Everyone wants look for one scapegoat after losing a winnable game on the road… but this one has plenty of them. Here they are… in no particular order.
Doc Rivers: I’ve said in the past that we got Sam Cassell…. because we needed a back up point guard. But I think its time for everyone (Doc) to realize that we’re not getting the guy who will run our offense while Rondo takes a rest. We’ve got a guy who is here to get his own shot, and nothing more. I know you trust veterans… but this guy is essentially an older Eddie House right now. The thing is… we’ve got A YOUNGER EDDIE HOUSE ON THE BENCH! I know he’s not a ball handler… but he’ll at least try to run the offense. And there were more than a few games this season where Eddie boosted a sagging offense. The Sam experiment needs to end… and end now. Bring Eddie off the bench at home… and let him get into a groove.
Sam Cassell: Here’s my impression of Sam: dribble dribble dribble dribble shoot. Dribble dribble dribble dribble shoot. Hey Sam… you’re here for a reason… to get a ring. It’s not going to happen doing that. And if I hear “that’s who I am”… then I’ll take up a collection to buy out the rest of your deal. Bigger stars than you have sacrificed “who they are” for a chance at a ring… we don’t need an elderly, back-up screwing it upby refusing to tweak his game.
Rajon Rondo: For making Doc Rivers feel like has to put Sam in. Last night was better… but this series has been a bit of a let down… especially when you’re the most talented point guard in the building.
Paul Pierce: The D on LeBron has been great… and I’m sure that’s making you a little tired on the offensive end. Fine… but that doesn’t mean settle for jumpers with 18 seconds on the clock. Drive to the hole… and get to the line. Or drive and dish. Stop trying to answer one of their 3’s with one of your own 2 seconds after crossing half court.:
“We have to play better under stress,” Rivers said. “There’s no doubt about it. I call them hero shots. I thought we took a lot of those instead of just trusting what we do.”
Kevin Garnett: If I was an international basketball Icon… I’d be pissed to read this:
Garnett scored 15 points, but only two in the second half, as Cavs forward Anderson Varejao harassed Boston’s All-Star all night.
I have a hard time believing Garnett can’t score more than 2 points in a half on Varejao.
Ray Allen: 33% from the field… 20% from 3 in this series… 14 ppg. A lot of us are happy to sacrifice Pierce’s offensive numbers because of his D on LeBron… but that means you have to pick up the slack.
The Bench: Daniel Gibson last night: 14 points. Celtics bench: 17 points… and that’s only because PJ Brown stepped up with an improbable 4-4, 8 point effort. Oh.. and the Cavs bench outrebounded our bench 18-11.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg. For some reason… this team has a different attitude on the road. It has wide-eyed, slack-jawed bit of awestruck look sometimes. To be outscored 20-12 in the 4th quarter last night is inexcusable. The Celtics are averaging 17.4 ppg in the 4th quarters of their losses. They’re giving up 24.6. They’re wilting in crunch time on the road.
I still have confidence that this team will win at home… but I’m not comfortable with being tied with LeBron James in a 3 game series… when he’s just starting to get hot and we’re still frigid on the road.
I’ll take 7-7-7-7 for a championship… but I wouldn’t mind getting back to business at home tomorrow… and then finally finishing a team off in 6.
Herald: C’s stall late | Celts rate low in poise category | Mother Lode in LeBron | Brown delivers shot of life | Celts not alone as playoff road kill | Stern blasts pregame pyrotechnics | Defense no longer only road obstacle | LeBron provides exclamation point | Globe: Celtics collapse in 4th | All roads lead to losses | Foiled by poor finish | Cavs backup plan paid off | Stern puts fine points on Pierce case | Souza: Here we go again | Plain Dealer: Cav’s Varejao mops up Garnett (oh…. that hurts me so much) | SI: Its clear Boston isn’t title worthy (note: Does that apply to all the other teams who have lost 2 road games?) | ESPN: Daily Dime | KG on All-Defensive team