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BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics fell to the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals Monday night.
The game was tied at the half, but Miami outscored Boston 47-33 in the second half, en route to a 93-79 win and a 1-0 series lead.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich Tuesday morning, and said the Celtics could have won in Miami, but don’t blame some questionable officiating for the outcome.
“I know the complaints will mostly be about what happened (with the refs), but the Celtics could have won this game regardless of what the officiating was; that’s the disappointing part,” he said.
The Celtics were whistled for five technicals — three on individuals, an illegal defense and a delay of game — throughout the course of the game, a trend that has been very apparent against the Heat this postseason. In the postseason, the Heat have been assessed just six technical fouls, with their opponents drawing 23.
“I think it’s a byproduct of they don’t call technicals on Lebron and Dwayne Wade, and there is pretty much no one else on the Heat that would draw a technical,” said Washburn. “So you have the Heat not really getting any technicals to the Celtics and other teams that aren’t privy to that treatment. I do think there is a level of favoritism there, but it’s something the Celtics will have to deal with and keep their emotions in check.”
Washburn said with a better effort, the Celtics could have won the game. Because of this, he gives them a shot to win the series, if they put together a full 48-minute effort.
“It wasn’t like they were getting hit over the head by a dominant team; Miami did not have a great game,” said Washburn. “This is not a great Miami team. I think the Celtics were waiting to get hit over the head — (have Miami) run off 20 in a row and run them right out of the gym — and Miami never did that. That’s the disappointing part for the Celtics; they had a chance to steal on because Miami didn’t play a great game.”
The Celtics had just one night off between their Game 7 win over Philadelphia in Boston and Game 1 in Miami. Does fatigue have anything to do with their effort Monday night?
“They got caught slipping; the team was tired. Sometimes when they’re tired they stop playing hard,” said Washburn. “Pierce let LeBron slip for that long baseball pass; Wade broke the defense and walked to the basket for the layup; that’s pathetic. That’s effort. I thought the Celtics felt like they could give that one away, get another days rest, but they were close; they had a chance to win but no one hit an open shot.”
“They just worked themselves, and I felt like if they play intense from the jump — and don’t score 11 first quarter points — and someone else besides KG shows decides to show up in this series, they have a chance,” said Washburn. “I don’t think the talent disparity is that much. Miami is athletic, but they have two athletic guys…”
“They have two guys that can dominate the game. You do a decent job at containing one of those guys you have a shot,” he added. “That’s why I think they have a shot in this series, but you can’t give away games like you did last night. That’s inexcusable.”
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Miami.
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