CAVS 108 CELTICS 88
Somewhere I have heard this story before. It makes me question why I even have to write this post. The Celtics played a game, and you know what happened. You did not even have to watch. The C’s got out to a good lead, they looked confident and sharp, then halftime came, and their game was over. They had already “proved” everything they needed to prove. They had shown the Cavs that they could play with them, created a lead of up to 13 points, and went into the half up 8. After that, they left their game back in the locker room.
Thankfully for the NBA, this league is played with 48 minute games, not 24. If it were 24 minute games, why the Celtics would be undefeated. Then again, the C’s would probably only play for 12 of that. But that is beside the point. Unlike Lakers fans, we won’t make the excuse, “Well Paul Pierce wasn’t playing” because that had no part in this game. Paul Pierce would not have led this team to victory in last nights game. They flopped, choked, rolled over and played dead, stopped playing, stopped hustling, you name all the NEGATIVE adjectives and you’ve got the Celtics 2nd half performance.
As difficult as it is, let me take the unused wash cloth and ring it dry trying to pull out some positives. Rajon Rondo had another double-double with 19 points and 11 assists. Ray Allen stayed on his torrent pace and posted 21 points, and 4 of 8 from behind the arc. That percentage was much better earlier in the game, but he got into the groove of Celtics taking awkward, unrhythmic looks. Last but not least, Nate Robinson came in the game and was an instant spark putting in 6 quick points, but he never touched the floor again, until it was too late (more on that in upcoming posts).
Kevin Garnett said it best in the post game press conference that nothing will change until the team decides to change. That comment somewhat made up for all of the beating around the bush that goes on where its, “The other team came out with a better game plan in the 2nd half.” That doesn’t work when you, as a team, completely dominate them, then in the 4th quarter get outscored 35-14 tonight (which is eerily similar to the 36-11 beatdown the Magic put on Boston in the 3rd quarter of their last matchup). Tonight had nothing to do with the Cavs being great. The Celtics should have won. It is good to see a little sense of ownership to the fact that nothing is changing, YET.
I can’t drag on with this much longer. I just can’t figure out what it is going to take. Not a beat down by the Magic, Nuggets, Bulls, has done it, but maybe the Cavs will? I don’t know. I have faith in this team to get it done down the stretch, but for the time being it is very frustrating (just telling you what you already know). In favor of the Celtics right now is a lazy schedule for the next few weeks where a focused team would rip off 8 straight wins. Lets hope they wax the Nets on Saturday to give us a solid win to sleep on.
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)