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NBA Playoffs Cavs Celtics Game 6: Celtics overwhelm meek Cavs to advance to Eastern Finals

May 13, 2010, 10:40 PM EDT

Pierce_celebrate.jpgAnd so it ends. The number one seed in the East. The number one seed in the NBA. The title favorite, again. The MVP. Cleveland’s best chance for redemption.

Swept away in a green tidal wave of Celtic pride.

The Boston Celtics out-executed the Cleveland Cavaliers 94-85 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals because of two things. Super execution by the Boston Celtics, and another mortal game by LeBron James. This is assuming you’ve figured out that yet again, the Cleveland support system failed as they have every year at some point in the playoffs since James’ arrival in Cleveland.

Boston’s execution in the late third and early fourth quarter was simply superb. Rajon Rondo was relentless, and the Celtics took advantage of every matchup they were favored in. Kevin Garnett continuously nailed tough, defended shots by Antawn Jamison using his superior length. They were fierce, displaying the tenacity of a champion. Hold, I’m going to throw up from how cliche that is.

Okay.

But there’s no getting around it. The Celtics really, honestly, did want this more. They fought till the very end, for every rebound, for every loose ball, and played their typical fierce brand of defense. They were superior from every angle on that side of the ball, forcing 22 Cavalier turnovers, including 9 from LeBron James.

And oh, LeBron James.

Was it a better game than Game 5? Undoubtedly. 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists, which sounds like a monster game. The effort was there. But 8-21 won’t get it done. Repeatedly dribbling around the perimeter only to dump the pass off to Mo Williams (who we can and will write volumes about in terms of failure disguised as average play), or trying to run the pick and roll with Anderson Varejao instead of forcing the issue? Won’t get it done.

Don’t be surprised if there’s an announcement about James’ elbow and a surgery in Cleveland in the next week or so. This isn’t an excuse. He stepped out on the floor and for that he deserves to have his play criticized. He failed to deliver as the best player on the floor, and even if he was dealing with a significant injury, which it certainly seems like it was, if you can suit up, you deal with the consequences.

And the consequences are severe.

Mike Brown may lose his job. Shaquille O’Neal may switch teams. LeBron James may never play another game as a Cleveland Cavalier again. Antawn Jamison will now have the rest of his career compared to Amar’e Stoudemire.

But that’s for later.

Right now? It’s Kevin Garnett and his 18 footer. Paul Pierce making a handful of plays when it was needed. Rajon Rondo asserting himself as the arguable best point guard in the league. Tony Allen emerging as a legitimate sixth man. And the Boston Celtics, riding high once more, off to face the Orlando Magic in a dogfight.

If they keep playing like this, big dog will eat.

Boston visits Orlando for Game 1 Sunday.

  1. Kako - May 13, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    I’ll be glad when July 1st is here. I’m sick and tired of hearing about where Lebron is going to go. The season was an utter failure. I’m just glad I’m not going to watch the rest of the playoffs.

  2. YX - May 13, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Bill Simmon’s evil plot was hilarious

  3. LakersFan - May 13, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    Told ya. 9 turnovers? Are you serious? An MVP? **laughs** 8 for 21? Are you serious? An MVP? And yes, fire Mike Brown.
    LeBron goin’ fishin’. Maybe you won’t pucker up on a boat …
    Now watch the men play, LeBron. You have a lot to learn about a ‘team’ sport.

  4. Patrick - May 13, 2010 at 11:48 PM

    Just when you thought the sports media and fans coudn’t get anymore dumb, we’re now being told that getting a triple double counts as a poor ‘unclutch’ performance. Idiots.

  5. donniev007 - May 13, 2010 at 11:50 PM

    the Celtics earned this 100%. they are a better team.

  6. donniev007 - May 13, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    this is not on LeBron, not even close. the Celtics earned this.

