May 19th, 2008 – Dr. Dime
When the Boston Celtics finished the regular season with an NBA best 66 wins, most NBA fans (especially those in Green) were ready to hand over the Eastern Conference title to the Celtics. Winning only 3 series against teams in the weaker Eastern Conference should be a breeze for the Celtics right?
Not exactly. Out of nowhere the Celtics have developed serious struggles on the road. For anyone who hasn’t been following the first two rounds of the playoffs the Boston Celtics have yet to win a road game. That’s right; they are 0-6 on the road in the 2008 post-season. This from a team that also had a league leading 31 wins on the road this year.
Lucky for the Celtics, having the league best record and the home court advantage all the way through the playoffs means they can theoretically win the NBA Championship without ever winning a road game. Of course that would mean they would need to be perfect at the Boston Garden for their entire playoff run.
Heading into yesterday’s Game 7 against the Cleveland Cavaliers the buzz in NBA circles has been about two keys to this game. Most Celtics supporters have been wondering which one of the Celtics “Big Three” would step up their game with the season and their championship aspirations on the line. The Cavaliers supporters have been praying that someone, anyone, would give Lebron James some help on the offensive end. To answer both questions, Paul Pierce had a monster game for the Celtics and absolutely no one stepped up to give King James a hand.
So with that being said, was a big game from the great Lebron James, with virtually no help from his teammates, enough to beat the Mighty Boston Celtics?
Not this time.
In the first half the Celtics dominated the Cavaliers on both ends of the floor. For this series, one of the lowest scoring of all time, that translated into a 10 point lead for the Celtics at half time.
Although Paul Pierce finished the first half with 26 points by picking apart the Cavs with his smooth jumper and ability to get to the rim and draw fouls at will, it was the hustle plays of the spark plug Eddie House that had the Boston Garden a rockin’.
Then at the start of the second half the Celtics came out flat. From there on in it was a battle between Paul Pierce and Lebron James. With the two All-Stars exchanging blows, the question clearly became who would be able to take the other’s biggest hit and keep on attacking?
Pierce hits the smooth Jumper with a hand in his face. Lebron takes it to the cup, And 1. Pierce with the spin move floater. Lebron hits the three from waaaay downtown.
These two heavyweight scorers kept on scoring and scoring. The plays for both coaches were seemingly get Pierce or Lebron the rock, and everyone else get the hell out of the way!
So in this one on one battle it was fitting in the closing minutes when Lebron steals the ball from Pierce to take it in for an easy dunk and close the Cavaliers to within 1 point of the Celtics.
Then a minute later it was also fitting when Paul Pierce slips the Lebron James weak box out on a jump ball to steal a possession from the Cavs in the closing minute of play.
Can these two players, Pierce and James, be any more clutch in a Game 7? Unfortunately the season is ending for one of them. Sorry Cavs fans, but that player is Lebron James. As well as King James played, he just didn’t get any help.
And in the closing seconds of the game it couldn’t have been scripted any better with Pierce hitting two clutch free throws, then who else getting a steal to seal the win for the Celtics, but Eddie House.
So, what are the House Rules?
I guess that Pierce really is “the truth” in Boston.
97-92 Boston. Look out Pistons.