|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
…and then LeBron James sent a strong message: the Cavs are going to provide the toughest test of the season for the Celtics. With one dramatic dunk around Rajon Rondo, James Posey, and then emphatically over NBA Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Garnett, LeBron showed that he’s capable of taking over a series.
What’s alarming is that the Celtics offense has just disappeared on the road after a disappointing 88-77 loss in Game 4 in Cleveland. Initially during their rocky road troubles in the playoffs, the Celtics defense couldn’t stop anybody. In Game 4 of the second round series, the Celtics held the Cavs mostly at bay, and in the end allowed only 21 points from LeBron James and 88 points overall. But, when you score just 12 points total in the fourth quarter, you have a lot of problems.
James still shot just 7/20 from the floor (35%), but certainly played well enough to bring this series back to Boston tied 2-2. Even his mom was pumped up: during a hard foul in the second quarter when Paul Pierce wrapped up LeBron on his way to the hoop, LeBron’s mom ran toward the court and confronted Pierce and Kevin Garnett. LeBron shouted in not-so-kind words “Go sit down!”
The Celts offense just plain had no punch: KG, Rajon Rondo, and Ray Allen led the Celtics with just 15 points each. Paul Pierce, who was so good playing at home for the Celtics, shot just 6-17 to finish with 13 points.
I mean, what is there left to say? The Celtics cannot win on the road in the playoffs, and I have no reason to think they will. I said the Celtics could win in seven games, but I absolutely guarantee if the Cavs win Game 5 in Boston (which they very well could), they’ll win the series in Game 6. I have no doubts about that at all.