I often wonder what opposing teams, their beat reporters
and bloggers are saying about the Celtics after playing the Celtics.
Here's a dose of 'enemy chatter' from Cleveland.
In the third quarter, the Celtics tightened the screws defensively.
Every time the Cavs drove to the basket, there weare two or three
defenders waiting for them. When they tried to drive and kick, the
Celtics rotated effortlessly and instantly. LeBron tried to work pick
and roll with Varejao, but the Celtics were a step ahead of whatever he
With that kind of defensive dominance working for them, all the
Celtics needed to do to break the game open was hit a couple of shots.
With 4:39 remaining in the third, they got their run. Paul Pierce hit a
pair of free throws, followed that up with a three, and Kevin Garnett
hit a deep jumper to put the Celtics up nine and the Cavs officially on
the ropes. After a timeout, Rasheed and Pierce hit threes to put the
Celtics up 12, and from there it was just a matter of time.
Let me start by giving credit to the Boston
Celtics. Largely dismissed for much of the season, the Celtics
rose from the ashes and played with the heart of a champion. If there
was a loose ball to get, they got it. If there was a big shot to hit,
they hit it. If there was a rebound to get, they got it. Full credit
to Boston for putting their foot on the Cavaliers'
throat and ending the series when they had the chance.
I feel for Cavs fans, I really do.
After a fantastic regular season and tough playoff loss, they now have to worry about whether or not LeBron will resign. The Cavs have done everything possible to surround him with veteran talent (Shaq, Jamison, Mo Williams). They've also drafted some young studs (Hickson and Varejao) and paid them big money to stick around (Varejao's $40+ million contract.)
The real liability there is Mike Brown. Danny Ferry should have cut him loose a few years ago. I'm guessing he's only around because he had LBJ's seal of approval.
LeBron's impending free agency is all about ego. He wants everyone speculating about his future. He wants his ass kissed by the Knicks, Bulls, Heat, Nets, ESPN, etc.
LeBron won't find a better story anywhere else. Hometown kid leads his team to its first NBA championship. How does it get any better than that?