By Matt Richardson
Okay, who’s ready for LeBron’s inevitable 13-18, 36 point, 12 rebound, 8 assist tour de force perfromance at home on Saturday? Through the first two games, LeBron is shooting 8 for 42 (or .190% for you math majors out there). 20% shooting? Clearly, Tuesday’s game wasn’t a fluke. The Celtics’ defense, and in particular James Posey, certainly seem to be bothering King James.
A microcosm of the Celtics’ defensive strategy was evident in the third quarter when the C’s were turning the game into a laugher. LeBron had the ball on the left baseline, looking to back down Posey. Posey immediately shaded him to the court side, inviting him to go baseline. As this was happening, Leon Powe shifted over to take away the baseline, leaving Lebron trapped between two defenders with few options. The outcome was an airball. The point is, it’s obvious that LeBron’s .190 shooting isn’t solely due to him being “off” or not liking the rims in Boston.
As an aside, after watching Posey play defense, grab key rebounds and hit big shots in the playoffs, in retrospect it’s amazing that the Celtics were able to just pick this guy up off the street. Paul Pierce also deserves credit for his effort in hounding James. The execution isn’t quite on par with Posey, but the spirit is clearly there.
For the record, I loved Joe Smith’s knee pads, which were taken straight out of the 1992 Pat Ewing catalogue. If you recall, it was Smith who was selected #1 overall in the 1995 draft, four spots ahead of Kevin Garnett. Smith and Garnett seem attached at the hip, linked by that draft, this series by making Kevin McHale look like a cement head.
Breaking news: Apparently Ben Wallace had an allergy attack in Game 2, resulting in him playing only 4 minutes. Wallace has been allergic to the basket for his entire career so one would’ve thought this would’ve been under control by now.
“Don’t look now, R. Allen woke up” was the text message I sent to a friend at 8:47 last night. My friend is a UConn alum and loves all things Husky, to the extent that she was excited to go to a Sixers game because Kevin Ollie was on the team. Ray’s dismal Game 1 was vexing to her, and it seemed we were in for more of the same in Game 2 as the first half came to a close. But, he came to life to start the third quarter and his jumper with 9:07 left in that frame gave the C’s an 18 point lead. Welcome to the second round, Ray. Better late than never.
All of you conspiracy theorists out there can stop worrying. The Celtics actually were awarded MORE free throws than their opponent last night, for only the second time in their nine playoff games. I expect a shift back to the normal 2:1 ratio in favor of the Cavs when the series moves to Cleveland.
I’m going to try to confirm this today, but I’m beginning to think that “Ilgauskas” is Russian for “I must break you with knees and elbows”. Take it easy, big fella, or we’ll send Big Baby in to body slam you. Big Z is having a heck of a series so far, though. He’s the Cav’s leading scorer and is shooting a robust 57% from the field.
Switching gears a bit, Chauncey Billups’ injury looked, um, painful. Pass the Vicodin. I’m officially avoiding slippery surfaces for a week or so.
Finally, I know everyone has been eagerly awaiting the Mike Brown Glasses Update. Last night, Brown sported a pair of conservatively styled metal framed glasses to match is dark gray suit. For the record, that’s two pairs of glasses in two games, making this one of the more interesting subplots of the series. We may need to bring in Elton John for color commentary. I guess I can’t really relate to this because I replace my one pair of glasses roughly every five years, when the nexus of “hopelessly out of style” and “irreparably damaged” combine to suck my old pair into a black hole. Rest assured that I will keep a diligent watch on further eye wear developments.