Well that was easy.
In a game that I called a must-win earlier today, due to the fact that I felt Boston was clearly the better team, the Celtics came out and buried the Cavaliers in a first-quarter deficits that Cleveland could never dig themselves out of, en route to a 103-86 win in the TD Garden.
This game was never in doubt, as Boston was up 28-10 after the first quarter, and never allowed the Cavs to get any closer than 10 the rest of the evening. The Celtics shot 50% from the field on the night, and saw all five starters score in double digits, the second time this month Boston has enjoyed such a luxury.
Jeff Green led all scorers with 31, a season-high for him, and Jordan Crawford continued his stellar play by notching a triple double with 11 points, 11 boards, and 10 dimes.
As boring as it was to half to sit through the fourth quarter, knowing that this game was already in hand, it was nice to see the Celtics come out and do what I felt they needed to do with a team like Cleveland in town: dominate. There was one point in the second quarter where the Celtics started to slow the pace down and started to get sloppy with the rock, which led to the Cavs being able to cut the lead to ten. From that point on, however, Boston showed no quarter and refused to give Cleveland any hope of making a comeback. I like it when a team realizes it should win a game, and then goes out there and gets the damn job done, instead of taking their opponent lightly and getting bushwhacked.
Boston’s reward? They now sit just .5 games behind Toronto for first place in the Atlantic Division, and are currently the number 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Need to read that again, to make sure you got it? Go ahead – I’ll wait. Crazy, right? The Atlantic Division is THAT bad, and that trend doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. As long as the Boston Celtics continue to try and win games as a team, and give a full 48 minutes of effort like they did tonight, this team could play itself right out of the Andrew Wiggins lottery by the end of this season.
How do you feel about THAT, Hardwood Houdini fans?!?