Monday, May 03, 2010
SAME OLD STORY FOR CELTICS
How many times has it happened this season? The Celtics are good enough to dominate teams like Orlando, Cleveland and LA. So long as the games are 24 minutes long. The C's were up by 11 at halftime, but lost a war of attrition in the 3rd. LeBron James hit a layup to give the Cavs a 79-77 lead going into the 4th. The trench warfare continued in the final quarter, but Cleveland was simply better, and the Celtics didn't have that extra gear at the end.
The good news is that Cleveland is not overwhelmingly superior to the Celtics. The bad news is that the Celtics apparently still can't finish.
The overly optimistic Green & White faithful have been repeating their "wait for the playoffs" mantra. And they seem vindicated by the Celtics' performances against Miami. But Miami is not Cleveland. Dwyane Wade is not LeBron James.
Speaking of James, is there any doubt that he's hamming up this shoulder injury? The left-handed free throw attempt in the Chicago/Cleveland series was a prime example of LeBron's attempt to win an Oscar. If a fucking FREE THROW is a threat to your health, then how can you play 43 minutes of basketball?
He has a sore arm, but he also wants to have some heroic Willis Reed moments. So he's embellishing. He wants people to say "Not only did LeBron put up 35 against the Celtics, he did it with a bad shoulder! What a great guy!"
The Celtics need to penetrate more later in games. But that's also a good way to wear out even faster. And Ray Allen needs to get hot. This is kind of why I dislike Ray. His contribution just seems like random dumbluck. He'll have his 28 point, 5 for 6 from beyond the arc nights. But he'll also have mediocre nights (14 points, 2/7 on 3 pointers), and dreadfully awful nights.
But against Cleveland, the Celtics need to be running on all cylinders, and that means it's up to the seeming randomness of Ray Allen. Well it's not random, he's an amazing shooter. But there is an unfortunate and frustrating mathematical variance to his game.
Game 2 tonight at 8. Something to watch in between periods of the Bruins' game.