The Wizards look… ahh… slightly better at Home
Well to your first two paragraphs, I would say that neither Lue nor Stevens has enough playoff experience on record to be seen as a “series changer”. To me if I have to choose one it is Stevens, even though Lue has the ring. He feel into the head coaching role and has been given a the best player on the past 7 years. I do not say that to diminish his accomplishments, just to emphasis the fact that Lue’s strength as a coach is his ability to relate to players (aka a players coach). Where as Stevens is by all accounts a coaches coach.
Now you made the point that Horford is going to have trouble with the Cavs front court. I 100% agree, and I think the Celtics know that. Tristan Thompson should be having a monster series if the two teams meet. The problem is Tristan and Al are fulfilling the same role for their respective teams. They both grab a high amount of offensive rebounds, and slow down the pace (Horford is at -5.2/Thompson at -1.1).
So if those two nullify one and other in terms of in game impact, that means the series hinges on Kevin Love. Now if you look at the 4 regular season meeting between the Celtics and Cavs you will notice that the team who won, also had a higher ORB%. The sole game in which Boston won (back on March 1st) was a game when Kevin Love did not play. Which means the Cavs can not relay on Lebron and Kyrie, they need 20 point/10 rebound nights from Kevin Love in order to be in control of the series.
You mentioned that the defensive intensity of the Cavs has gone up, which is true. They have gone from 110 to 104 in Defensive Rating, putting the team at about league average. However, there is no way that I can agree with this iteration of the Cavs being deeper than last year. The team lost Mozgov and Delly for Kyle Korver and Deron Williams. That is a loss of depth, and the Cavs tried desperately to get a big man to eat about 7 to 10 minutes a game. Forcing the Cavs to relay on Thompson, Love, Fyre, and Lebron gliding off his assignment for rim protection.
I write all of this to say, the Cavs do not possess the freedom to interchange any play they wish with four of their starting five. The Celtics are aware of this, and will do everything they can to ensure that they prolong the series. All it takes is for one of the Cavs big men to fall into foul trouble and the game swings into Boston’s favor.
RIP Andrew Bogut, 58 seconds has to be one of the shortest tenures with one team. The Raptors were definitely killing us in the paint, Valanciunas was just getting hook shot after hook shot and we are lucky he started missing his shots. Boston still doesn’t scare me with how the Cavs played the last two games, but I guess that could change depending on how they fair in Toronto tonight.
I guess I just have a hard time seing how Boston ever really exploits the Cavs down low to the point where it becomes a match-up problem. I don’t think Horford has anything for the cavs, Tristan destroys the offensive board, while Love keeps him out on the perimeter (as do Frye) and Love is too good of a defensive rebounder to give the celtics a meaningful advantage on that end. Valanciunas is a match-up problem sure, but the cavs have so far shown that they are also more than happy with letting him get his points if it means keeping Derozan from going off which has paid off so far. I just think the Cavs match up too well with the Celtics for it to ever get really competetive. Maybe they steal a game at home, but I honestly don’t see them taking more than that.
It will be an uphill battle for the Celtics. They would need the Cavs to be on the wrong end of most 50/50 plays, or an injury to be really considered potential winners of the series. Much like the Cavs getting lucky in the finals against Golden State last year.
That is what the Celtics need.
Sorry to the resident raptors fans, but this Gif is simply too good to leave out of this thread.
The Raptors are done. They’re like the Clippers of the east, Masai’s gotta blow it up. They went all-in on in getting Serge and PJ, and they’re going to get swept in dominating fashion. Pre-G3 JV was only playing ~20 mpg.
Cavs will probably take it over the Celtics in 5 or 6.
Love that the Wizards tied it up against the Celtics, more guaranteed rest for the Cavs haha. Very pleased with their performance. Kyrie was kinda quiet, but then the 11-2 run he had ALONE against the Raptors just seal their fate.
Can we talk about how amazing John Wall has been in these playoffs? He’s made eye-popping plays in nearly every game these playoffs.
I was a big fan of his coming out of UK, but it felt like he struggled a lot coming into the league and maybe even fell off a bit. But this year it seems he’s playing up to all that potential and it definitely seems to be working for the Wiz.
Oh also Spoelstra AND D’Antoni are Coach of the Year?
I’ve NEVER been happier about an NBA award announcement.
Damn, he’s only 26 too. For some reason I had it in my head that he was a few years older. He still has some peak years left. I think injuries are really what have kept him down. When he’s fully healthy and reaching his full potential he is spooky.
Yeah, I think time and peak performance lost to injuries has definitely made him seem older than he is.
A write at SBNation described Wall as playing like no one is on defense. Everything he does, particularly his passing, is so effortless. Him and Gordon Hayward have gotten a lot of well-deserved exposure during the playoffs.
Hmmm that’s definitely high praise, but I don’t know that it properly conveys how much string-pulling he’s doing to make it feel like there’s on one playing defense.
Two of the plays he’s made that impressed me much were great examples of him absolutely neutralizing the defense, which really the most you can ask of your primary ballhandler/playmaker.
Both those plays have him doing stuff that doesn’t give the D a chance to stop him and I think that’s what’s been most impressive to watch him do so far.
I have no idea who’s going to win in either the Celtics/Wizards or Spurs/Rockets matchups and I fucking love it.
Hoping the Spurs and Wiz take it tonight. I have a feeling that if the Spurs were to advance, they could at least take a game off the Ws. Wiz/Cavs would be fun af.
It is really a shame that Washington could never develop a solid bench for Wall. Aside from Jennings, they had no one that could handle the ball in the second unit.
Boy was the Cavs game satisfying to watch. I think they are the team I enjoy beating the most. Will never forgive them for Kevin’s arm on 2015. Celtics just looked lost. Hard to see them taking a game of the Cavs at the Q too. Would be crazy if both teams swept to the finals.
I don’t wanna say I told y’all so, buuuuuuuuuuut