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Gameblog: Cavs at Boston Celtics

By George Thomas Published: March 6, 2009

Post mortem:  Celtics 105, Cavs  94
Tonight's post game analysis will be brought to you by Sherwin Williams.
All you need to know about tonight's game:  Boston Celtics had 58 points in the paint.  'Nuff said.
Game:  Cavaliers (47-12) vs. Boston Celtics (48-14)
Broadcast: TV:  ESPN; Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Starters: LeBron James (F); Anderson Varejao (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G).  Paul Pierce (G); Glen Davis (F); Kendrick Perkins (C); Ray Allen (G); Rajon Rondo (G).
Injured-inactive:  Cavs: Eric Snow (knee); Ben Wallace (broken leg). Boston:  Kevin Garnett (knee).
Officials:
Streaking:  The Cavaliers have won four in a row.  Boston has won one.
This year:  The series stands at 1-1.  The Cavaliers won the last meeting at Quicken Loans Arena 98-83.  In the game LeBron James scored 38 points and Anderson Varejao led the Cavs with nine rebounds.  The Celtics won the season opener 90-85.
What to watch:

  • LeBron James has been getting up for these types of games all season.  When the competition is there, he elevates his performance – witness the 42 against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat.  He and Mo Williams have openly admitted in the past that it’s more than just a game.  There’s too much on the line here – psychologically and empirically.  If they win, going into the final series game in Cleveland it would put more pressure on the Celtics.  Strictly by the numbers a win would put the Cavs up going into that rematch and should they end up winning the season series, it gives them the tie breaker, should it come down to that, for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
  • Joe Smith’s return in the grand scheme of things is no big deal, except it is.  Listen to Coach Mike Brown and you can tell that when it comes to J.J. Hickson, the trust isn’t quite there.  That doesn’t mean that it won’t be.  It just means that Hickson isn’t quite ready.  Because this is a game of significance, you can expect that Smith’s presence will eat into Hickson’s minutes.
  • Watch the defenses because they are the two best with respect to field goal percentage in the league.  Whoever gains an edge on that side of the game will win the game.  Looking at it, it’s probably going to be tougher for Boston because they will be playing without Kevin Garnett – who will miss his seventh consecutive game – the league’s Defensive Player of the Year from last season.
Quotable:
From the coach's office:
Mike Brown on how recently acquired Joe Smith can be utilized:
I can lessen the load on Z.  I can lessen the load on Andy and I can lessen the load on J.J. If you look all three of those guys minutes have been up.  I can take a few minutes from all of those guys.  I can take a tone of minutes from J.J.  I feel like there are a lot of options.
From the locker room: 
Joe Smith on picking up where he left off with the Cavaliers - in Boston:
I felt last year we had a chance to do something special.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t pull it out in Game 7 (of the Eastern Conference semis) last year here, but I felt we could do something special and that’s the way I feel this year.
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