Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five thoughts from Game 5 of Celtics-Cavaliers

Posted by Bill Koch on May 11, 2010

Kevin Garnett

LeBron James

This could barely be called a last stand in Cleveland by LeBron James. He sat and watched like the rest of the Cavaliers and their fans at a deafeningly silent Quicken Loans Arena while the Boston Celtics put their dream season on life support.

Boston used a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take command of this one for good, storming to a 120-88 win in Game 5 of one of the damndest Eastern Conference semifinal series that we at Ramble On have ever seen.

How did this happen? Who saw this coming? Certainly nobody who watched Cleveland take back the home court advantage with a 29-point bludgeoning of Boston in Game 3 at The Fake Garden would have believed this could happen. The Cavaliers might be one game away from the end of King James’ reign in his home state, and their fans looked like the world was about to end while the final free throws were being taken in this one. Let’s look at five thoughts from Boston’s most emphatic victory since its Game 6 demolition of the Los Angeles Lakers that clinched Banner 17.

*  Don’t say a word about LeBron’s elbow, Cleveland fans. Shhhhhhhhhhhh. That ridiculous sleeve and the comedic grimacing and left-handed shooting were nowhere to be found in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night and neither was LeBron’s MVP form. He slumped to 15 points on a dreadful 3-for-14 effort from the field that featured almost exclusively jump shots and very little determination to get to the rim. LeBron looked like a man who was truly afraid of the big stage for the first time this season. He seemed like a guy with one foot out the door by the time he took in the final four minutes from the bench, shaking his head in disgust, with Cleveland’s nightmare scenario of losing its favorite son to free agency nearly come true.

*  The Big Three were at their best when Boston needed them the most. Paul Pierce emerged from his four-game hibernation with 21 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and just one turnover in 42 minutes, Ray Allen was 6-for-9 from 3-point range on his way to a game-high 25 points and Kevin Garnett went an efficient 8-for-14 while scoring 18 points. Pierce, Allen and Garnett led the Celtics to 55 percent shooting from the field against a Cleveland defense that had allegedly matured to championship caliber.

*  Rajon Rondo dominated Mo Williams yet again in our key matchup of the series. Rondo followed up a scoreless first half with 12 points in the third quarter while Boston expanded its lead from six to 17. Williams was helpless while Rondo knifed into the lane and got to the rim at will. The Celtics’ point guard scored all 16 of his points in the second half while Williams slumped to nine for the night. It’s not even a contest at this point.

Mike Brown

*  This final nugget of the night will count for our final two thoughts. Actually, it’s several thoughts rolled into one, but we’ll let you draw your own conclusions. We’ve left Mike Brown alone for most of this series, but Cleveland’s much-maligned coach proved his true ignorance on Tuesday night. I realized how out of touch Brown really is during his interview before the fourth quarter when he said that Allen was Cleveland’s defensive focus coming into the game. Uh, Mike? That guy named Rondo went 29-18-13 in Game 4. He makes Boston tick at this point. You might want to strike the head of the snake to kill the rest of it. I’m scared to do this, but I’m about to try to channel Brown’s Game 5 thoughts for a minute here.

‘J.J. Hickson? Who’s that? Oh that’s right – he’s the guy Danny Ferry wouldn’t trade at the deadline for veteran help because he thinks J.J. can help us right now. I disagree, despite his obvious physical gifts and ability to cause mismatches with Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace. I’ll save him for next year.’

‘Let’s see…who to turn to for a spark in the second quarter while leading by eight…I know! Big Z!! He’ll get a standing ovation and fire up the crowd…ugh. I forgot he can’t play. That’s why he was DNP – Coach’s Decision in each of the last three games.’

‘Mo’s getting killed again…what’s that other guard’s name that I have on my bench? Redz…I mean, Delonte West? Nope. Candice Parker’s brother? Nope. GIBSON!! That’s it!! Dan-…no, BOOBIE Gibson!! The last time I played him, I think, was while we were getting swept by the Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals. No wait – I played him twice in this series for a grand total of 6:17. Yeah, he’s the answer…or maybe not.’

‘Should I have LeBron guard Rondo? Forget it. We can try it next year. LeBron’s going to still be here, right? LeBron? LeBron? LEBRONNNNNNNNN?????!!!!!!!’

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