Ramble On Sports

Where sports, pop culture and everything else collide.

Five (legitimate) thoughts from Game 6 of Celtics-Cavaliers

Posted by Bill Koch on May 14, 2010

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Let The Summer of LeBron begin.

King James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers can start making their vacation plans a little early this year after the Boston Celtics pulled the stunner of the 2009-10 NBA season on Thursday night. Boston finished off its upset of Cleveland with a 94-85 victory at The Fake Garden, earning a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals and a postseason rematch against the Orlando Magic.

The Celtics rode another strong third quarter, more brilliance from Rajon Rondo and a huge night from Kevin Garnett against Cleveland’s overwhelmed front court to advance. How did this happen? Let’s break it down in our five points from Thursday night’s action.

— King James was worthy of his crown on Thursday for several reasons. Ramble On learned just before Game 6 that the word on the street in Cleveland is that LeBron is injured – not hurt – and that makes his triple-double all that much more impressive. He’s going to take most of the blame for the Cavaliers’ failure and rightly so as the team’s leader and two-time MVP, but we’re going to tone down the venom a bit after hearing that he was playing with a hairline fracture and possible ligament damage in that incredibly valuable right arm. His game-high 27 points, game-high 19 rebounds and 10 assists weren’t enough for his gutless teammates to rally behind. Hope you had fun playing with the NBA’s best, fellas. He won’t be there for you to quit on next season like you did in the middle of the fourth quarter.

— This revelation has to bleed into a second point because it’s so juicy. For those who look to his 21-point explosion in the first quarter of Game 3 as proof that James couldn’t have been hurt, consider this – those same sources told Ramble On that LeBron allegedly had a cortisone shot. Those can only go so far. We only need to think back to Joe Thornton’s scoreless series against the Montreal Canadiens in 2003-04 and the following calls from some members of the media that he resign as team captain – then the full disclosure that he was playing with torn rib cartilage and was taking the needle before every game and sometimes between periods. I hope LeBron was seriously hurt, because it would go a long way toward explaining his indifferent play and instantly restore his reputation around the league.

— Mo Williams won the early part of the battle with 20 points in the first half, but Rondo won the war with yet another sensational performance to highlight our key matchup of the series. Boston’s emerging star was 9-for-15 from the field, poured in 21 points and dished out a game-high 12 assists to spark the Celtics’ offense yet again. Williams came up small in crunch time by netting a single field goal in the second half, a 1-for-8 display that had the words ‘GAG JOB’ written all over it. Rondo, as he did throughout the series, played his best basketball when it counted the most. Be afraid, Jameer Nelson. Be very, very afraid.

— Anderson Vaginajao has become the new Dennis Rodman. Sideshow Bob was at his vagine-esque worst during the second half when he begged for the game to be stopped because he was allegedly bleeding and he stood and watched while Boston stretched out its lead from five points to nine. We certainly won’t miss Vaginajao’s flopping and crying and Cleveland fans will want to forget his 2-for-7, six-point, three-turnover performance in 27 worthless minutes.

— Boston’s bench started as the weak link in this series, but Cleveland coach Mike Brown and his questionable tactics neutralized what should have been a strength for the Cavaliers. J.J. Hickson played a grand total of 10 seconds on Thursday night while Delonte West was a pathetic minus-12 and Vaginajao delivered the complete lack of goods mentioned above. Tony Allen chipped in his second straight solid game from the Celtics, dropping in 10 points, and Rasheed Wallace came out of the Witness Protection Program for the second time in the series to score 13. Boston will need that sort of production from its reserves if it hopes to overcome the team that ended its season last year.

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