Having the 7-foot-1, 325-pound O’Neal clogging the middle should slow Miami’s drives to the basket. The Celtics also must be more aggressive going to the hoop.
“You’d be amazed how often we did drive,” in the first two games, Rivers said, “but we drove and tried to make some crazy shot instead of going through bodies.”
That could have drawn more fouls. Instead, the Heat have taken 14 more free throws in each game and outscored the Celtics by a total of 22 at the line.
“I don’t know if it’s just me taking more shots as much as it’s just more offensive stuff being run for me,” he said. “That way, we get Wade involved more in defensively guarding me. Same thing with LeBron. I don’t know if we put enough pressure on either one of those guys defensively. And, I think, offensively they had their way.”
The concise analysis is simple, according to Glen Davis. The Celtics haven’t played their game _ driving hard to the basket and moving the ball on offense and rotating quickly on defense.
“We didn’t play Celtics basketball. Nobody played the way they were supposed to play,” Davis said. “You can coach as much as you want. It’s still not going to make it happen. It’s the guys out there that have got to make it happen.”
A theme often expressed in the playoffs is that the series doesn’t start until the road team wins a game.
Rivers wasn’t buying that.
“I think the series has started,” he said, “and we’re down 2-0.”
Wade had a different take.
“The series is just starting,” he said. “We’ve got to go up there like we would if we were starting on the road, and be like, ‘Let’s go get one right now.’ So our focus is on Game 3 and making sure that we’re even better than we were at home.”
On their second of three days off between games Thursday, the Celtics watched film, walked through plays and worked out lightly.
John Havlicek, who won eight championships in 15 seasons with Boston before retiring after the 1977-78 season, looked on from the sideline with 17 championship banners hanging from the walls of the gym.
“I said, ‘Which one of those banners were you 0-2?’” in the series, Davis said, “and he said the one that stood out to him was the 1969 (one), when they were down 0-2 and came back to win it in Game 7 against the Lakers. And he was just saying, ‘It’s going to take everything in you to fight and claw back to get back to that 2-2.’ But then it’s going to take something special to finish them off.”