clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Celtics Look to Go Up 2-0 on Cavs

  AT 

Cleveland Cavaliers (0-1) at Boston Celtics (1-0)
Round 2 Game 2qw
Thursday, May 8
7:00 PM, ESPN, CSN HD   
TD Banknorth Garden

Chat   l  Game Thread        

Cavaliers Blog:    Cavalier Attitude     
 
The first game was  a strange one with  Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and LeBron James combining for 4-36 from the floor and 20 turnovers.  It is safe to say that all three won't play that poorly 2 games in a row.  Pierce and LeBron were putting out a lot of energy defending each other and that may have affected their games.  Ray Allen took just 4 shots and went scoreless. Ray had big games against the Cavs in the regular season and I expect him to bounce back and have a good game in game 2. 
 
On the other hand, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo were exceptional with Rondo coming out and scoring 8 of the first 12 points and assisting on the other 2 baskets and KG scoring 8 of his 28  points in the 4th quarter including the go ahead basket at the end.  I expect more of the same from these two.   Perk has been the backbone of the defense in the paint and pulled down 12 rebounds in game 1.  The team has to come out aggressively on both offense and defense as the Cavs will look to take over this game early after keeping it close in game 1.  
 
 
Key Matchups
  Vs 
Rajon Rondo vs Delonte West
Just as he did with Mike Bibby, Rajon Rondo out-played Delonte West by a big margin.  When Rondo goes out, however, the ball movement seems to stop.  We need Rondo to stay out of foul trouble and to stay on the court.  He is vital to this team's success.  As we saw when he was in Boston, Delonte is a streaky shooter.  He wasn't hitting in the last game and may come out hitting everything in this game. 

  Vs 
Paul Pierce vs LeBron James
This matchup didn't disappoint in the first game but instead of being an offensive duel, it was a defensive duel.  Pierce shot just 4-14 and Lebron was 4-18.  Whether it was because of their defensive efforts or just an off shooting night, we aren't likely to see both of these stars shooting this poorly 2 games in a row. 

Honorable Mention
Kevin Garnett vs Ben Wallace (Joe Smith)
KG seemed to be able to do  anything he wanted on the court in the first game.  He still tends to be a little too unselfish and it would be good if he would look for his own shot more, especially if his other teammates continue to struggle. When Wallace is on KG he is free to double off him on defense and when Smith is on him, he can score pretty much at will.  At the end of games Wallace is usually on the bench because of his poor foul shooting and lack of offense, so KG could have another big 4th quarter.  
 
To the game

Defense  The first game was a defensive battle of epic proportions with the Cavs shooting just 31% and the Celtics shooting just 43% and a final score of 76-72.  LeBron was held to just 2-18 from the field which was a career low in field goal percentage.  The Celtics' defense won this game for them when 2/3 of the Big 3 were a combined 2-18.  The Celtics have to continue to play that swarming team defense as it is the key to winning not only this game, but the series.   

Rebounding   The Cavs are a very good rebounding team with 7'3" Ilgauskas leading the way.   The Celtics need to crash the boards on the defensive end  to keep the Cavs from getting 2nd and 3rd chances at the basket.  On several possessions, the Cavs were able to get 2 and 3 shots at the basket before they either made it or the Celtics finally got a rebound.  They also have to go after offensive rebounds, especially if they shoot as poorly as they did in game 1.  The Celtics out rebounded the Cavs 43-41 in game 1 but if they can get a bigger margin, chances are, they would have an easier win. 

Be Aggressive  The Celtics need to be aggressive right from the beginning of the game.  They have to be aggressive taking the ball to the basket and not settle for jumpers.  They have to be aggressive in going after loose balls and rebounds as well.   In game 1, once again they had a big lead after 1 and then slacked off when the starters went out and lost it.  The bench has to be just as aggressive in taking it to the hoop, going after loose balls and rebounds and in swarming them on defense. 

X-Factor
Bench Play    The Celtics' bench must produce.  They have to not let up on defense when they come in for the starters and they have to stay just as aggressive as the starters.  It is ironic that Doc brings Sam in for his offense, but while he is getting his shots, the ball movement and shots for the rest of the team come to a standstill.    Sam Cassell has to move the basketball and keep the offense going.   Posey's defense will once again be crucial on LeBron as will Tony's.  Powe, PJ and Big Baby will need to bring strong defense when Perk goes out for a rest.