This is an email I just sent to Chris (yes, we do talk about sports, particularly Cleveland sports as you’ve learned from my book and my Nerd Nite presentations) about the Cavs getting destroyed by the Celtics last night. Chris asked me if the blowout was due to Boston’s defense, to which I replied:
I’m just not sure. I guess he’s being defended well by Pierce, and they seem to be clogging the middle, but if that’s the whole story then Pierce should be handed the playoffs MVP award right now, even if they lose to Orlando. Lebron’s last two games have been horrendous. He tried to penetrate a bit yesterday in the 2nd quarter but kind of gave up after getting fouled a couple of times. He needs to knock down some jumpers so they stop sagging on him and packing the paint. Also, our defense has been awful. Granted, when KG hits 9 fade-away turn-around jumpers and Ray Ray is knocking down 3’s with hands in his face there’s nothing much you can do, but still..geez…just awful. I couldn’t believe how many offensive rebounds and 2nd-chance points the Celtics got against what is supposed to be the best rebounding team in the league. That’s what broke the game open – Boston getting offensive rebounds on its first two possessions in the 2nd half and then kicking to Allen for those back-to-back 3’s. suddenly a 6-point deficit at the half was a 12-point deficit 50 seconds into the 2nd half. That made the Cavs panic and kind of sealed their fate. All because they had played good defense initially but couldn’t get a rebound.
What’s interesting is that Lebron said something last night during his post-game press conference about not understanding why the fans booed during the game. He actually said something like, “We were playing hard and giving effort, so that’s all we can do and therefore the crowd should respect that.” Umm…if he really is considering going to New York or LA or Chicago, or even the Nets, what does he think is going to happen there if he has a clunker of a game? Sabathia told him in November, “There’s nothing like winning a championship in New York.” Well maybe Lebron should also talk to John Starks, Isiah Thomas, or Javier Vasquez and hear what they think about losing in New York. If Lebron didn’t like getting mildly booed (for the first time in his career) he better stay as far away from New York as possible or he’ll be a shell of himself by next summer. Sure, this is the first time he’s had all the pressure on his shoulders, but what does he think is going to happen next year if he’s with the Knicks? Everyone hypes up all the hype and attention he’ll get if he goes to a larger market but I’ve never once seen an article mentioned the negatives that go along with that if he doesn’t bring a championship. Lebron seems to be in a shell right now yet he’s incubated in the most ideal setting possible (sort of like Manny Ramirez was before he went to Boston). If he loses in New York in his first season the media will pounce and start to kill its golden goose.