Saturday, May 17, 2008

Celtics Update

I don't really feel up to it, but tomorrow will be too late.

Cleveland's main chance is if LeTravel gets the benefit of calls in both directions. With one exception, in both of the Cavaliers' playoff series, if LBJ doesn't go to the foul line a lot, they lose. If the stripes call him tight for traveling, he is hampered.

In the first two games, the Celtics contained LeBron. In the third and fourth games, they contained him somewhat. Games five and six, he is back to LeBron James Standard. This is not lack of focus and intensity on Boston's part. James is a great player, and has adjusted to what they have thrown at him. If the C's can continue to keep him out of LBJ Outrageous range, they should be able to get a lead.

I thought during the season that I would be eating my words about Ray Allen being on the quick downside of his career, but in the playoffs he is proving me right, dammit. Garnett has had consistent great games. Paul Pierce has had consistent Very Good games (his defense has been better than expected). If Allen cannot step up from Mediocre to Good, then either Pierce or Garnett will have to take it to another level. There is some hope that players in the 4-8 can step into that slot and put the Celts over the top, but it will have to be two of them, because on average, one of those five will have an excellent game ond one a bad game. Things to worry about: Perkins and/or Davis pick up early fouls (see paragraph 2); Cassell and/or Allen take ill-advised shots.

Prediction - Celtics 88-81. LeBron doesn't get enough benefit of calls, and someone gets hot enough to matter.

Halftime update: LeBron has already been to the line 11 times, suggesting that he will keep getting charity in the second half. He has one rebound and one assist, however, suggesting that he is trying to do it all. Pierce is great thus far.

1 comment:

Cappy said...

Bah! Zydrunas Ilgauskas unto thee!