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Starting Five - 3/15

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Some depressing post-Cavs game links and quotes to start off your day.  Enjoy, ...I guess.

Green Street " How close is that corner?

The Celtics have repeatedly mentioned "turning a corner" to get back on a winning track. But with 17 games left in the regular season, how far away is that corner? "I don’t know, maybe 17 blocks," Rajon Rondo guesstimated on Friday. "It should be the same zip code."

No getting around it: Celtics outclassed by Cavs again - ProBasketballTalk - Basketball - NBC Sports

The Celtics were outclassed again in Cleveland. They actually managed to tie the game with 5:00 to go in the third. Then the Cavs just... outclassed them. Outran, outworked, out-gunned, out-manned them. It's not that everything fell apart for the Celtics or that the effort wasn't there. There was a lot of effort. But whatever the Cavs needed to do, spread the floor, grab the offensive board, block down low, run the floor, run the floor, run the floor. The Celtics went 1-16 from the field during a 9:49 stretch between the 3rd and 4th quarters. 1 for 16. I don't know what the odds are for you getting hit by a bus tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure they're better than 1 for 16.

Lack of effort means trying times for Celtics - The Boston Globe

Yesterday, after the Celtics took their second loss to the Cavaliers in just three weeks, the dif ference between the teams wasn’t the monster-sized center Cleveland added in Shaquille O’Neal (at home nursing a surgically-repaired thumb), it wasn’t the shooting they added in Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon, and it wasn’t even James and his 30-point, 8-rebound, 7-assist performance. "The glaring difference,’’ said Boston’s Ray Allen, echoing everyone’s thoughts, "was just their effort.’’

These two Celtics must rescue Big Three - The Boston Globe

The Big Three are limited, and those limitations are glaring. If Pierce doesn’t score, how does he contribute? If Garnett isn’t grabbing rebounds or hitting jumpers, does he block shots or stop his power forward counterpart? What happens when Allen’s shot is misfiring, does he get steals or chase down a long rebound or distribute the ball? Those answers are no, no, and no.

Varejao’s a problem -

The Celtics [team stats] may be more anxious than Cleveland for the eventual return of Shaquille O’Neal and Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the Cavaliers lineup. The Cavs big man who really tears the C’s apart is Anderson Varejao, who for the second straight game had his way on back cuts and offensive rebounds, resulting in a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double that included six offensive boards in yesterday’s 104-93 Cleveland win. 

Bonus link (this one really hurts):

Cavs’ Leon Powe back in a big way -

At the end of his time with the Celtics [team stats], Leon Powe was hurt. Yesterday, he hurt the Celtics. In just his seventh game back from major left knee surgery, the Cavaliers forward made his first appearance with 4:35 left in the third quarter. Over the next eight minutes, he collected six points (all from the free-throw line) and four rebounds.