|2009/2010 NBA Regular Season|
|March 14, 2010|
|Quicken Loans Arena|
|Radio - WTAM 1100 / ABC|
|Rajon Rondo||PG||Mo Williams|
|Ray Allen||SG||Anthony Parker|
|Paul Pierce||SF||LeBron James|
|Kevin Garnett||PF||Antawn Jamison|
|Kendrick Perkins||C||J.J. Hickson|
The Cavaliers and Celtics. National TV. Sunday Afternoon. Mid-March. Does it really get any better than that? The Celtics and Cavaliers renew their rivalry this afternoon at the Q. Both teams have won a game this season - on the other team's home court - after the home teams dominated this series over the past 3 or 4 years. The Celtics will likely have a bit of revenge on their mind after Cleveland turned an early 13 point deficit into a commanding 20-point win in Boston a couple weeks ago. Since then, the Celtics have played better basketball, despite an embarrassing home loss to the New Jersey Nets.
For Cleveland, I'm going to go ahead and guess the Antawn Jamison plays. Jamison was brought in to help the Cavaliers beat Boston and Orlando - if he has to sit against a team like the Pistons in order to play against the Celtics I am all for it. If Jamison doesn't go, Leon Powe will get his second start. Powe will likely have a little extra pep in his step going against his former team in a big game.
Some how, some way, the Cavaliers have to find a way to get in front of Rajon Rondo. Mo Williams struggled against Rondo big time in Boston which helped the Celtics get out to a big lead. The Cavaliers have to prove they can defend smaller guards or they will keep getting eaten up.
Cleveland has won 8 of their last 10, while the Celtics have gone 6-4 in the same span.
3-in the Key
1. At 51-15 (.773), Cleveland owns the NBA's best record and leads the league with highest point differential at +7.1. The team has won eight of their last nine games and is 25-7 (.781) in 2010, which is the best mark in that span. After going a league-best 66-16(.805) last season, the Cavaliers could become the first team since the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96 (72-10) and 1996-97 (69-13) to have sole possession of the best record in the regular season in consecutive years.
2. Cleveland owns the best home and road records in the NBA. At home, the Cavaliers are 28-4 (.875) and play nine of its remaining 16 games at The Q. The Cavs have won 26 of their last 28 home games and are averaging 105.4 points on .513 shooting, while holding their opponents to just 95.1 points on .438 shooting during that span. Since the start of the 2008-09 season, the Cavaliers are 67-6 (.918) at home, which is also an NBA-best. After being tied for the third best home record in league history last season at 39-2 (.951), the team is trying to hold the best home record in consecutive seasons for only the 14th time in NBA history and seventh time (five teams) in the last 35 years. The team's 100-95 victory on Friday over Philadelphia was the 14th road win in its last 19 road games, taking them to a league-leading 23-11 (.676) record away from The Q.
3. At Boston, LeBron James scored a game-high 36 points on 11-23 shooting (.478), seven rebounds and nine assists. James has averaged 37.0 points on .511 shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists in two games against Boston this season and his career average against the Celtics is 30.4 points. Only one player in NBA history has a higher mark against the Celtics: Michael Jordan at 30.7. Since 2003-04, no player in the NBA has recorded more 30+ point games against the Boston than James with 13.