Tuesday, May 6, 2008

An Inconclusive Happiness

The Celtics easily could have lost this game, but they won and I'm momentarily at peace. So it goes. It's hard to come up with much to say about a "feel each other out" contest which saw LeBron, PP, and Ray combine for all of 16 points. What can be definitely said is that tonight felt like the playoffs. The first round, despite its often carnival atmosphere, never did. And this had all the classic ugliness you would expect from these two teams in such a setting: the defense was sterling on both sides, and neither offense was ever able to get into a sustainable flow.

KG played great tonight, quietly pouring it in early in the game, and then stepping up down the stretch as we all hoped he would. That was encouraging. Paul just had an off night; his play wasn't as bad as his stat line, and there was no reason for Glenn to keep him out for as long as he did in the fourth quarter. Ray is another matter. He was scoreless, and seemingly did nothing of substantial use for the entire game. Obviously it was a personal nadir, but it sure seems to me that Rondo has taken over the role as being the real third guy on this team.

Ray's gradual fade (and he could go for 35 on Thursday, you never know) leaves us with a question for the rest of the series: should Posey be taking more of Ray's minutes? Pose certainly seems like the best option on James, and clearly nothing is more important than stopping the King. Tonight the C's were +17 with Posey on the floor, easily the highest mark for any player on either team. Glenn might be wise to stick with him till the final buzzer, unless Ray is just blistering out there.

But the story of the night, ultimately, has to be LeBron's inefficiency. If he has a semi-normal game the Cavs probably would have gone away victors. We are unlikely to see such a morose LeBron again. Luckily, it seems the C's might be able to combat that. All things considered, I still echo what Jack said earlier: I have no idea where this series is heading...

2 comments:

wharper said...

Can we start referring to Playoff LeBron as LeBron "My-Face-Got-Fouled" James?

Those were the only highlights I seemed to see from the Cavs-Wizards series, and he must have recoiled at least four separate times trying to milk the refs to protect his golden boy smile even when there wasn't any contact.

LeBron's face-wincing is starting to compete with Reggie Miller's blatant flops after his 3-pointer - not a favorable comparison for one of the dominant players in the league right now.

Derek said...

yeah, even when he gets blatently fouled on the shoulder by Cassell, he still grabs at this face in pain...