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Celtics put Cavs in place, LeBron's ankle not too bad

By admin Published: February 27, 2008

Celtics 92, Cavs 87
--LeBron James said after the game that he was able to catch himself a little when he felt himself landing on Paul Pierce's foot in the second quarter. He thinks it saved him for a worse injury. It is his right ankle, the same one he hurt last month in Portland. But he didn't think it was as bad, though he wanted to see how he felt tomorrow. --LeBron got his 10,000th point, the youngest to do so. He took it in stride, but he really does care about stats and I think he appreciated the accomplishment. Afterward he thanked his teammates and his family but he wasn't afraid to admit he was proud of himself, too. --Mike Brown getting ejected wasn't about the foul call on LeBron or the non-foul, he thought, on Anderson Varejao. I think Mike wished he had protested a little more last night in Milwaukee. He was looking to fire up his team and he wanted to make sure he got his message across, which he never did last night. I think at that moment he wanted to get tossed. So mission accomplished. --This game was not as close as the score indicated. On one hand, the Cavs are too fragile to play the Celtics right now. They only have a couple of plays in the offense and the Celtics put way too much pressure on for that to do. But also the Celtics are a quality team that knows what they are doing on defense and they sent a little message tonight with how rough they plan on playing if they see the Cavs in the playoffs. --I was watching Ben Wallace very closely tonight on Kevin Garnett. I didn't think he had a very good game, he was not good at all in the pick-and-rolls and Garnett beat him to rebounds and got free for open jumpers. But afterward some people told me they were impressed with how Wallace kept Garnett out of the post and Doc Rivers said he thought Garnett didn't move very well. --Remember when the Cavs got LeBron and Anderson Varejao back on the same night and Larry Hughes was in his second game back? They decked the Indiana Pacers on emotion and then lost four of six games, mostly to bad teams. It was an adjustment period and that is what the Cavs are in now. They are really scrambling at times, especially when the game is moving fast. You can already see Wally Szczerbiak pressing a little. Delonte West told me he has to think to much on the plays when they should be second nature. Also, Andy and Zydrunas Ilguaskas weren't 100 percent. What I am saying is tonight should be a learning experience, but don't put too much stock into it.
Starting lineup
Cavs: Delonte West, Devin Brown, LeBron James, Ben Wallace, Zydrunas Ilgauskas Celtics: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins
--Ilgauskas said he's lost eight pounds in the last two days with his chest cold, but he's going to give it a go tonight. He said he may have trouble breathing, so instead of playing him in 6-8 minute bursts as Mike Brown likes, they may restrict that a little. --The Cavs feel like they lost last night's game due to transition defense, not matchups or anything really at the offensive end. They did film review today and tried to help the new guys go over responsibilities. We'll see if there is a difference. --LeBron needs 19 points to become the fastest-ever player to 10,000 points. He has 34 straight games of 20 points or more, 15 straight of 25 or more and nine straight of 30 or more against the Celtics. --Boston is just back from a West Coast trip and this is there first game at home in more than two weeks. Usually teams struggle a little in those situations. But the Celtics have lost twice to the Cavs and they are a potential playoff opponent so I expect them to be jacked up. Especially after the lost three of five games out West. --This is Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West's first game in Boston since they were traded away last summer. Neither hold a grudge really, but my guess is this game has extra meaning. Especially for Wally after he went 5-of-18 from the floor last night. He called it the worst shooting game of the season. I looked it up, he was right, it was his worst of the season. At least by number of misses, he had an 0-of-9 game at one point. --Two things to really watch here: 1. How does Ben Wallace handle guarding Kevin Garnett, especially from the post where KG has a size advantage. 2. Does Anderson Varejao keep Glen "Big Baby" Davis from being an energy factor.
Halftime -- Celtics 47, Cavs 40
--LeBron suffered a right ankle sprain with about 4:30 left in the second quarter. I believe he landed on Paul Pierce's leg or foot after making a layup. They took X-rays and it showed no break, but of course with a sprain X-rays don't really say anything. The Cavs called his return questionable, which I think means they don't think it is very, very bad. But we'll see. I never saw a good replay of the injury to I don't exactly know what happened. --Before that, the Celtics were really hammering the Cavs at both ends. They have targeted whomever the Cavs put on Ray Allen and running him through screens and forcing mismatches. Also, Ben Wallace struggled guarding Kevin Garnett on the outside. Anderson Varejao has struggled to keep up with Glen Davis. And they are again allowing the Celtics to get quick and easy points off turnovers. --On offense, the Celtics are really shutting them down by staying attached to the shooters and being very aggressive on the inside. The Cavs are having lots of trouble getting their offense set up because the Celtics are disrupting them. Zydrunas Ilgauskas hasn't been able to help either.
Stars Allen, 22 points Garnett, 18 points, 11 rebounds LeBron, 26 points West, 20 points, five rebounds
Quotes: LeBron: “First thing I thought was not again, I didn’t want to go down. I know my ankles and I know tomorrow is going to be a lot worse. I’ll get some treatment and be ready for Friday.” KG: “The trade was valuable to them, it made them tougher. This is a team to be reckoned with. They are deep and now they are experienced and it makes the East a little more exciting.”

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