The Celtics walked into Cleveland and got waxed. But the way the Cavs conducted themselves will come back to haunt them.
Let's start with Anderson Varejao, and the play on Ray Allen in that video. Varejao wraps up Ray's arm, spins him and dumps him to the ground. Unless you hate the Celtics, like Fanhouse's Brett Pollakoff, it's pretty clear that Andy meant to dump Ray. You don't go from behind a guy to in front of him by "getting tangled up." Ray wasn't having any of it.
“It was a dirty play,” Allen said. “He threw me to the ground. He wrapped my arm and threw me to the ground, and I wasn’t going to do whatever he wanted.
“I’m not going to lie – I’ll always stand up for myself and anyone on this team. It’s in my nature. They’re not going to just walk all over us. I had to make a stance. It was embarrassing for us to get beat this way – playing on national TV.”
What Varejao did is kinda weak, but it's no big deal. It's a technical foul at best. It's more of a bitch move than a dirty play. It's aimed at pissing you off, which it did. Ray shouldn't have thrown elbow to his nuts. What's funny is that Varejao hits the deck and flops at the slightest contact… yet he stands tall after an elbow to the jewels? Really? You'd think he'd try to get Ray tossed by writhing around in pain there. Weird.
Ray will probably get fined for it, and he deserves it. But that kind of move could come back to haunt the Cavs. It's one thing to blow out a team you could be facing in the Conference Finals. It's another to embarrass them with moves like this.
The other thing that the Celtics will remember… the over-the-top celebrations on the Cavs sidelines. The Cavs are toeing the line between "just having fun out there" and "showing up an opponent." I'm all for celebrating after a nice play… but Mo Williams jumping around like they just won the title… that's just a little inappropriate. And not inappropriate like "I'm offended." Inappropriate like "it was just a dunk… relax". There were other instances, and Ray didn't like those either.
“I’m always going to remember that,” Ray Allen said. “If I beat a team, as happy as I may be in victory, I’m always going to stay humble and always remember that there’s another day. We play each other too much. Those are great motivational thoughts for me.”
Like I said… the Cavs are right at that line where whether they went too far is up for debate. And that's fine. I'm not here to complain about it. Nothing they did pissed me off. But it DID piss off the Celtics… and that's what matters. The Cavs were celebrating like it was a blowout in Game 7… rather than a meaningless regular season game. You don't want to give a team that feeds off emotion like the Celtics something to get amped up about the next time around.
Herald: Cavs play tune on Celtics | Seeing Stars' value | C's not in fighting mood | Globe: Pierce unruffled by romp | Beaten but not bowed | Pressure not really building | KG talks to ESPN | Camerato: Varejao more than just a flopper | Akron Beacon Journal (via Herald): Easy Cavs win just continues celebration