The Celtics got absolutely shelled tonight with only a few mitigating elements: a) some end of the bench players got some much needed run, and b) all of the nonsensical LeBron-elbow talk got officially put to bed.
Unfortunately for the Celtics and their fans alike, those were the only consolation prizes. This wire-to-wire shellacking put on by the Cavaliers only highlights how seriously unfortunate it was for the Celtics to fall apart in Game One. Being up 2-1 and getting dominated in Game 3 is a whole lot easier to deal with than being down 1-2, failing to take advantage of a winnable Game 1 and then seeing the Cavs hit their stride in Game 3.
Obviously as it stands right now, it’s hard to see the Celtics being able to win another game. The good news is that the Celtics dominated the Cavs in Game 2 almost as severely as the Cavaliers dominated the Celtics in Game 2 (sans the emotional half-comeback in Game 2, of course).
I won’t waste anymore of your time than I have to, waxing poetic about the virtues of getting killed at home when the Celtics had a chance to take a commanding lead of this series (both in games and momentum). On that note, here are some bullets:
- A ton of commentary took place this week revolving around LeBron’s health. Obviously, that is now moot. Another topic of conversation that caught much of the media by surprise was the fact that the Celtics had won six out of the 8 quarters played in this series. Well, it took two games for the Celtics to garner this quarter-lead and one game for the Cavs to tie it up. The Celtics lost each quarter tonight pretty handily. The second and third quarters may look okay when comparing point totals, but they are actually pretty misleading given that the Celtics were essentially trading baskets when they needed to take meaningful defensive stances. Paul Pierce played with cement galoshes and Ray Allen could not decipher his gluteus maximus from his ginglymus, if you know what I’m saying…
- LeBron James was the story tonight. Let’s just get it out of the way. Boston sportswriter Tony Massarotti has gone on record as saying that LeBron is not a good outside shooter, an opinion he has expressed over and over again on 98.5 The Sports Hub- and I used to agree with him. The fact is LeBron is now a good outside shooter. I want to be clear about this: he is a good outside shooter, not great- good. Being a good shooter means you can knock down open shots and from time-to-time you can get hot and be unstoppable. Tonight, LeBron was unstoppable. Tonight’s game not only became another rung on LeBron’s ladder to becoming a great outside shooter, but it also marked yet another example of his propensity to complain and lobby every call to the officials. It is really hard for a Celtics’ fan to note this little attribute of LeBron’s given the fact that the C’s are home to some notorious pouters: Kendrick Perkins, Rasheed Wallace, and to a lesser extent Kevin Garnett. None of these guys hold a candle to LeBron. I honestly don’t blame him. The league has babied LeBron into thinking every shred of contact warrants a whistle blow. I personally think this babying is diminishing LeBron’s lore. He is the indisputable best player in the league at finishing after contact- but that doesn’t mean every bump is a foul.
- The Celtics had 7 turnover’s tonight. I can safely say that the number of turnovers the Celtics commit is directly proportional to their confidence level and their aggressiveness. I can live with the TO’s if the C’s get the W.
- Rajon Rondo had another solid game with 18 and 8 but got caught reaching on D more than a few times. It is true that this team’s play is dictated by how well Rondo plays, but it is clear that the Celtics need more than just Rondo to play at an All-Star level.
- I will get into the individual play of the the C’s later but for now, here’s a preview: it’s not pretty.
- Anthony Parker cannot play defense.
- Boston lost the trifecta tonight: Yankees beat the Sox, Cavaliers beat the C’s, and the Flyers extend the series…..uhhgg.
More to come…
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