  7. YX - May 14, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    You obviously didn’t watch the game.
    The only thing James did well today was rebounding.
    The only reason he got double digit assist is because he is too afraid.
    27 points on 8-21 shooting while taking 12 freebies (and missing 3) is nothing to write home about.
    Not to mention he nearly had a quadruple double.

  8. lewnasty - May 14, 2010 at 12:35 AM

    I still believe Kevin Durant should have won the MVP award. No matter were Labron goes, his basic fundamental basketball skills needs work. His dribbling, and foot work sucks. He can not put a team on his back, and say follow me.

  9. Ron - May 14, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Cavaliers are pretenders; always have been, always will be. When LeBron leaves, Cleveland turns into a 25-win team again.

  10. Ada - May 14, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    LeBron James is the best. He will do best next season.

  11. Rob - May 14, 2010 at 4:45 AM

    HA! I love it! LeBron James is an overrated punk. The Alexander Ovechkin of the NBA(Crosby will always be the best!)
    Cleveland is a garbage dump. You losers will always be losers.
    Ha!Ha!Ha!
    Yahoooo!!!!!!!!!
    I love it!!!!

  12. luffy - May 14, 2010 at 5:23 AM

    It’s Kobe time folks! the real MVP! Another ring for the Lakers this season…
    If ever Lebron goes to the knicks or to any other team, I wonder, would he ever go to Cleveland for a vacation?

  13. nick - May 14, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    The one person who is unfairly escaping critiscm here is Mike Brown. His coaching performance in this series was an epic failure. Whenever Lebron had the ball up top, the Celtics shifted 2 extra defenders to his side of the floor. An NBA coach has got to figure out a way to design plays to get the open men some looks. If one team is stacking the paint and triple teaming your best player – find a way to get open shots.
    The Cavs ran practically no plays – they just had Lebron dribble around and expected him to do something.
    Whenever teams double team Kobe, the Lakers are smart enough to move the ball around and burn you. The Cavs looked like a lost high school team.
    This is my opoinion about the Cavs: theyre a great regular season team, b/c they overwhelm you with Lebron. But given time (over a 7 game playoff series), you can develop a gameplan to stop them. And the Cavs coaches are not good enough to match you. Once the celtics found their winning formula in game 4, it was all over.

  14. eugene - May 14, 2010 at 8:03 AM

    LeBron is a great player, but he is not a team. The Celtics played as a team – the sum is greater than the parts. Learn from this LeBron – Jordan didn’t start winning championships until his assist numbers started catching up to his points.

  15. riscifiguy - May 14, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    1 The Celtics outplayed the Cavs
    2 Doc Rivers outcoached Mike Brown
    3 One Superstar does not equal 4 stars and a cast of competant
    role players
    Celtics Unitied!

  16. Mare - May 14, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    James did not GIVE this series to the Celts, they TOOK it !

  17. maple - May 14, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    It appeared everybody blamed this on James. But a lesson learned here…the Celtics won this game as a team. Recalled the last 8 mins, Cavs almost got the back into the game with two 3-point shots. But the Cavs players failed to step up as a team. And it was so clear that if the Celtics can stop James, they can stop Cavs run.

  18. maple - May 14, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    It appeared everybody blamed this on James. But a lesson learned here…the Celtics won this game as a team. Recalled the last 8 mins, Cavs almost got the back into the game with two 3-point shots. But the Cavs players failed to step up as a team. And it was so clear that if the Celtics can stop James, they can stop Cavs run.

  19. cliff - May 14, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    What he said

  20. tb - May 14, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    If I was KG, I would have refused to shake hands w/ him after the game and just danced a bunch. Seems like James lost his perspective this season.

  21. Ron - May 14, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Rob, you are a jerk. ‘Nuff said.

  22. Ron - May 14, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Good post.

  23. fan of the game - May 14, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Lakers don’t want celtics in finals…Celtic dont care who comes out of the west just want their 18th title!

  24. [a] proxy - May 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Boston or Orlando! It does not matter! BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS!

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