LeBron Gone, Celtics headed to Eastern Conference Finals

By: 05.14.10

Kevin Garnett, Dime #30

Nitpick all you want on LeBron James‘ game last night — and please believe there are thousands of nitpickers doing that exact thing right now — but first try to look at the big picture. Yeah, LBJ had way too many turnovers. Yeah, he probably should never pass the ball to Anderson Varejao in a clutch situation. Yeah, his jumper was off. And most importantly, his team lost, again falling short of an NBA championship. But the man put up 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 steals on the road against a defense that wasn’t giving anything away easy. LeBron played a hell of a game, but all you’re going to hear about are the 9 turnovers and the fact that the Cavs conceded the game earlier than they should have, deciding not to foul when they were down nine in the final minute … The story of the first half was Mo Williams, who came out balling like Isiah Thomas in ’89 with strong drives to the cup and pull-up jumpers. Mo dropped 20 points before halftime while the Cavs were getting every single borderline call, but even then they were still behind on the scoreboard. The biggest play of the first half came in the last minute, when Ray Allen drove and hit a cutting Tony Allen, who went almost horizontal and banged on Antawn Jamison something nasty. It was something out of D-Wade‘s playbook … Cleveland briefly took the lead at the start of the second half, but then Kevin Garnett (22 pts, 12 rebs) started getting buckets like he was back in Minnesota. Rajon Rondo (21 pts, 12 asts, 5 stls) opened the fourth quarter with a scoop shot to put the Celtics up double-digits, and it looked like Boston was gonna cruise: Mo had completely lost his legs by that point (two points in the second half, and every one of his J’s was short), Shaq was just too slow to keep up (although he did almost kill Kendrick Perkins when by falling on him), and Jamison was laughably terrible. (Tweet from @bandwagonknick: “Antawn’s been so awful I keep expecting Blatche & McGee to enter the game at the next timeout.”) … LeBron knocked down back-to-back threes to cut the lead to four early in the fourth, but on maybe the most important possession of the game he dribbled off his leg, Rondo turned it into a layup, and the Cavs never got any closer. With about eight minutes left ESPN ran the inevitable “Cleveland Sports Tragedies” montage, and a few minutes later, ‘Sheed hit a corner three and KG got a fast-break dunk for the dagger. LeBron tried to take over after that, but even Mike Eruzione knew it was a lost cause … The post-game scene typified what this series was all about. The Celtics won, good for them, but this was all about LeBron. The cameras stuck to him while he did the Orlando 180 and shook everybody’s hand in the greater Boston area, and stuck with him as he whipped his Cleveland jersey off the moment he hit the tunnel … In Garnett’s post-game interview, he said that he told LeBron to hang in there, and that he definitely knows what he’s going through. We brought it up earlier this week, but now that LBJ has seen another title shot fall through, we’ll ask: Do you feel bad for him? Do you feel bad for LeBron the same way we felt bad for KG and Kidd and Barkley and Iverson when they would fall short? … Most ridiculous Twitter post of the month, courtesy Terrence Williams (@TheRealTWill): “They should of let the nets play in the playoffs at lease we would compete more then these damn teams.” That deserves a nationwide “C’mon son!” … Some of the Dime crew has been in L.A. this week on business. Yesterday we saw Magic Johnson walking by the Magic Johnson statue in front of Staples Center. That’s got to be a cool feeling — unless you’re Thurman Thomas and your statue looks like THIS … We’re out like Mike Brown

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