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Shut Down Three Pointers

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The biggest question from last night remains this:  Was it the Celtics superior defense that frustrated James or was it just an off night for the King?

  • On one hand, we have to remember what we were all saying leading up to the series.  The old mantra of "you can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him" still rings true.  You can't "stop him."  He missed a lot of shots that he normally makes.  Open looks from 3 point land.  Layups.  Layups!  He usually comes up clutch in the 4th quarter, but he was nothing but a dud.  If you are expecting him to repeat that performance for the rest of the series, or ever again in his life, you are expecting too much.
  • On the other hand, you cannot discount the effect of the defense on him.  The Celtics remain the best defensive team in the league and they were facing a team that is very one dimensional and fairly predictable.  All they do is run the offense through LeBron and make the open shots that he creates for his teammates.  There's no mystery there.  Most teams just have no ability to stop it.  The Celtics knew what was coming, gameplanned for it, and basically just stopped it.
  • Now that game one is in the books, we have to turn to both coaching staffs and see how they react.  What will Coach Brown do to free up LeBron more?  Sounds like they want to run some more pick and roll.  Will Doc counter with perhaps the best pick and roll defender ever (Kevin Garnett)?  What will Doc do to get Pierce and Allen involved?  Will we see more of Sam Cassell late in games or will Rajon Rondo's role return to normal?  The chess match gets interesting now.