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Pierce Leads Celtics to Eastern Conference Finals

The Celtics lead the entire way today, but that did not stop the Cavs from providing a scare into the heart of every Boston fan around. Paul Pierce calmed all those hearts by performing in an spectacular fashion today as he and Lebron James clashed back and forth all game in a similar fashion to Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins in the 1988 Eastern Conference Semi-finals. Once again, the Celtics player was outscored, but his team was not out-dueled. The Celtics finished off the Cavs today 97-92 to advance on to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons.

This game was all about Paul Pierce for the Celtics. Right from the get-go Pierce seemed unstoppable. Even after a hard foul where Pierce went flying into a cameraman, he came back and delivered when it counted. Pierce finished off the day with 41 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Pierce was aided by Kevin Garnett who finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. P.J. Brown had an excellent game off of the bench with 10 points and 6 rebounds.

Eddie House continued to make his return to the Celtics by providing a great spark off the bench and helped get the crowd into the game as well make an extraordinary effort late in the first half by saving the ball after a steal from going out of bounds. His effort displayed just how much the Celtics wanted to advance into the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston also received contributions from Rajon Rondo who had 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists as well as Kendrick Perkins who also had 8 points. Ray Allen continued to struggle and managed only 4 points.

On the other end, Lebron James tried to defeat the Celtics himself (and almost succeeded). James finished the day with 45 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Delonte West was the only other Cleveland player to score in double figures by finishing the day with 15 points. The fact that the Celtics could contain the rest of the Cavs lineup was a big plus to them winning. Wally Szczerbiak was one Cleveland player, whom the Celtics contained, not allowing him to score any points the entire game.

Boston comes out of this series on top thanks to their great ability to play at home. They are really going to need to step it up on the road though against Detroit. I believe that they can still beat Detroit and even think that Cleveland may have been a tougher opponent than Detroit is. However, Detroit is well-rested since they eliminated Orlando and will be prepared for the Celtics. The Pistons will get Chauncey Billups back for the series after he missed the end of the Orlando series. If the Celtics can take one on the road and continue to play the way that they have been at home then I see this series only going 5 or 6 games. Detroit is a much older and experienced opponent then the Cavs and will continue to be a great match-up for the Celtics. The Celtics will need everything they can get to move past Detroit which starts with Ray Allen emerging from his slump.

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4 comments for “Pierce Leads Celtics to Eastern Conference Finals”

  1. I wonder what all the Paul Pierce naysayers are saying this morning. Can we finally just admit that he’s a great player, right up there with the Celtic legends? I hope so, and I stand in awe of his performance when it really, really mattered. This was surely an amazing duel between two great players, and let’s face it, it was the “Big One” last night not the “Big Three”. Had it been up to Garnett to save the day, it wouldn’t have happened. As analyst Kenny Smith so aptly said when talking about Garnett “Can you think of another superstar in the past 20 years who wasn’t capable of a 40 point plus game when it was needed”? Yeah, I love Garnett’s intensity, but when the chips were down, it was Pierce who carried the load.
    As for Ray Allen, is there anyone out there who thinks that Seattle didn’t know what it was doing when they let him go? Is there anyone who wouldn’t trade him right now – even up – for Delonte West? Sorry Ray, but I’ve felt you were semi-shot all year, and now you’re really showing just how absurd the mention of you as a member of the Big Three is. I’m afraid age has caught up to the great shooter that once was. Even if you finally manage to sink a few shots in the Detroit series, the question will always be asked “Where were you in the first two series when Doc gave you every chance to prove your worth?”

    Special kudos to P.J. Brown for some terrific clutch plays, and to Eddie House for his intensity. Go Celts! Beat Detroit! Win a road game!!!!

    Posted by Ken | May 19, 2008, 7:25 am
  2. Eddie House is da man.

    Posted by Jeff | May 19, 2008, 9:01 am
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