon Bass also had a strong game. Bass took it to the basket at the right times and shot the open jumper well. The result was Bass scored 10 points on only 5-10 shooting.
The Boston Celtics went into Philly looking to send a statement. KG and company did just that. Philly now knows that unlike them, they can go off at any time offensively and put up serious numbers on their defense. Philly still has not figured out Boston’s defense as evidence by the fact Philly struggled to score 91 points even after Boston emptied their bench in the fourth. This means one can plan on Boston taking this series sooner than later. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!