Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five thoughts from Game 3 of Celtics-Cavaliers

Posted by Bill Koch on May 8, 2010

LeBron James dunk

So much for stealing the home court advantage.

The Boston Celtics threw out an absolute stink bomb at The Fake Garden on Friday night, as the Cleveland Cavaliers romped to an embarrassing 124-95 ass-kicking in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Cleveland regained control of the best-of-7 series and now has to be considered the favorite again to advance to the conference finals and beyond. Here are five thoughts from a miserable night on Causeway Street.

*  LeBron James is either full of shit or he’s a pussy. As my man Tim Flynn likes to say, I’m going with a little from Column A and a little from Column B. What right elbow injury? LeBron piled up 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting in the first quarter alone on Friday, attacking the rim with reckless abandon and leaving Boston helpless to stop him. I have no idea if James has ever been hurt before, but he’s clearly a lot closer to 100 percent than he ever wanted to believe.

*  That said, King James is still an absolute beast. He finished with a game-high 38 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover in 40 masterful minutes. This was the NBA’s best player at the height of his powers, and nobody on the planet right now can stop LeBron when he’s in the mood to play hard and able to get out of his own head.

*  Boston’s defensive effort in Game 3, if you can truly call it that, was gutless. Cleveland shot 59.5 percent from the field and got into the paint enough to go a ridiculous 31-for-34 from the foul line. What happens when a team allows an opposing offense to post those numbers? You saw it in 48 painful minutes for the Celtics.

*  A nightly check of our key matchup of the series, Rajon Rondo vs. Mo Williams, shows a stalemate. That means a victory for Cleveland, as Rondo failed to replicate the super-human effort that he produced in Game 2 or during the 4-1 shelling of the Miami Heat in the previous round. To be perfectly clear, this isn’t meant as blame tossed Rondo’s way – he racked up 18 points and eight assists in 36 minutes – but the Celtics need him to be decisively better than Williams, who finished with 12 points, seven assists and no turnovers in 34 minutes.

*  The long delay between Games 2 and 3 clearly favored the Cavaliers. Boston had the pleasure of hearing about how The Big Three was now The Gigantic Four, about how Rondo was the best player on the team, about how LeBron was undergoing his 16th MRI in 10 days on his mythical elbow injury. Cleveland heard all of this too and was clearly pissed off – the Celtics absorbed a 36-17 whipping during the first quarter of Game 3. Thanks for that, David Stern. Nice playoff schedule. You too, Doc Rivers. Way to keep your team sharp and have them prepared to play.


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