Loved seeing the greats come out with the trophy and rings. Loved seeing the banner go up. I even loved seeing Pollard show up out of nowhere (shocking that he's free). But for me, the touching highlight of the whole thing was seeing Paul Pierce just bawling his eyes out.
That's a whole career of frustration, hard work, maturation, redemption, and finally domination flowing out of his heart right there. His whole career in a Boston uniform, looking up at those rafters, knowing the legacy he stood in the shadow of. And now he's got his own legacy. That was beautiful.
The team came out noticably tight, probably amped up on too much emotion. KG started off with an airball and Ray Allen couldn't buy a bucket in the first half. Amazingly, Pierce was the one that was able to channel his emotions properly the quickest, with a strong effort in the first half (which carried over into the 2nd half).
I knew the team was just a 3rd quarter run (our specialty last year) away from taking control of the game and that's just what happened with a couple quick threes.
LeBron had a solid game (22 points) until the end when he missed a layup and two free throws in the final seconds. Mo Williams made 3 three pointers, but other than that was largely invisible. Not the kind of impact I thought he'd have.
On our side, Rondo really pushed the tempo and drove past Cleveland defenders all night. There is such an obvious change of pace when he re-enters a game. Unfortunatly Perkins in foul trouble all night and eventually fouled out but not before grabbing 8 boards in just 20 minutes.
For those in the National media that worried about our bench, I submit two pieces of evidence.
Exhibit A: Tony Allen - He was quiet for much of the game but came alive in the fourth quarter. He drove the ball right down their throats and has started converting those off-balance-after-contact layups for the and-one.
Exhibit B: Leon Powe - All he did was energize the team with his typical tenacious play and posterize Delonte on the dunk of the night (which is saying something considering some of LeBron's efforts). He also provided the exclamation point with the end of game dunk to basically put the game away.
So it was a good, close game against a worthy opponent, but in the end the Celtics proved once again that they are the better team. A Championship team.
|P. O'Bryant||DNP - Coach's Decision|
|G. Pruitt||DNP - Coach's Decision|
|B. Scalabrine||DNP - Coach's Decision|
|Percentages:||.446||.214||.618||Team Rebounds: 11|