Game: Cavs vs. Boston Celtics
Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)
Cavs: LeBron James (F); Antawn Jamison (F); Shaquille O’Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G).
Celtics: Paul Pierce (F); Kevin Garnett (F); Kendrick Perkins (C); Ray Allen (G); Rajon Rondo (G).
Officials: Monty McCutcheon, Bob Delaney and Eddie F. Rush.
Quoth Shaquille O'Neal: There's nothing wrong with our offense. We need to work on our defense.
The dilemma with the Cavs is that their offensive success is intricately tied to their defensive success - rebounding, getting into their offense quickly and fighting for loose balls.
Their transition defense has been garbage with the Celtics taking a decided advantage in that area. Prior to shootaround coach Mike Brown intimated that there might be a couple of changes in the rotation tonight. What that tells me: less Mo Williams and more Delonte West to deal with Rajon Rondo - or let's be realistic - try to deal with Rajon Rondo.
But then there's that three-headed monster to contend - Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen - that has come to life. The Cavs caught a break before in that Pierce had been having a crappy series until Game 5. With all three clicking, the Cavs will need their defense, offensive contributions from everyone and, oh yea, an outstanding performance by LeBron James.
The reality is that without James, the Cavs don't win. And that would be the James of the MVP variety, the one that scores, rebounds and distributes. There's no doubt that his elbow is bothering him, but if he's well enough to be on the court, he has to be well enough to do all fo those things.