Both the Celtics and Cavs couldn’t buy a bucket in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. On Thursday night, Paul Pierce (4 points in Game 1) and Ray Allen (0 points in Game 1) combined for 35 points and the Celtics blew past the Cavs 89-73 at the TD Banknorth Garden. LeBron James didn’t shoot as poorly as he did in Game 1 but he was far from effective as he scored 21 points on just 6-24 shooting. The Celts take a 2-0 series lead but as we saw in round 1, the series is far from over.
The Cavs started the game with some hot shooting and jumped out to a 21-9 lead but the Celts finished the first half on a 35-15 run to take an eight point lead into the break. The Celts broke it open in the third, outscoring the Cavs 26-15 to take a 70-51 lead after three. Here are some thoughts about the game:
- The bench came through yet again. The Boston bench outscored the Cavs bench 34-17 and the second unit came in after the Cavs jumped out to a lead and settled things down. Sam Cassell, James Posey and Leon Powe all played huge minutes and kept the Celts in the game.
- Sam Cassell is living in the mid-90s. He played some big quality minutes in the late first/early second and really helped settle things down. He’s at his best when he’s keeping the pace high and creating shots off the dribble. His nine points and two assists helped big time.
- James Posey also turned the game around, as he lit up the scoreboard in many different categories, including a beautiful steal/dunk off LeBron James.
- Speaking of King James, the officials really kept him in the game. I’m not one to bash officials – especially in a blowout – but they were very weak at times. In the second, James Posey was called for a while when on the replay RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE OFFICIAL, it was crystal clear that LeBron lost control stepped out of bounds. For most of the second, all LeBron needed to do was charge the lane and he would get a call. Pierce was fouled clear as day when he drove the lane and needed to leave the game for treatment – but no call. The Celts won the game despite the officials.
- If not for Big Z, the Cavs would have been blown out of the building. The Cavs were dominated on the boards to the tune of 45-37 and were very limited on fast break points, yet Z made his first six shots to pace the Cavs. He finished with 19 points.
- It was nice to see Ray Allen get on track in the third quarter after going scoreless in the first half. He pumped in 11 points in the third and finally started jacking up some shots. There will be a time in this series where he takes a big shot for this team.
- Now we get to see what the Celts can do on the road. They now travel to Cleveland for a game Saturday night and the place should be rocking. If the Celts can take just one of the two games in Cleavland, this series could be over after five. There’s still a long way to go.
Tags: Celtics, LeBron James, Ray Allen