If annoyed and relieved were the adjectives for the Cavs-Wizards series, then excited and nervous sum up my pre-series feelings for the Cavs-Celtics match-up.
I’m excited because its the Celtics. This is the match-up everyone wanted. It’s Boston’s “Boston Three Party” (I hate you funny SportsCenter commercials for that one) against Cleveland’s King. Boston “Big Three” is pretty good. OK, really good. But in the NBA playoffs, you don’t need three superstars. All you need is one. And the Cavs one is better than any three Boston brings out.
I was more than confident the Cavs would beat Washington (I think all Cavs fans were). I want and hope the Cavs to win this series (obviously) but I’m not any where near as confident.
Saying Boston is a better team than Washington is like saying women’s basketball is boring; it’s obvious. But I really like how the Cavs match-up with them.
If Delonte West plays like he did in Games 5 and 6, he and Rondo will be a good match-up. West will be key to the Cavs because he has to be able to hand the ball and not let Rondo beat him off the dribble.
Wally and Ray Allen will be interesting. To old shooters who can’t defend. Allen’s the better shoot but I think Wally will be able to at least keep a hand in his face. He’s coming off his best game as a Cav and has the confidence to play with Allen. As a fellow shooter, when you are making shots, you play much better defense. This is where Wally is now.
The Cavs got Ben Wallace for this series. It’s up to him to stop KG. Ben had about one good game against Washington (Game 2) and then was pretty unnoticeable. I don’t have much confidence in Ben slowing down KG but luckily I have lots of confidence in KG slowing down KG. Garnett could take over here but his selfless attitude will be the biggest advantage to the Cavs.
Z and Kendrick Perkins. If the Cavs commit to getting Z the ball, he should have a big series.
Who are we kidding though. We all know it comes down to what LBJ does. He’s going up against his favorite person in the world, Paul Pierce. When Stevenson tried to start a rivalry, this is a real rivalry. They don’t’ like each other. If I were PP I would like LeBron either. LeBron dominates him like a drunken abusive step dad. LBJ gets up for Boston games like no others. Something about it brings the best him. Oh, maybe it was that PP spit on him in the preseason. Yeah, that would tick me off too. LBJ averages 32-7-9 and PP is at 13-3-4. That has to happen this series for a chance.
Also, Game 6 Gibson needs to show up for ever game. It’s pretty simple; if Boobie and Wally are making shots, the Cavs a better team. So, guys, make some shots.
The Hawks took the Celtics to a Game 7. That was surprisingly nice to see and may have given the Cavs insight on how to beat them. However, it also may have ticked the Celtics off and given them motivation to play better (but if you need extra motivation in the playoffs, something’s wrong anyway). In the same sense that the Cavs might have seen some flaws in Boston’s play, the Celtics may have seen those some ones and have addressed them and fixed them. Playing a seven game series is tiring for any team. Boston is old. They’re good but there old and eventually the wear and tear of the playoffs will get to them. Any extra games they have to play, even if they are blowouts, isn’t good for them.
One thing I’m already sick of all the “Celtic history” or “Boston prestige” or “Celtic mystic” talk. Who cares if they’ve won 16 NBA championships. They haven’t since 1986 and no one on their team was playing then. Sam Cassell was even just a teenage alien then and yet to descend upon Earth. Winning 16 NBA Championships is sweet but it has nothing to do with this team. It will have no affect on the series. Most of the guys on Boston haven’t done anything in the playoffs. This is only KG’s second trip to past the first round. Pierce had one good playoff run. Allen, I don’t think any. Winning a championship 18 years ago means nothing. I even hate when people talk about how much better the Celtics are this year from last. They are a completely different team. It doesn’t seem fair to compare the two.
I think the Cavs can steal one in Boston. They have to. Boston hasn’t won on the road this postseason and the Cavs are a much better home team than Atlanta and The Q is a much more difficult place to play in than whatever crappy arena is the ATL. (Remember when it was the Omni? I loved the place for some reason.) The Cavs won two games in Washington. Granted the same thing can said about winning in Washington compared to winning in Boston but at least the Cavs did get two W’s.
Strap in for a great series (no, Graig, I didn’t say strap-on so you can put it away). I’m starting to get excited about this series like I was for the Eastern Conference Finals last year. Bring on the C’s and their “Big Three.” I said Cleveland in seven at the start of the playoffs, I’ll stick with that. This will be fun.
A few other thoughts…
… The Indians finally got rid of Jason Michaels. How come it took so long? It must have been his stellar .207 batting average and his dreamy long golden locks. Go back to surfing you bum. Welcome back to Cleveland Ben Francisco. You’re stay should be a long one.
… Rashard Mendenhall was robbed at gun point yesterday. Anyone know where Marvin Harrison was?