Down 14 in the first half my phone blew up with text messages. Mostly they were from my boy Matty with comment to the effect of “it’s over” and “The Price Is Right is on Channel 4.”
I was sitting in the same position. Sam Cassell is running down the court, I turn to my wife and tell her, “Watch this, he’ll stop short, not pass, take a 15 footer and miss.” And as if he were reading a script Cassell did exactly that and the Cavs rebounded the ball.
My column today was going to start with an old guy, sitting in a chair and playing taps. I texted my crew to hit the Fleet (er, Boston Garden), trumpet in hand and start blowing taps.
But then it happened. Instead of coaching the team like an NHL coach that he did in game four, Doc made a smart decision. He pulled Cassell. Not only did he pull him, but he stayed on the bench the rest of the game.
So Rondo placed back in the game, he ended up playing 42 minutes, blew up. Rondo scored 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting but the stat that jumps off the page, besides the 42 minutes played, was his 13 assists. Welcome to the show Rajon. Next time Doc tries to yank you from the game, punch him in the gut and tell him to take a lozenge and sit his ass down.
It’s amazing when you let your starters play 40+ minutes (Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett) how much better the team performs. All four had double digit points, KG even had a double double with 26 and 16.
Now the bad. By relying on the jump shot for a majority of your scoring, you’re going to get to the line a lot less than the other team. Especially when the other team has Cry-Baby James at the helm. The Cavs were at the line 41 times, the Celtics 23. The Celtics number is inflated too because all the fouls in the final two minutes of the game that had Pierce living at the line.
Worse that the free throw disparity? Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne. Will someone please for the love of God and all things Holy please contact TNT/TBS and let them know that we’re not interested in that piece of fecal matter. The fact that it’s one of the higher rated cable TV shows doesn’t change the fact that the Boston market won’t watch, um ever. So please stop advertising.
So now the series shifts to the road again. Will Doc keep with these decisions or go back into Don Cherry mode shifting lines at will? Hopefully it’s the former and Sunday’s game at the Fleet will be a game one in the Conference Finals, opposed to a game seven against the Cavs.