C’s Look to Be More Physical in Game 2

MIAMI – Doc Rivers and the Celtics watched film of Game 1 on Tuesday afternoon, and he started the show by highlighting 19 straight Miami layups in the paint.

“What we have to do is protect the paint better, play better defense,” Rivers said. “Of their 21 times in the paint, 19 of them were made layups. That can’t happen in a CYO game, let alone a playoff game.”

Those 19 layups or dunks accounted for 38 of Miami’s 42 points in the paint, and if the Celtics have any shot at stealing Game 2 on Wednesday night, they know they’ll have to interrupt the parade to the basket.

“Nineteen layups is a lot of layups in the playoffs, in the Conference Finals. Can’t happen,” said Kevin Garnett, echoing his coach following the film session. “Everything can’t be so simple and so easy. We have to put some defensive impact into the game. When you’re playing a team on the road, you try to make it as uncomfortable as you can.”

Doc’s message about controlling the paint was loud and clear, and his players seemed to echo his sentiments after watching tape. But the media was more interested in digging into Rondo’s postgame comment that Miami’s players may need to “hit the deck.”

Garnett abruptly concluded his interview when asked about it. When asked himself, Rondo broke into a grin and said, “You guys are gonna stick with that, huh?”

“Nothing flagrant, nothing dirty,” Rondo reiterated, much like he said after Game 1. “When we drove, we hit the deck a lot, but like I said, if we can keep them out of the paint it would be even better.”

Asked about how to get Paul Pierce more involved in the offense, Rondo pointed at the other end of the court again.

“Get stops. Multiple stops, get him out in the open court and get him to the free-throw line. Get his rhythm there early on in the game and knock some shots down,” Rondo said.

Rivers made it clear that he wants more physical play from his captain against James, who scored 32 points and had 13 rebounds in Game 1.

“You can look at his numbers, it’s easy to read. If he has no foul shots and only two rebounds, it wasn’t a physical game for Paul,” Rivers said. “Paul is every bit as physical as LeBron as far as body types. He just has to do it.”