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Celtics Continue to Struggle on the Road

Boston was quickly up 4-0 to start the game, but after that it was all Cleveland. The Celtics lost game three in the second round of the playoffs tonight. Cleveland embarrassed the Celtics by beating them 108-84. The struggles on the road in the playoffs continued tonight for the Celtics, who were the best road team in the NBA during the regular season. However, winning on the road during the regular season and the playoffs are two completely different atmospheres, and it seems that the Celtics are severely affected by the distinction.

Lebron James had a much better game than his past two at Boston, although he did still struggle from the floor a bit. James still ended up with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, 8 assists, and 4 steals. James got help from Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and Joe Smith. Ilgauskas had 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 Assists. West and Szczerbiak added 21 points and 16 points respectively, and Joe Smith off the bench added 17 points. The Cavs took the early lead, going up by double figures early in the first quarter and never letting up. The Celtics were never able to come back any closer than 12 points.

The other team that played? The Boston Celtics? The NBA’s best road team in the regular season by going 31-10? No, that could not have been them out on the floor, but sadly it was. The Celtics had difficulty in this game the whole time. They could not keep up in points, rebounding, or any method of defense the Cavs put on them. Nothing seemed to go right from the get go, and although they made a few little runs in the second half, it was to no avail. Kevin Garnett lead the Celtics with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Paul Pierce added 14, Ray Allen had 10, Kendrick Perkins had 12 points and 7 rebounds, and James Posey had 11 off the bench. Rajon Rondo had a lot of difficulty in this one and just never seemed to find his groove in the game, which partly led to his only seven points in the game.

This game was hopefully not a display of the kind of game the Celtics will again play on Monday in Cleveland. They need to play as dominantly on the road as they do at home. This first game does not have me worried yet because they are still up two games to one. The goal was to at least come into to Cleveland and split the two games and hopefully advance after winning in game 5. The Celtics need to find that key component they have at home and use it on the road though. If the Celtics cannot do this and cannot win a game on the road, then I do not see them advancing as far as they are projected for the rest of the playoffs. Game four will can show us all that the Celtics have the ability to win a game on the road in the playoffs, and bring the anxiety level in Boston down.

Other Notes:

  • Cleveland’s Ben Wallace, who left Thursday’s game after complaining of dizziness, was diagnosed with an inner ear infection. Despite his condition, he started the game and finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds.

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Discussion

5 comments for “Celtics Continue to Struggle on the Road”

  1. I just don’t get it. Why do they just not show up on the road in the playoffs? I’d say its do or die in Game 4 in Cleveland…because the Cavs could definitely take a game from the Celtics in Boston.

    Posted by KC | May 11, 2008, 1:25 am
  2. This is really getting old. I’m thoroughly disgusted by this inability to win, or even look like winners, on the road. How can you possibly be the best team in the NBA in road wins for the regular season, yet look so helpless in postseason on the other team’s court? It’s downright embarassing, and a total mystery to me.

    And wasn’t it great to see Wally sinking all those shots he couldn’t hit when he was a Celtic as he completely outplayed Ray Allen? And wasn’t it great to see Rondo look helpless against Delonte and completely disappear in that game? And what happened to the vaunted shooting skills of “Old Sam” when the chips were down? Many questions, no answers.

    All during the regular season, the Celtic broadcasters assured us that there was a playoff atmosphere every time we played in somebody else’s arena. We were always getting the opposing team’s “best shot” because we had “targets on our back” but we usually managed to win anyway, because we were so damned “intense” (is everybody else sick of that word too?). Seems that was just so much hyperbole, huh? I guess we better just hope that the Celts never lose at home, because as soon as they head into the enemy camp, they simply collapse.

    Posted by Ken | May 11, 2008, 7:47 am
  3. Well after Game 2 I predicted that the Celts would lose Game 3 and then take Game 4 and 5. It still didn’t make it any better to see your team down 43-16 and for all intents and purposes the game is over.

    The defensive intensity definitely wasn’t there but the Celts made a decision that LeBron and Big Z weren’t going to beat them so they left guys like Ben Wallace, Delonte and Wally open on the weak side and they just hit their shots.

    One thing that was VERY disconcerting was that the Celts didn’t shoot a single free throw until there was about 3 minutes to go in the FIRST HALF. You gotta take it to the rim boys!

    One side note, that “charge” call called on KG when he nudged the flopper Delonte was an ATROCIOUS call. No wonder Doc was hot.

    LeBron wants to be an actor I think. Yes, it was a flagrent, but he didn’t have to lie motionless on the floor for 2 minutes then pop up and take the ball out of bounds. Who does he think he is? Christiano Ronaldo!?? (soccer reference)

    Bottom line is, I can see them taking Game 4. If not, they’ll come back home having a 6-0 record at home and 0-5 on the road and they would be very vulnerable to losing the series.

    Posted by Jeff | May 11, 2008, 8:24 am
  4. [...] forgetting to bring their lucky charms Cavalier Attitude Home court advantage? Sports of Boston Celtics continue to struggle on the road X’s and O’s of Basketball Cavs overload on defense leaving Rondo to beat them NECN [...]

    Posted by Celtics247.com » Blog Archive » Today’s Links 5/11 | May 11, 2008, 11:01 am
  5. Who cares if we lose every road game? As long as we keep winning every home game, then we are fine.

    Posted by Pete | May 11, 2008, 12:20 pm

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