Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cavs Whip Celts!

Last night I witnessed the Cavaliers take on the anointed ones in a 109-104 overtime victory. The game had a real playoff feel to it, with players trading barbs and the crowd going wild. There was much to praise, like Drew Gooden sticking jumper after jumper in Kevin Garnett's face. LeBron making Paul Pierce look bad. Ray Allen missing two free throws after a HORRIBLE bailout call when he dribbled off his leg. Sasha Pavlovic draining a game-tying three in the corner to force overtime. Our three best players outplaying their three best players was particularly satisfying.

The loss was just the second for Boston, but it won't be the last.

Make no mistake; they are a good team. A very good team. They are not a great team. We all know their strengths. The media have been pointing them out as much as they have the Cavs' weaknesses. But the Celtics have weaknesses of their own.

To wit:

The bench. In a word, it's crap. James Posey makes a positive impact, but after that it's pretty much a junk heap. Scalabrine, Pollard, House and the walking armoire Glen Davis do not make for an impressive second unit. As I recall, Scot Pollard couldn't crack our rotation.

Their center. Kendrick Perkins has got to be the luckiest player in the NBA. With Garnett drawing double teams all over the place, Perkins gets more bunny shots under the basket than maybe anyone else in the NBA. It's no coincidence that his shooting percentage is up 10 points from his career average. After all, it's tough to miss a wide open dunk. Still, the fact that big Z left Perkins wide open time after time is a testament to the center's lack of skill.

Their point guard. The more Rajon Rondo shoots the ball, the less chance the Celtics have of winning. He's quick and talented but he can't shoot from the floor or the stripe. Still, if he gets better, watch out.

I've always loved Kevin Garnett's game, and I don't envision him being abused by Drew Gooden too often, but didn't he go to that kind of slow developing, poor man's version of the dream shake a little too often. He's long enough to get his shot off from anywhere, but that move looks extremely guardable to me. And it earned him traveling violation at least once.

To me, the Celt's 11-2 start is misleading. Glancing over their November schedule, the competition has been mediocre at best. Look for an early playoff exit. If they do make the finals, they will be murdered by San Antonio. Collectively their big three has won absolutely nothing.

I love hating the Celtics. Always have. I'll be waiting your response, Kiwi Bird.


Tonight the Cavs play the Pistons in Detroit. Detroit did not play yesterday, so expect a 20 point blowout in the Pistons' favor and lots of perimeter bricks from the Cavs. This will be the fifth back to back for the Cavs in the young season. On each occasion, the other team did not play the previous night. Over the past several years the NBA has instituted changes in the rules in an effort to improve the entertainment quality of the game. Does anyone really think that defensive three second violations make that much of a difference? Who watches basketball for free throw shooting.

Hey, NBA, if you're serious about improving your product, then ELIMINATE BACK TO BACK GAMES! A fatigued team makes for some seriously bad basketball. And who the hell wants to watch a leg-weary, flat-footed team play a rested team on the road in an unavoidable 20 point blowout? NOBODY.

Figure it out.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All good points, nwb...and a very well fought game by the cavs...I bow, temporarily, to the King...

though the road will be determined by San question...right now, both Boston & Cleveland are just the JV Squad when it comes to the West.

It is, though, nice to see Cleveland excited about a hot hand from Drew Gooden in the regular season because they won't be able to help him hit those jumpers come playoff time.

Complaining about back-to-back games? Come on, nwb!!

You know it's been this way since the early '80s. Why change it? It gives the Charlotte's & Minnesota's of the NBA a shot at actually winning more games. Plus, it also keeps the league leaders in check.

Your right about the C's's gonna be slim pickings down the stretch if they're asking the trio to put in 40+ minutes (btw, Pierce, Allen, & Garnett aren't the Big Three in my eyes; they haven't proved anything except they can score). Rondo & Perkins need to step up big...I think they are a year away from that happening though.

Hey, maybe we'll go get somebody come playoff time...oh wait, that's right, we've got no room...ahhh, the NBA Salary Cap, it's faaaaaannnntastic!!