Boston Celtics Playoff Woes: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
I sit here at one o'clock in the morning in front of my computer, still fuming about the latest Celtics shortcoming on the road. I felt similarly after game six between the Hawks and Celtics just a couple weeks ago.
Of course, I eventually reasoned that the Celtics would just kill the Hawks at home, as they had done the first three games in TD Banknorth Garden.
And of course they did. So why not come to that conclusion right now?
Well, it's because the Cleveland Cavaliers aren't the Atlanta Hawks. The in-experienced Hawks came in to game seven over-confident, thinking that they could easily beat the Celtics away from the safe haven of Atlanta.
Obviously, reality hit them upside the head like a baseball bat after the opening tip, and the Celtics dominated the young Hawks team the entire game on the way to a blowout win.
But Cleveland will not have that cocky type of mindset. They know they can win in Boston, but they also acknowledge that it will be tough. Plus, the Celtics aren't just dealing with Joe Johnson now, they're dealing with a force of nature.
LeBron James is the type of player who can single-handedly lead his team to a win on the road. He knows when to get his teammates involved and when he needs to score the ball himself.
James thrives in the closing minutes of close games, whereas the Celtics have lacked a go-to scorer at the end of the game. If game seven is close all the way to the end, I wouldn't be surprised if Cleveland came out on top.
The Cavs have played lockdown defense in the fourth quarter of nearly every game in this series, and LeBron is all they need in order to score points.
The Celtics, meanwhile, haven't been able to get either scores or stops when they need them. All in all, Cleveland has the mental edge, if nothing else.
As a Celtic fan, I'm very angry right now. I feel conned, like a child who was promised ice cream and ended up getting yogurt. 66 wins in the regular season, a 31-10 record on the road.
Many expected to see greatness out of the Celtics in these playoffs, but all they've witnessed is a team who is hanging on by a thread, who has fell down a notch rather than stepping it up. That's only part of the reason why I'm angry.
I'm angry at Ray Allen for deciding to disappear completely and letting Wally-frickin-Szerbiak outplay him.
I'm angry at Paul Pierce for turning into Antoine Walker on the offensive end, as he now jacks up more threes than anything else.
I'm angry at Sam Cassell for making the Celtics' offense look as ugly as his face.
I'm angry at Doc Rivers for jerking the rotation around, first trying to destroy Rajon Rondo's confidence and now working on Leon Powe's mind.
I'm angry at Rajon Rondo (my favorite player) for making me absolutely love him more than Chris Paul one game, than wonder why he's even starting the next.
I'm angry because Kevin Garnett has never and seemingly will never have teammates who can elevate their game when it counts. He has been the lone consistent player for the Celtics throughout these playoffs.
If the Celtics lose game seven, the only player I will feel bad for is KG because he's the only one playing with any heart no matter where the game takes place.
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