Finally we have rid ourselves of the frizzy-haired one! I haven’t heard a sigh of relief (not because the Bulls worried us, but ‘cause Noah annoyed the hell out of us) that loud since Portland chose Oden in 2007 and Seattle – tough memories – knew that they had Durant. So now we roll onto Boston, and into a series which there is no love lost. Just out of curiosity, have any of you guys read this? I’m going to give you a second to have a quick look through it; I’ll be right back…
Ya done? Good. Now call me crazy, but where in that article – by Dan Shaugnessy titled Celtics will beat Cavs in second round - do we see actual statistical reference backing up his claim? The only stats we got were the results of previous games, overall records of both teams and the current lead both teams held at that point. So basically, Dan hasn’t backed up his statement, rather just tried to make us believers. By repeating himself. I’m down with that Dan, but look, I’m about to help you out. Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s why the Boston Celtics will beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals, 2010.
1) Doc Rivers Magic Switch. Apparently, Rivers has an age-defying, depth-enhancing switch. Insiders at ESPN believe he keeps it chained around his neck, and when necessary he flips it. And just like that KG doesn’t have to play on one good knee, just like that Michael Finley and Nate Robinson actually contribute. It’s magic. But when it really works, I mean at its best now, you see Boston do things like beat Dwyane Wade 5-on-1 and then make us all watch as the media goes into a frenzy about how Boston are back. I’m 36% positive Doc Rivers used that switch on Mickey Rourke right before they filmed “The Wrestler” also.
2) They Know They Can Beat Us. We split the season series with the C’s two apiece; one of those losses came in our own backyard. That loss was on opening night when we faced one of the toughest dilemmas you could face in the NBA, accommodating a one Shaquille O’Neal into your staring five. Not only that, we had new guys in AP and Jamario Moon who played that night. You just don’t gel that quickly. And besides, Boston were hot to start the season (23-5) but age kicked in at the finish line (27-27). A fresh Boston team, with three months rest and a full training camp behind them are lethal. A Boston team after 82 regular season games, a five-game first round series and carrying five guys over the age of 32 that play important roles, well, not so lethal.
3) Paragraphs 14 and 15. Go back to the link and read them again. But before you do, please don’t be chewing food or drinking coffee, you may choke or burn yourself. Veteran snipers? Big Baby contributing? Kendrick Perkins stronger? The sniper that is Michael Finley averaged 2.4 points and took a sniper-like 5 3pt FG’s, making 2. Big Baby had one good game in that series and that was because KG wasn’t there due to his “elbow” on Quentin Richardson. Kendrick Perkins may be two years stronger, but he’s still Kendrick Perkins. Twice scoreless in the series, flirts with foul trouble. But I’ll give him one thing, he scares the holy crap out of me with his big angry “I’m riding a sweet deal here with these guys” face. Maybe he’s so upset over the fact that ‘Sheed leaves no donuts after practice.
4) Rasheed Wallace. This guy deserves his own spot here. Mercurial? Try crazy. Started off the season out of shape? So does that mean he’s in shape now? From man boobs to poor shots, ‘Sheed has done pretty much nothing to earn his salary, which by the way is more than double that of Rajon Rondo. Having a guy that can stretch the floor off the bench is a valuable asset. ‘Sheed stretches the floor (but doesn’t make shots) alright, but so do Jamario Moon and Antawn Jamison. Claiming ‘Sheed may be the difference is like saying the Hasheem Thabeet justified his draft position with his D-League performances.
I will say this however regarding the Celtics. Rajon Rondo might be the best point guard in the Eastern Conference and can do things that will hurt us defensively if we don’t play things right. By that I mean giving Delonte his fair share of time at the one and moving Mo to the two, Red will do a better job of containing Rondo. Paul Pierce will always bring it and Ray Allen can still and will for the rest of his life be able to shoot the lights out. Do those things worry me? No because we have the guys to chase Ray around for 48 a night and some dude playing the small forward who negates every other small forward in the NBA on both ends of the floor.
Our length and versatility at the four and five spots will kill them. Shaq, Andy, JJ, Z, Jamison and maybe even LeBron at times can between them cause the C’s defense fits. Our best asset throughout this series will be our ability to go small ball on them. I’d love, if even for half a quarter a game, we lined up with Mo-West-Parker-Bron-JJ. You could put in Andy instead of JJ if you felt defensively that unit could suffer. You could also play LeBron at the two spot and go huge with ‘Tawn at the three, Andy/JJ at the four and Shaq in the middle. What I’m saying is that with so many options at our disposal, all that’s required is for us to want it. Game Three against the Bulls, that was Cleveland playoff basketball. That’s what’s required, and that’s what will kill the Celtics off, starting Saturday at the Q.
Having predicted correctly a 4-1 win over the Bulls, I’m going for a Cavs win in 6 this time around.
A right elbow is the only ray of hope the people of Boston cling to in what should be the official passing of the torch in the Eastern Conference.