Yet another critical road game for the Cavs slipped away at the Garden last night and now they face the unenviable task of climbing out of a 3-2 hole with a possible Game 7 looming in Boston.
I don’t have a lot to say now that I didn’t say last night while chiming in on WFNY’s live blog of the proceedings, but I will say that Lebron’s big first half was both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because he proved to everyone–especially himself–that he can drive and dominate against this allegedly great defense, even on the road; a curse because it caused the other 11 guys in wine to put their hands on their hips and watch him go. While it didn’t help that Lebron basically refused to pass in the 4th quarter, his teammates really did not give him any reason to want to pass in the second and third quarters.
I really wish Boobie Gibson could figure out, just one time, how to hit a shot on the road. He had some great looks last night, most of which bricked badly. I really think, granted the lack of real PG talent in the East, that Boobie could be a top 2 or 3 point guard in the conference if he could just hit one damn shot on the road. It’s maddening.
The coaching last night was a mixed bag:
- The Good: I totally agreed with the decision to make Rajon Rondo be the one to beat you last night. He is massively inconsistent and quite unreliable when it comes to jump shots. Unfortunately, he had his one-in-five(-or-so) games where he hits his outside jumpers… which, yes, beat the Cavs.
- The Bad: Letting Rondo beat you with his outside shot is one thing… like I said, I say let him shoot wide-open threes at home all day. Sure, he’ll hit two in a row occasionally but he’ll also miss four in a row, that’s just how he is as a jump-shooter. Letting Rondo beat you with layups, however, is something completely different. That is his game! And yet there the Cavs were, letting him drive and shoot floaters and layups. I just hated that. Rondo wasn’t the only one allowed to drive, either, he’s just the most readily available example. Their interior defense last night was trash, and no adjustments were made.
- The Baffling: Anderson Varejao. WHY, MIKE BROWN, WHY? OK, sure, he had a great game in game four. We all grant the premise. That said, his great game four does not give you free reign to let him cripple your team’s chances by laying enough free throw line bricks to build a house, especially when his defense on KG was pedestrian at best last night. The most inexplicable part of all this is that the Cavs were so much better last night with Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ben Wallace on the floor, and yet those guys were on the bench for the majority of the second half, until pretty much halfway through the fourth! Is Mike Brown in some sort of contest with Doc Rivers to see who can come up with the most confounding, nonsensical and infuriating-to-the-fan rotation while on the road? I can’t figure this out for the life of me!
Two road wins have slipped through the Cavs’ fingers, and now the season is on life support. I will go on record saying I think another game happening in Boston is a foregone conclusion, so in game six maybe the Cavs can work on some offense that doesn’t involve 1-4 Clearouts and hands on hips. Whaddya say, fellas?
Anything’s gotta be better than the offense we saw after the first quarter last night.