In my last article , Boston V Cavs- The Series Match-ups-Game One and Beyond
I stated what match-ups I was witnessing and how I saw the series playing out.
After the jump I will review my theory on this series now that three games are behind us.
I made the following points:
- "We learned that when LBJ is a little off his game, due to injury, he still owns Paul Pierce offensively." Pierce cannot stop him from driving the lane.Lebron owns Paul Pierce even with a hurt elbow. I think that game 2 showed that PP didn't stop Lebron, The Elbow stopped Lebron. He couldn't dribble, pass, or shoot well. Game 3 solidified this point of view to me. I maintain that during this series LBJ wins the PF position match-up. Yes I know this isn't a news flash. But it is important to remember when looking at any adjustments Boston might make. In Game 3 they gave LBJ the outside shot. I suspect they will continue to live with that decision even if he shoots 10-12 every night the rest of the series. The question remains "can they stop his penetration"?
- I said that there would be no containment of Rondo. That the best we could do is slow down his efforts in the paint with help defense. Rondo proved me right in Game 2. The Cavs proved me right in Game 3. The Cavs did manage to slow down Rondo in Game 3. They gave Rondo and Ray Allen and PP the outside shot but really clogged up the paint. Rondo had 8 assist which is a lot but combined with poor outside shooting it never allowed the Celtics to get on track. For every Anthony Parker basher in the world I say this. Please re-watch game 3. Watch Mr. Parker do what we hired him to do. Shut down taller point guards and help the Cavs win. Of course perfect shooting from AP didn't hurt either but it isn't nearly as important as his defensive effort.
- We learned ( or reconfirmed) that the front court presence of Perkins is a weakness. It is an exploitable area that cannot get better. O.K. , On this one I have to admit that Perkins ( Mr. Happy) is playing better than I expected. I have always liked his play but his defense against Shaq has been beautiful. I still like the Cavs bigs against the Boston bigs. But I like the way Perkins plays. Shaq must get deeper penetration prior to the ball coming to him in order to raise his shooting percentage. If he does then the Cavs control the inside. If not the Cavs struggle with inside scoring.
- KG and AJ are equal. I questioned my judgment on this after game 2. I still believe it after game 3. These two are an equal match-up. This has been a fun battle to witness. I'm still waiting to see who wins.
So what adjustments are still to be made? Well Mo Williams and Ray Allen are yet to be heard from. I'm not sure if the defense against both has been that good or if both see their roles in the series as something other than outside scorers. Mo has been driving the ball a little better. Ray hasn't had much opportunity yet to excel. If I were one of the coaches I would be looking for a way to find some offense out of these two. So far Mo has been a disappointment offensively. His shot is off balance. Credit the Celtics defense for some of this. Ray has just been out of the flow. Credit the Cavs defense for this.
I sure am looking forward to Game 4 tomorrow.