Celtics-Cavs: The Road ‘Thing’
The Celtics inability to win a game away from the Garden has officially become a “thing,” as in: “Doc, can you talk about the road thing?” Never mind that the other playoff teams are a combined 1-11 on the road in the 2nd round, the Celtics are the symbol of losing basketball because they haven’t won away from home during the entire post-season.
This wasn’t like Game 3 when the C’s got down 43-17 and never had a chance. This was one they could have won, or stolen might be a better way to say it. After the jump: coulda, woulda, shoulda — three reasons why Boston blew it, plus why I’m joining the Eddie House bandwagon.
1. Never thought I’d type these words but, Tommy Heinsohn pretty much nailed it in the first few minutes of the postgame last night when he said the Celtics are two different teams offensively. There’s the one with Rajon Rondo at the point, and the one with the other guy. The other guy is Sam Cassell, of course, and for all the weird lineups Doc employed last night, his decision to play Cassell for the majority of the fourth quarter was the most curious. When will he trust Rondo to play through the fourth quarter?
For that matter, Free Eddie House. House may not be a real point guard. He may not even be the answer, but he probably won’t be the problem.
2 . Big Baby? I don’t get it. This was the lineup to start the fourth quarter: Cassell, Paul Pierce, James Posey, PJ Brown, and Big Baby. That unit actually played Cleveland even — which would have been fine if they were ahead or at home. They were neither. Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen all played close to 40 minutes, but they may have been the wrong 40 minutes.
3. The other dominant storyline for the C’s is that when the game gets tough, no one knows who the go-to guy is, to which we say: It’s a little late to be worrying about that now. This is the way they have played all year, and sure enough, Garnett, Pierce, and Allen all got shots late in the game. They just weren’t very good shots. (See point No. 1).
So, they go home now where they have been virtually untouchable. They still should win the series, but the road “thing” has officially become one big distraction.