I was asked a very loaded question yesterday at work by a guy who works on the production floor of the company I work at.
“How do you feel about tonight.”
Obviously I felt everything. I’m overdramatic enough on my own but when the Boston Celtics have a chance to close out a series on the road and go to the NBA Finals I was all full of feelings.
I answered honestly.
“I’m hopeful that LeBron James forgets how to play basketball. That’s the only shot for this one tonight.”
LeBron James didn’t forget… and he made damn sure to let us all know that he wasn’t ready to go home for good.
False Sense of Security
We all expected another first quarter implosion from this Celtics team that has had road woes all throughout the playoffs.
That didn’t happen and that’s when I made a significant mistake. The Celtics actually played really well in the first and it was such a sight for sore eyes that I quickly changed my stance from my earlier quote to “WE CAN FUCKING DO THIS TONIGHT.”
Idiots. Stupid stupid idiot.
The second quarter did the Celtics in for the night. The offense fell flat and they once again couldn’t stop a nose bleed. The Cavaliers got every single shot they wanted in the second quarter. Then once they got the shot they were looking for they actually hit them.
Shit. Not good. Back to you in the studio.
From there on out the Celtics couldn’t break through and close the gap. They had chances to cut the deficit to 3 or 4 only to have another series of awful turnovers or missed free throws leading to the Cavaliers draining dagger threes.
Giving Credit Where It’s Due
Trust me, folks… I can be as petty as Russell Westbrook in the early stages of life without Kevin Durant. I am not a LeBron James fan when he’s playing a game of basketball. Sometimes I wish that my diehard devotion to the city of Boston didn’t overtake me and I could be a fan… but I can’t and that’s just fine with me.
I appreciate LeBron’s ability to use his platform to make the world a better place. Anybody who hates on what he does for this world is a loser. He sends about 800000 kids to college every year and he’s always one to make sure that he does his part in the communities around him.
LeBron put on a classic performance last night that just about everybody with a pulse knew was coming. The sun will rise & set and LeBron James will put on a show in elimination playoff games… Those are two constants in life.
I was having PTSD nightmares of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals when he hung 45 on the Celtics in Boston. He was everywhere. Literally EVERYWHERE. Every single shot James took I just already booked the points in my mind before the ball got to the rim.
That’s how locked in this guy was. It’s what he does best and all you can do when someone like that has that kind of performance against your team is tip your hat.
It’s easier to do it with LeBron James when you know he’s the greatest player alive (at the moment)… It’s not as easy to do it with someone like Nick Goddamn Foles and now I’m talking about the Super Bowl again and I’m fussy.
Back To Reality
Jesus Christ I literally had to labor through that section talking so positively about LeBron… I’m very glad that’s over with.
We all expected that performance from James. You want to know what we didn’t expect last night?
THE TEAM OF MISFIT TOYS ACTUALLY SHOWING UP.
Kevin Love went out in this game early and the Celtics had an opportunity to actually take control considering the supporting cast around LeBron James is equal to a cast of community theater players surrounding Robert De Niro.
George Hill played like an actual basketball player again and had his best game of the playoffs. Jeff Green didn’t look like his usual bum ass self. Kyle Korver was dead-eye every time he touched the ball.
These guys stepped up when they had to and it’s not that surprising considering it was a home game for Cleveland, but I didn’t think they were going to ball like that.
It would be inappropriate of me to not point out that the Celtics did indeed shoot themselves in the foot, leg, ribs, arm about 500 different times this game.
Everything just looked so ugly from a fundamental stance.
The Celtics kept turning the ball over at the most awful times and then they would continue to do it as if it was all part of the game plan. When you turn the ball over that much against LeBron James he is going to make you pay every single time… and he did.
As fans we have all been screaming at this team to attack the basket and get to the free throw line in order to slow the game down and get easy points at the line.
What a fun idea that was. This Celtics team can be so atrocious at the free throw line and I cannot understand it for the life of me. There are games where they’ll shoot 95% from the line and then have a night like last night.
It’s one of the most infuriating things that can’t be explained except for “They were on the road.” and we just have to live with it going into Game 7.
On To The Next One
Game 7’s are a thing to be cherished in sports. They can either be one of the most uplifting experiences of your life or literally one of the most heartbreaking things. That’s how I process them and I’ve been told it’s not healthy and to that I say you suck.
I’m not one of the MANY people I saw on Twitter last night saying “EVERYTHING IS FINE WE HAVE GAME 7 AT HOME IT’S ALREADY LOCKED UP!”
I hate you all so much if you honestly believe that. Do I think the Celtics can/will/should win tomorrow night? Yes, absolutely.
Do I automatically think the game is wrapped up? Absolutely not and you shouldn’t either. LeBron James is going to do what he did last night again. I guarantee it. I expect him to have an identical point total.
The game breaker is going to be if the Celtics allow everyone else to get going. Breaking news just reported that Kevin Love will not play tomorrow night due to concussion protocol. Everything changes for Cleveland rotation wise and the Celtics need to be ready for anything. If the Celtics are going to win tomorrow night it’s not going to be by stopping LeBron James.
It’s going to be them stopping everybody else. The Celtics are going to need to win tomorrow night on the defensive end of the floor and there’s no debate about it.
I do have some worries about guys who heated up last night in Cleveland and feeling good about themselves going into Game 7. It’s a reasonable worry. I just know that these young Celtics have come too far to let themselves get beat by the likes of George Hill, Jeff Green, JR Smith, Tristan Thompson and every other “LeBron James NBA Finals Well-Fare Recipient” on that basketball team.
I think tomorrow is going to be a historic night one way or another. I’m just so happy it’s in the city of Boston. That crowd is going to be the loudest it has ever been since the Celtics won the Finals in 2008.
I expect the Celtics to come in and execute with the same poise, confidence, and determination as that 2008 team. They’ll be ready, so do yourself a favor and get your ass ready too.
We’re all going to war tomorrow.