Remember that scene in “The Wire” when “D” was trying to explain the rules of the game of Chess to Wallace and Bodie? The youngins wanted to know what happens to the pieces that survive the game. Will they become the King? D explained to them that the King will always be the King. Period. Well, that was the message that Lebron James sent to the Boston Celtics and the rest of the league last night. “The King will always be the King.”
Love him or hate him, you have to respect what Lebron James means to the game of basketball. I’m old enough to remember Michael Jordan’s greatness. I’m old enough to remember Kobe Bryant’s greatness. I’m even old enough to remember Dr. J’s greatness. (Just the Philly years) I’m old enough to say what I’m about to say with full confidence because I have witnessed different eras of basketball with my own two eyes, and not by YouTube videos and Google searches. “We are witnessing greatness firsthand.” This statement is not to take anything away from the Kobe’s, MJ’s, Doc’s, Magic’s, Bird’s, Shaq’s, and Hardaway’s (Penny and Tim sr.), of NBA history, but Lebron James’ greatness stands out above all for one reason. I have never seen an NBA player take a group of absolute trash so far in my life! This is not the first time Lebron James has taken a can full of trash this far in his career either. This man put this Cavs team on his back and carried them to the NBA Finals. MJ had Pippen. MJ’s role players were not great, they also were not that shit Lebron James played with in these playoffs either. Kobe got his with Shaq and others with Paul Gasol. His role players were not great, they also were not that shit Lebron James carried on his back throughout these 2018 NBA playoffs either. Argue, agree, love him, or hate him. If we’re being 100% genuine, we can all agree that what we are witnessing in 2018 as we watch a 34-year old Lebron James out there battling 20-something’s every night, is nothing short of greatness.
For maybe only the second time since I’ve seen the Celtics in these playoffs, their age and lack of playoff experience were on full display. And that didn’t really kick in until it became painfully obvious that Bron was having “one of those nights.” The Celtics began to look unsure of themselves all of a sudden, and “the little engine that could” finally broke down, on the way to a low scoring 87-79 game-7 “L” to the visiting Cleveland Cavs. Rookie, Jason Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 24 points. Al Horford had 17 and Marcus Morris had 14. The game was played tightly. By “tightly”, I mean that everyone seemed to be on edge. The Celtics did not come out and play like they had nothing to lose, which has been their usual. Last night they played like they had everything to lose. The difference in approaches to the game showed too. Lebron dropped 35, 15, and 9. He came up one assist shy of another playoff triple-double. Jeff Green showed up big in his second game replacing Kevin Love, who is out and in the concussion protocol. Green had 19 pts. and 8 boards. J.R. Smith had 12 and Tristan Thompson added 10 points to go along with 9 rebounds. Bron didn’t have much help last night, but at times it seemed like he wasn’t looking for any. HE was determined to beat the Celtics last night. F*ck what everyone else was doing. Beat the Celtics he did. Cleveland is on their way to another NBA Finals, where they will face the winner of game-7 between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. A game that will be played in Houston.
To be the champs, you gotta beat the champs. That’s what they always say right? You didn’t really think the defending Eastern Conference Champs were going down without a fight did you? I ain’t gonna lie. After those first two games of this series, I did. But there’s a reason why Lebron is nicknamed “The King”, and just in case you may have forgotten, Lebron James reminded us all why, once again last night.
The Cavs pulled off a game-6 victory on their home court last night, even without the help of their second top scorer on the squad, Kevin Love, who only played 5 minutes last night. Love went down after a brutal head-to-head collision with Boston’s Jason Tatum early on in the 1st quarter. He was taken off the court with concussion-like symptoms. Jeff Green stepped in to replace Love. Honestly, it didn’t matter if it was Jeff green, Moe Green, or Al Green who stepped in when Kevin Love went down, last night the King was determined not to be eliminated on his home court. Lebron put up 46 points 11 rebs. and 9 ast to help Cleveland force a game-7 in Boston. George Hill stepped up big-time for the Cavs as he added 20 and Jeff Green filled in for Love nicely with a 14 point 3 reb effort. Larry Nance Jr. also put up nice numbers in extra minutes on the floor last night. He dropped in 10 points and added 7 rebs. Terry Rozier led the way for Boston with 28 points. Jalen Brown added 27 for the “C’s”. And just as I predicted very early on in the series, Al Horford pretty much disappeared. Yeah, he had 6 points and 9 rebounds, but none of his stats were impactful. He was prtty much just out there.
