Boy, what a difference four days makes. This past Tuesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers were standing on top of the mountain, having beat the Boston Celtics when most thought the Cavaliers would be overmatched. James led the Cavaliers to a 109-104 overtime victory, scoring 38 points, 11 in that overtime.
The next night, LeBron sprained his left index finger against the Pistons in a tight game. Without LeBron, the Pistons hammered the Cavs, 109-74. It was a horrible showing for the James-less gang. The Cavs then lost again on Friday night to the Toronto Raptors, again, with LeBron sitting on the bench. The Cavs come into Boston riding a two game losing streak after the Boston victory.
Boston, on the other hand, are rolling again. On Thursday, Boston hammered New York by nearly 50 points, in one of the most embarassing games in recent memory, 104-59. The dominated Miami on Friday night as well, going up by over 30, before the Heat came back to make it respectable, 95-85.
With LeBron coming back to play tomorrow, will the Cavs become the first team in 2007-2008 to beat the Celtics on the road? Can they bookend their Lebron-less beatings with Celtic defeats? Or, will the Celtics raise the bar, making a statement to the Cavs that last Tuesday was a fluke.
Kevin Garnett generally likes to keep his focus to himself when he’s around the media, but even he admitted the obvious: The Celtics believe they didn’t show their best to the Cavs in last Tuesday’s 109-104 overtime loss.
"It’s already circled in red, so it should be a fun game," Garnett said. "We look at our losses. It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback, but our energy wasn’t nearly as high as it should be to start games. So I anticipate (today) having a lot more energy at the start. We play pretty decent at home, so we want to keep doing that. Looking back, we made a lot of mistakes. We know we’re better than that."