If Kevin Garnett is dominant on Monday as he was last night and Chris Bosh is a non-factor as well, Boston has a really good chance of tying the series at two a piece. Granted, Rondo has to be Rondo and lead this Celtics team.
Jeff Green, Glen Davis, and Shaquille O'Neal have to have great performances coming off the bench. If someone on the Celtics has a performance like Jason Terry did against the Lakers today, they will be dominant.
Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers did have some comments before the MRI results were revealed this afternoon.
"Right now we're going with they're all playing," said Rivers, who was including Shaquille O'Neal. "Hopefully we'll know something by the end of our film session. Obviously (Rondo's elbow) was far more painful today, a lot of swelling."Make no mistake about it. If Rondo is hurt and can't play, it would be the right call on Coach Rivers' part. Game time decision, no doubt there. The Celtics need a healthy Rajon Rondo on the court. Obviously, Delonte West has a sore shoulder and I'm not sure how great of a player he can be as Rondo's backup if he's playing hurt.
Rivers said the Rondo decision may carry into tomorrow night.
"If he can't help our team (Rondo won't play)," the coach said. "And if he can play, how well can he play and will he help or hurt our team? No. 1, we're not going to hurt the player and we're not going to do anything to hurt the team. It may not be until game time and the game until we find that out. Right now, that may be the case. I am optimistic about both, that they're going to play. I don't know why I am, but I am. I just don't know how well either one can play. But like I said, if they're on the floor, we're healthy."
It's a miracle alone that Rondo came back to play the fourth quarter.
Rondo wasn't concerned after last night's game though.
After the game, Jeff Green spoke about Rondo returning in the fourth quarter and Boston's improved bench play during Game 3.
That said, Paul Pierce's defense did make a huge difference when it came to defending LeBron James.
"Anything under 25 points for LeBron, you're defending well," said Pierce. "You know what type of talent he is, and you know you're used to seeing him go out and get 25, 30. That's what you expect from him. When you can hold him down to under that it gets ourselves a better chance."Similarly, as stated above, Chris Bosh was simply a non-factor during Game 3.
The Celtics gave better help on James in Game 3, double-teaming earlier and forcing him into more difficult decisions. James made the wrong decision at least four times in committing four turnovers. But Pierce also dug down deep on his own, getting up into James's body knowing that the help was there.
Just like with Saturday night, Boston is going to have to play with force if they want to head back to the Eastern Conference Finals.