I don’t have a prediction for game-7. None of these individual games have really been close in this series. Boston looked like an all-star team on their home court, and looked like some shit on the road. The same thing applies for Cleveland. So, if we’re going by the history of this series, Boston should win game-7 of this series easily on their homecourt. The only question I have is can this young squad handle the pressure of a game-7, and facing a player in Lebron James who is averaging 40+ points in game-7’s in his career? WE WILL SEE. All I hope for is to finally get a tight game in this series! Here’s some highlights from last night’s game-6 in Cleveland:
Video courtesy: Rapid Highlights
I never really believed that Boston was going to win this game, did you? From about midway through the 1st quarter it was pretty clear to me that the Celtics were going to lose this game. It wasn’t really about what they did or didn’t do, I could just tell that it was going to be one of those games. For the first time in the playoffs, Boston clearly looked outmatched in every way. It wasn’t about anything special that Cleveland was doing out there. It just looks like the reality of being in the playoffs and under the bright lights is starting to finally set in for this young Celtics team. They look like a completely different squad from the team I saw in the first two games of this series up in Beantown. And Cleveland, they keep on trucking along like this is business as usual. This was far from the first time a Lebron James-led team was looking at being down in a playoff series after the first two games. This situation is very familiar to the Cavs and they understand how to perform in situations like this. The Celtics….. the pressure of being just two wins away from an NBA Finals appearance may be enough to burst this young teams’ pipes. Game-5 up in Boston will tell a lot about where this series is going.
The Cavs pulled out a 111-102 victory last night in a game that the final score will tell a different story from what went down on the court. The game wasn’t really this close. Like I said earlier, I never felt like the Celtics had a real chance of winning this game. The Celtics had five (5) players score in double figures last night. Jaylen Brown led the way for the “C’s” with 25 points and 6 rebounds. Lebron James’ 44 points points was too much for the Celtics to overcome last night, the 44 was also enough to power his Cleveland team last night, as the next highest scorer on the Cavs team was Kyle Korver with 14. Tristan Thompson had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs also. Check out some of the highlights from the game below:
Video Courtesy: MLG Highlights
The Cleveland Cavs pretty much played the game they had been hoping to play last night in Boston. Lebron James dropped a triple-double. Kevin Love had a nice night. And Cleveland even got a little help from a couple of role players. Boston still beat the Cavs 107-94. The Cavs held a lead for most of the game, but the Celtics fought back. I honestly don’t know if this will get any better for the Cavs back in Cleveland. Boston may be a team of destiny this year. Can you imagine what will happen if the Celtics beat the Cavs and then go on to beat the mighty Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals? The city of Boston will probably go crazy. Climbing up street poles and shit. The national story will be “The underdogs did it! A team full of no-name players, playing without two of its star players won a championship!” Can you even begin to imagine the headlines? A thing like this has never happened in the history of sports!………Oh, wait a minute. This exact thing has already happened. Remember the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl earlier this year, without at least three of its star players? You don’t remember? I do! I always will! That feeling I felt during the Eagles improbable run to a Super Bowl victory, is the same type of feel I’m getting from this Boston Celtics team. Nobody thinks they can beat the Cavs, and even if they do, there is no way they will beat Golden State. The same was said about the Eagles before they smashed the Minnesota Vikings then went on to beat the mighty New England Patriots in Super Bowl five-deuce. So, I ask you……how crazy is it to believe that the Boston Celtics may be the Philadelphia Eagles of the NBA this year??
Lebron James had 19 points in the first quarter to help the Cavs jump out to an early lead. A hot-shooting Kevin Love helped the Cavs hold that lead for most of the game. Then Boston fought back to tie the game. Once Boston got the lead they took control of the game and never let the Cavs back in it. It’s much too early to count the Cavs out of this series. Especially when you consider that they have two straight games coming up at home. Boston took care of business on their home court, just like they were supposed to. If Cleveland does the same, the series will head back to Boston for game-5 right back where it began…..tied. So don’t count a Lebron James-led Cavs team out just yet. But Damn! It’s pretty tough to believe that Cleveland will figure out this Boston defense, suddenly start playing with some hustle and urgency, and play like they care, just because they’re at home for two games. Who knows? Maybe coming home will light a fire under their asses…..maybe not.
Rising young super-star, Jaylen Brown led the way for the home team, dropping in 23 points. Al Horford came up big again with 15 pts and 10 rebounds. And a very important player for the Celtics, who may go unnoticed by some, came up big again last night. Marcus Smart had 11 pts, 9 ast. and 5 steals in 31 minutes of action. That stat line is cool, but Smart’s importance to this Celtics team goes far beyond his stats. If there’s a loose ball on the ground, Smart is there. When you see someone sacrificing their body to take a charge against a player twice his size and weight, it was likely Marcus Smart. And when you see someone never giving up on a play and coming up with a huge steal or rebound, it was probably Marcus Smart who did it. Don’t underestimate how much Marcus Smart being out there on the floor plays into the success of this Boston Celtics team. Bron had a triple double for the Cavs last night 42 pts. 10 reb. 12 ast. Kevin Love had 22 pts and 15 rebs. and Tristan Thompson had 8 pts and 7reb. Kyle Korver dropped in 11 pts. off the bench. Rodney Hood had 2 points in 11 minutes on the floor. Larry Nance Jr. had a donut in 11 minutes of action. Jeff Green had 6 pts. in 28 minutes of action. And sometimey-sharp-shooter, J.R Smith dropped as many points as I did last night in 27 minutes on the floor. Question: WHERE IS JORDAN CLARKSON???