I know it’s somewhat of a cliché to start off anything Cavaliers talking LeBron, but I mean come on, we haveto after that. I had emailed Brendan during the week saying expect a stat line along the lines of 42-10-8-3-5, and that last fiveare five “do you remember who the eff I am?” plays by the way. I wasn’t far off. 21 points in the first, Boston had 17. Sore elbow? Just ask the interior defense of the Celtics who saw him fly by on more than one occasion. He knocked down jumpers with aplomb. He got teammates involved. He led by example on D. He was what we needed him to be – emphatic from the get go. LeBron finished with 39 points, 8 boards, 7 dimes, 1 steal and 2 blocks. KG, Perkins and RasheedWallace combined for 7 rebounds. Apart from Rondo, the four other starting C’s totalled 7 dimes. The entire starting five of the Celtics had 1 steal. To say LeBron James beat the Celtics single-handedly wouldn’t be doing justice to the rest of our guys (who were awesome by the way, and like I’ve said, I never use the word awesome) but last night he came as humanly possible to doing so.
Whatever Doc Rivers put in the pre-game Gatorade for Game Two had worn off by the tip last night. The Celtics were lifeless, lethargic and I couldn’t be happier. In the first half last night Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were 4-15. Allen took no three’s, and the Celtics only made one of their six attempts from long range. Rajon Rondo, The Tormentor, was very un-Rondo like, needing 13 shots to get 12 first half points. Credit must go to Anthony Parker, he was my MVP last night, but more on him in a minute. The Cavs were the only team rebounding in the first half (a plus-15 on the glass) and that remained the same for the rest of the game. It just didn’t work out for Boston last night - be it in the paint or on the perimeter - the Cavs came to play last night, and Boston went “Mo Williams” on it and disappeared. Sorry Mo, a little harsh I know.
Having gone 47-69 in games one and two from the free throw line, the Cavs were almost immaculate last night, going 31-34. Remember now, we are the worst free throw shooting team in the world, so 91% is like Goran Dragic scoring 23 points in a quarter, it rarely happens. Wait a minute…
The cavalry arrived last night, which was a welcome sight for us all. Jamison negated Garnett’s best performance of the series with his best performance of the season, going for 20 and 12. Good to see you ‘Tawn. Don’t look now, but Shaq may have realised – finally – that Kendrick Perkins can’t defend him. Chipping in with 12 and 9, Shaqwas so more effective because when our guys knock down shots, the opponents can’t crowd the lane with bodies. Even though Shaq is 43 years old and weighs the same as The Big Show and runs slower than Z (Shaq, I really do love you man) there still isn’t a guy in the league that can’t contain him one-on-one. Nobody. DeLonte West, Andy and JJ contributed. West played some great defense on Allen (2-9), Andy annoyed the life out of Boston and even got KG T’ed up. I love JJ Hicksonlike Austin Carr loves using the phrase “throws the hammer down”. The kid could be great. And for our game MVP, sorry Bron, but Anthony Parker takes it home. He was superb last night. He played within the flow of the offense, didn’t look to force his shot but took it when the time was right, resulting in a 4-4 (3-3 from three) performance. His size and quickness on the defensive end allows him to guard three spots, making it so much easier for us to rotate onto shooters or guys driving to the rim. We need Anthony Parker in this series, I said in my last blog we needed the AP from earlier on in the season, last night he showed up.
Was that Nate Robinson last night?
One little thing here on LeBron’s motivation/craziness/scariness last night. In the fourth, with the game all but gift-wrapped and in the bag, Bron blocked a Garnett shot near the rim; Rondo collected the rebound and went up uncontested for an easy two. Timeout Cavs, not because of that, that was coincidence, but did you see LeBron walking to the bench? He snarled at young JJ for not getting back and helping contest the put back by Rondo. And he was right. If the two-time MVP, a guy who scored 21 points in a quarter is still busting his hump on D in the fourth with the game over, you’d better do the exact damn same or he’ll let you know about it. That’s the LeBron we need. The one who doesn’t let his teammates slip into inconsistencey, the one that even with us up like 79 points at the time still wants to send a message. We need a nickname for that LeBron. The fourth quarter, one man wrecking crew LeBron. Any suggestions?
Last night was just the tonic for the hangover of game two. Boston knows now that all we need is another 12 minutes of brilliance from LeBron and it’s 3-1 Cavs. 12 minutes…
Funniest moment of the game last night? It had to be when the camera flipped over to the legendary Jay-Z and Beyonce. They were both wearing overly sized sunglasses, because you know, that’s what celebs do indoors. Jeff Van Gundy utters the line “I think I’d look good in those big sunglasses too.” Yep, JVG just answered to age-old question of “How to get your own Beyonce.” Jeff, you the man.
Runner up in that category was the appearance of Nate Robinson in a meaningful game.