The Boston Celtics out-played the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in front of the same fans who held the MVPx2 placards at the beginning of the game celebrating LeBron James consecutive award. But there was no MVP player in the Cavs. Super-agile and Athletic Rajon Rondo paired up with Gevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to lead the Celtics on a 104-86 victory over King James and Co.
Not much was left to say about the Boston Celtics by March. Most sports commentators and reporters were giving the veteran team a short life expectancy once they hit the postseason. Even though the team that two years ago won the National Championship was about to be dismissed into a geriatric-care facility, the veterans are back, and if they can play like they did last night then there is a good chance they are going to punish the Cavaliers in their next two games in the Boston Garden.
The two-time MVP LeBron James and his teammates might have gone a bit too far in the celebration, or perhaps they were counting on Mo Williams to fly pass Rajon Rondo and the Celtics defense, or perhaps the Celtics quite simply out-played, out-scored and out-manned the favorite team in the Odds to win the NBA Championship.
Rondo served 19 assists. That’s a career high, and a franchise high in playoff games. Just to give you and idea of the kind of night the young star of the Celtics had 12 assists by halftime, and, yeah, two more assists then the Cavaliers whole team. From the inside, and from the perimeter, Rondo was attracting enough defenders to clear up space for his teammates to shot with some liberty.
This was a magnificent demonstration of teamwork. The Celtics has been one of the worst rebounding teams in the league. But yesterday, they kept on picking the boards. They finished with 11 more rebounds then the Cavs.
The Cavs first half was just lethargic. Even LeBron James, who came back in the 4th quarter to try to bring down the difference finished with below-average numbers. James finished with 24 points. This was the first time in the 6 games played so far this season the Celtics defense held Lebron under 30 points.
And let’s not even get started with Mo Williams. He missed 9 of his 8 shots and scored only four points. The Williams from the first game was nowhere to be seen last night. Still, as of press time, the Celtics are a -1½ point favorite for game No. 3 this Friday. It’s still hard to say exactly what is going to happen with LeBron’s elbow in this game, but at least from the bettor’s perspective, the Cavs are still the favorite in the series by Ml-240.