Celtics 120, Cavs 88.
Debacle? Disaster? Disastrous debacle? Ultimately, it doesn't matter because it equals a big fat loss.
So what's going on? A lack of fire, no aggression and no energy. It wasn't difficult to see that. It's as if the team knows that there is something more serious with LeBron James' elbow and that their chances to win this thing are greatly diminished. For most people, that means going out and trying to prove that you have what it takes without your superstar player.
They, however, are not playing that way. The Celtics once again dominated every aspect of the game - including coach Mike Brown's hustle categories.
But here's what everyone should have been worried about while Rajon Rond was roaming virtually free in those first four games - the Boston Three Party had yet to work in sympatico. Until tonight, Paul Pierce had been sucking wind.
Tonight the Celtics didn't need Rondo because Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Pierce combined for 64 points on 25-of-38 shooting. When Rondo did finally show, after a scoreless first half, it was only because Brown had to stick Anthony Parker on Ray Allen after he connected on two consecutive three-point shots to open the second half.
Rondo took it right to Williams for eight consecutive points - boom, game.
So what to do about it? How about the Cavs playing as if they want to win for starters? That would help. The lack of energy and intensity were plainly evident for a second consecutive game.
How about moving the ball to try to break down the defense for better looks?
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: Joe Crawford, Marc Davis, Greg Willard.
What to expect: This is probably the most important game of the Cavs' season. They missed a golden opportunity to put their collective heel on Boston's throat and smash it on Sunday. Listening to the Celtics in shootaround, they're confident and ready to go.
The buzz has been about LeBron James guarding Rajon Rondo. The problem is he cannot guard Rondo for the entire game and expect to be effective on both ends of the court. It could cause problems elsewhere, also depending on who is on the floor. If it's Mo Williams and Delonte West and James ends up on Rondo, that leaves a mismatch (height wise) with Paul Pierce, more than likely.
The Cavs are a good offensive game by Pierce away from being down 1-3 in this series and looking at elimination. Don't think Boston Coach Doc Rivers realizes that.
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