The Boston Celtics are doing it the hard way, but the key is to just win and they are. The Celtics are becoming the poster boys for why you play hard for 82 games and grab home-court advantage. That said, the Celtics better get their road game together in this next series because they are facing a team in Detroit that is rested and knows how to win in any arena.
The Cavaliers did not have the firepower and tough-minded confident scorers Detroit has. So Celtics beware, this series will not proceed like the previous two.
I do like how things are evolving for Boston among the Big Three. I said earlier this season that Paul Pierce should be the go-to guy. Kevin Garnett’s value is across the board and Ray Allen’s value is knocking down threes or just being a serious threat, but Pierce is “The Truth.” The performance he had Sunday was the best of the postseason and he has to continue that effort against the Pistons.
Celtic fans should be patient with Ray Allen. He is in a tough position because he has gone from No. 1 option his whole career to the third. That in itself is extremely difficult, especially when you are a shooter and not getting consistent touches.
I do applaud the fact that Doc Rivers has realized Eddie House should be playing in the rotation over Sam Cassell. Energy is what House brings and he gives them a potent three-point threat without dominating the ball. Cassell will be needed in this series before it’s over, but House deserves to play right now.
I must admit that I am now a member of the LeBron James Fan Club. He almost pulled off another miraculous moment Sunday, just like he did in Game 5 last year against Detroit. He virtually showed us why he will become probably the best player this game has seen, but he will need some help and I think Cleveland is just two athletic shooters away from winning the Eastern Conference next year. James just knows how to seize the moment and that is rarified air reserved for Michael Jordan… or maybe Kobe Bryant this year if the Lakers win it all.
The Lakers did something that most teams look back on and say, “That was the turning point to winning a championship.” They beat the Utah Jazz in an elimination game on their floor, which only a few teams did all year. They also did it wire to wire, which was even more impressive.
The Big Poodle (Pau Gasol) is one the most fundamentally sound big men I have ever seen and I guess all it took was him not having to be the star to show us. The Lakers road to the NBA Finals will be extremely difficult no matter who they face. They have no answer for Tim Duncan and they have no answer for Chris Paul.
The Pistons put us to sleep at times and we question their motivation, but one thing remains true… They might be the smartest team left in the field and Chauncey Billups is back healthy and ready to go in the Conference Finals.
The burden again falls on Rasheed Wallace. Wallace can guard Garnett without help, so if Pierce gets hot the double team will be directed at him all series long.