Sam did good last night. In fact Sam did good in the first Cleveland game as well.
Still, on the subject of the point guard rotation that did not stop panic and wild accusations from many corners of the great green nation: "Why isn't Eddie House playing!?" "Rondo should play 43 minutes!" "I tell you there's no reason for Sam Cassell to be playing extended minutes!"
From a little nugget of truth --The-offense-is-sometimes-slower-when-Sam-runs-the-show-- came a tsunami of silliness.
Down 10, Mr. Sam with his close personal associates Leon Powe and James Posey, flat out won that game last night. Rondo uncharacteristically struggled early with two turnovers, two shots blocked, and a few missteps on defense.
Cassell entered and saved the day. No Sam, maybe no win.
Yes it would be a pleasant thing if somehow Eddie House got some time too. The team does maintain the pace more consistently when House is in there. But there are 12 guys who could play and cold numbers determine that some remain seated. Right now those three are House, Big Baby and Tony Allen. Meanwhile Sam Cassell seems to have passed some critical point of cumulative court time where now he's playing on instinct with his new club instead of thinking. Whatever it is the Celtics are up 2-0 and Sam's a big part of it.
Still, Eddie House may yet play a key role in this championship run.
As far as being up 2-0, haven't we been here before (like last week)? And didn't Detroit lead Cleveland 2-0 last year in the East finals? In other words, game 3 is obviously BIG. I do like the overall match up though. With only one athletic slasher as opposed to the Hawks' 3 or 4, Cleveland could well remain stymied for two more contests.
I love Steve Bulpett. He's my favorite Celtics scribe. He writes very well, is funny and has an easy-going personality. When he was interviewed on the postgame last night, I also noticed he slightly resembles Will Farrell. I think Steve could adequately fill in for Will should the comedian ever need an emergency understudy. Hollywood beckons Steve!
Every time West and Wally scored last night, I had a weird sensation. I automatically felt like two points should have gone on the board for Boston. Then reality snapped in. Oh yeah they got traded. Last year's team despite the horrific record was very likable.
But I'm sure everyone agrees: this year's team is just slightly preferable.
Whoa. What defense by this man. Key threes. Infectious energy. Posey's been great. I got a nickname for him: How about King James? It hasn't been used anywhere before has it?
Billups tender hammy will spell doom for Detroit if he can't come back. The Pistons win that series with Billups healthy because he just destroys Jameer Nelson. But no Chauncey- no chancy. Nelson comes alive with Billups out. So...
8) Looking Ahead Before I Should
As much as a love the team-wide match up vs. the Cavs, I do not like the same thing (potentially) against Orlando. The Magic have two very tall mobile forwards who are dead-eye from long range. They also have Big Scary Dwight down low. Turkoglu and Lewis take the Celtics forwards way outside. This allows Howard to work alone against Perkins. The whole thing stretches the Celtics too far apart- kind of like tearing fabric. If the Celtics can put away Cleveland and Billups doesn't recover, a Boston/Orlando series will be difficult.
Imagine the new wave of silly-talk that will be generated if Orlando's hitting from outside. it will make the Sam Cassell thing look like nothing.
Regardless, should the Celtics prevail against the Cavs, either Orlando or Detroit will be very tough.
9) Mike and Tommy
Only one more Mike and Tommy game? And only if this series goes to 6 games? Noooooooooo!
Lest we forget the Celtics had the best road record in the NBA this season. They faltered in Atlanta. I'm sure they're more aware of that than any of us.
Take game three fellas. Take game three.