Let me repeat myself... two-for-eighteen shooting. That was what LeBron James brought to the table tonight in Boston against the NBA's best regular season team, the Celtics.
Delonte West had a great night against his old backup point guard from his days in Boston just a year ago. But Rajon Rondo added a solid performance himself, combining with Kevin Garnett to score most of the Celtics' first half points.
On a bizarre night in the NBA Playoffs, LeBron James had - quite possibly - his worst professional basketball game... EVER. Between horrible three-pointers, a handful of missed layups, and multiple frustrated fouls, James offered the Cavaliers absolutely nothing on defense and only his free-throw shooting (eight-for-ten). Only LeBron could make a night where he fell just a rebound and a single assist short of a playoff triple-double look so bad. His twelve points were largely due to the "Dwayne-Wade Treatment" which has brought him to the line continuously -whether he deserves it or not- ever since he first made the NBA Playoffs.
Now I know by stating this I open the door to the lowest-common-denominator commenters who will say "LeBron Rulez" or "Celtics sux" (or some other amazingly intelligent insight), but I'm sorry... it has to be said.
When it all comes down to it, Paul Pierce shut down the supposed "MVP Candidate" more effectively than anyone has all year, and maybe better than anyone ever has before. Sure, Pierce ended with only 4 points himself, but his contribution was shutting down Cleveland's only shot at a victory... LeBron James. Ray Allen was scoreless, but the Celtics were able to produce without his usual offensive numbers. Again, this was largely due to Pierce and the Celtics' complete shutdown of the young man known as LBJ.
Until Cleveland manages to win a game, or LBJ makes some type of offensive contribution, the story will no longer be "Are the Celtics good enough?"
Instead, the question many fans were asking themselves after tonight was...