Well, what we thought would happen, did. Skip Bayless got on his high horse and threw LeBron right under the bus this morning on Cold Take (or is it First Pizza?). For the first time, LeBron deserved it– it is hard for anyone to use words of praise after a 2-18 shoting performance. That was not LeBron James, and if he doesn’t show up for the remainder of the series, you can count on the fact that game one will be as close as the Cavs get. We all know this. So everyone on television that is screaming about how LeBron played? Let’s move on. I would love to take a look at some of the positives from last night.
Walter Szczerbiak only thirteen points, but he played like a man possessed at times. Chasing down loose balls, and playing some pretty solid defense. If he can go for 13 a night with the hustle he showed for the remainder of the series, I’m confident this could be a great series.
Zydrunas last night, Z reminded me of the old Z who used to have to go for 22 a night just to keep the Cavs in it (we call those the Ricky Davis years here at SoN). Six of six from the stripe, 22 points. Now, if he could cut down on the THREE TRAVELS IN THE FIRST HALF, he’s ready to go.
Doc Rivers reminds me of an eight year old behind the wheel of a car: he’s got no idea what he’s doing, but he sure is having fun. Some of his lineups last night were just mystifying. If you saw the game, you know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, try this on for size: Leon Powe played 13 minutes.
Defense (psychological or otherwise) you could say that Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have the same bounce back abilities in game two that LeBron has, and you could be right. I don’t think so though, because at least LeBron was aggressive. His shot wasn’t falling, but he kept at it, because he knew his team needed him. The Celtics could have very well used a little more help than the combined four points of Allen and Pierce. Ray Allen not only didn’t score, he took a total of four shots. In 37 minutes. Allen is a good enough shooter to shoot himself out of that hole, but he just chose not to. Pierce? He’s notorious for falling asleep in the playoffs, I’m not worried about him this entire series.
Bottom line Cavs gave one away last night, plain and simple. The Celtics cannot play that way again and expect to win. The blame game ends at LeBron, and he knows it. This isn’t Donnie Marshall missing the three in the corner, this isn’t Mike Brown mismanaging the game, this is nothing like that. LeBron is well aware of what happened, and game two is on him. I’m putting his point total in the 30’s in gametwo, and if everything positive from game one can stay positive, Cavs should head back to the Q with a split. See you Thursday night.
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