By THOMAS JOHNSON
Before we look ahead to the Bulls series (that preview is coming tomorrow), let’s look back at the top plays of the Celtics series, and there many to choose from.
It’s surprising that Rajon Rondo still attempts fast-break layups when James is anywhere on the court. At this point in their respective careers, you could easily make a top-10 list solely of James chase-downs on Rondo. Yes, Rondo’s injury impacted the series, but would it have changed the outcome? It's hard to make that case, Celtics fans, when you consider that Boston lost the first two games of the series with a two-armed Rondo.
Was it a charge or a flop? It really depends on your geographic location. That said, Rondo doing his best Varejao impression certainly adds to the highlight. You have to commend Rondo for even trying to take a charge from a full speed 275-pound freight train.
Was there moisture on the floor? An untied shoelace, perhaps? Ray Allen would certainly make a convincing case for either. This shot capped off a 16-point first half for Wade and a pivotal 13-6 run give the Heat a lead it never relinquished.
If ever there was a punctuation mark in a game or series, this has to be it. Garnett’s physical decline over the last couple of years prompted a slew of “Is the end near?” discussions last week. The most entertaining of these conversations, unsurprisingly, came in the TNT studios. Charles Barkley and Chris Webber recounted the latter stages of their respective careers, specifically the pump fakes they used when they were no longer simply able to jump over defenders. Looking back, Garnett should have probably opted for one of those.
It was a series Kevin Garnett will gladly forget. Or use as more motivation for running a few extra miles on the beaches near his Malibu home (great visual, isn’t it?). Garnett certainly had his moments in the series, none better than a throwback 28-point, 18-rebound showcase in the Celtics lone win of the series. But too often, plays like this served as a reminder that even if he’s still one of the premier defenders in the league, he can’t compete with the most elite athletes in the league anymore. And that’s certainly no slight to him. He's not alone.