Don’t count out Paul Pierce’s Boston Celtics just yet.
The second round series is currently one to one. On May 3, 2010, the Boston Celtics dominated LeBron’s Cavs on their home floor 104 -86. Kevin Garnett did the usual damage of 18 points and 10 boards. Ray Allen chipped in with 22 points, but the star was Rajon Rondo racking up 13 points and 19 assists. LeBron, The Cavs, and the fans were hopeless and dumbfounded.
I do not know why people immediately dismissed the Boston Celtics like that against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The general consensus was 4 games to one. Some people claimed sweep while others played safe and claimed that the Cavs will take it in six games. Charles Barkley decided on 4 games to one in favor of the Cavaliers as well. Why the disrespect? The basic rationale for why they were choosing this is that LeBron is an unbelievable MVP and the Celtics were old. At least fellow TNT analyst, Kenny Smith, respected the Celtics a lot more. It is a shame that he did not originally take a stance like Sir Charles. Eh. Whatever.
People are hugely mistaken aren’t they?
While certain players on the Celtics are over the hill (Finley, Raw Sheed); the overall makeup of the team is still in their prime. You shouldn’t see old. Instead, you should see battle tested and experienced. Why were these things dismissed? I don’t understand why that was thrown into the ocean. Winning experience usually trumps youth unless the players are too old. Cleveland has some old players, too. Let’s not dismiss Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Everything on offense is run through LeBron James. We’ve seen this before with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Allen Iverson. This philosophy does not work. As awesome as LeBron is, he cannot do it all even though he is the closest thing who can do it all. Thanks to Synergy Sports - In the two playoff games thus far, out of 100%, 16.8% of the offense is based on isolation plays. 15.3% is run off pick and roll and 14.9% is off transition. The isolation scheme is worrisome. That is too much for one guy. No team will win with that in the playoffs.
The Celtics just have to defend LeBron 1 on 5 and the pick and roll well. The Green Machine is doing a good job of shutting down spot up shooters. They do not have to worry about the Cavs’ post up game since that’s nonexistent – one less thing to worry. You should question why Mike Brown is playing Shaq too much when you watch game 3. The real problem is Hickson should play a lot more.
The Cavs had success against the Celtics during the regular season because they made use of cutting and spot up shooting. In the 4 regular season games, the cut accounted for 10.5%. It is 6.4% right now. Spot up shooting accounted for 16.2% of the offense. It is 9.4% right now. What does this say? They are going away from that. This will be their demise if they keep this up. This is made much worse with Raw Sheed Wallace contributing and Paul Pierce actually knocking down shots.
Rajon Rondo is a problem. Mo Williams cannot guard him.
Boston mainly has to plan around LeBron. The Cavs has to plan around Rondo, Pierce, Garnett, and Ray Allen. This is a tough challenge. That’s why we better not count out the Celtics just yet.