For a team that had the best record in the east and what appeared to be all the right components for a title and a star to take them there - the unthinkable has happened. They lost in 6 games to a team with no single super star and a point guard who caused them fits.
Yes, the apparently 'too old' Celtics beat everyone's favourite team (quiet literally) Cleveland.
There, I said it. Let me soak it up for a second. It is times like this when it feels great to be a devotee of the green and white.
So to break it down, what went right for Boston? And for Cavs fans, how did this conceivably occur? The fall out from this series has massive ramifications for the off season free agency market as well as exposing the true credentials of the teams that contested what coach Doc Rivers refered to as 'a brutal series'.
- Boston just played better when it counted: Ok, I am a fan, but it is what I believe truly took place over 6 games. That said the Celtics had lapses, worst-playoff-loss-in history kind of lapses.That is why I added 'when it counted'. And it counted games 4 and 5. In every loss the Cavs suffered, they where held to around 40% from the field and LeBron either was a no show or misfired. The Celtics did a great job containing the 'king' (without a crown) but LeBron's sub par play may have also been due in part to some wear and tear on his elbow. But it didn't seem to bother him when he torched the C's for 38 in game 3.
- Game 5: This was so damn pivotal to the outcome of the series. I mean the Celtics really demolished the Cavs in this one. And in their own house. A king hit to Cleveland both mentally and physically. The reason; When Cleveland focused all their attention on containing Rondo, the big three used that sliver of day light to heat up. Peirce finally shook of LeBron's defensive shackles and had 14 in the first half while Rondo was held scoreless in the first half. Once Rondo started getting looks (he finished with 21) in the 2nd half the damage had been inflicted, a Cavs team was left genuinely rattled with their backs against the wall. Not a good place to be when you have to win the next game in Boston. Did I mention they lost that one?
- Blood in the water: To close out a series means you need to take the momentum, and pasting Cleveland in game 5 gave the C's the beginning of that. The Celtics had to take advantage of the blood in the water and close it out, play with the will and urgency to finish it on their terms and their home court. And they did that once again with a balanced attack with no one star and a team of players ready to step up. Tony Allen, Rasheed and a invigorated KG were 3 of 5 Celtics in double figures.
But that has been working for us of late.
Green and white for life.