In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals the Boston Celtics were at the mercy of the 3 time MVP LeBron James and the Miami Heat blew the Celtics out 98-79.
Its was as simple as that.
Great players have the ability to carry their team to victory for an entire game and that’s exactly what James did in Game 6.
With 45 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists on 19-26 shooting, James was the personification of all business.
No smiles, no antics just business. Having the best player in the world on your team is like having the Big Joker in a spades game. He can always trump anything you throw at him.
Every Celtics run was answered by James in some form or fashion. After the game Doc Rivers said the Celtics could have played better defense on LeBron and that Boston didn’t guard him with “force”. Rivers also mentioned that questions about LeBron’s clutch ability should be put to rest after that performance.
Boston could get nothing going offensively shooting just 43% on the evening. The offense lacked ball movement and when they did get open shots they missed badly including just 1-14 from three point range.
With regards to Boston’s offensive struggles Rivers eluded to his players trying to do things individually to bring them back offensively and that the lack of ball movement was crippling.
Very un-Celtics like play from the veteran group.
Rajon Rondo led Boston with 21 points and 10 assists but committed 7 massive turnovers. He was aggressive attacking the paint but he tried to be too cute with some of his passes to the low post and cutters to the basket.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for just 21 points and 12 rebounds. The two future hall of famers shot a collective 10-32 with Pierce stinking it up the most at a 4-18 clip. The Celtics just can’t win with performances like that.
The Boston bench was once again nonexistent until the garbage time mintues in the 4th quarter. Mickael Pietrus returned to his non productive form and even went from being trigger happy to gun shy after missing a couple of open threes. When Pietrus is afraid to shoot you know its a bad night for Boston.
The Celtics just were not there tonight and LeBron’s performance took a lot out of their spirit and fight. The loan bright spot for Boston was their crowd chanting “Let’s Go Celtics” for the last 4 minutes or so after the game was well in hand for Miami.
That crowd knows what is at stake and they know it could be the last time they see many of the current Celtics in uniform. Ray Allen commented after the game that he and KG spoke about how special that was and that is was something he would remember for the rest of his life.
Another city’s fans may duplicate that in the future by there are no fans in the NBA like Boston Celtics fans.
The media pendulum has now swung in the other direction and all the rage is how old the Celtics looked in Game 6. All of the attention now turns to Saturday’s Game 7 where the Celtics will be the underdog which is their preferred role.
The only thing bigger than a Game 7 on the road with a chance to go to the NBA Finals is a Game 7 on the road IN the NBA Finals.
Like the Celtics NBA playoffs commercial states “These guys are at their best when the stakes get BIG”.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com