Off night for LeBron makes all the difference

Full story: Akron Beacon Journal

BOSTON: The Eastern Conference semifinals started Tuesday night. Unfortunately LeBron James didn't. Of the many unexpected things that happened in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the ...
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1 - 20 of 27 Comments Last updated May 8, 2008
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East Side Joe

Chevy Chase, MD

#2 May 7, 2008
James was off his game for sure. because of the D, certainly. But Brown must take into account the D. I see the same offense or I see James going one-on-five. Brown must find ways to free LeBron. It won't take much to do it. All he needs is a step. Others must pound the middle so James doesn't have to take all the punishment as well.
Garko Polo

Akron, OH

#3 May 7, 2008
What's most positive is that even though James didn't do well, the rest of the team stepped up enough to give them a chance to win it. If the rest of the team plays the same way and LeBron gets his usual 30-35 points they will have a great chance to take one in Boston.
On the flip side, I don't know that we'll ever see Pierce and Allen so anemic again. It looks to be a tough series all around!
SDespot

Hudson, OH

#4 May 7, 2008
LeThargic -Queen- James wrote:
They don't call me "LeThargic -Queen- James" for nothing!
Next year folks.....next year.
Next year is ALWAYS the word in Cleveland.

Since: Mar 08

AOL

#5 May 7, 2008
Nuts! So many chances to win with even an average performance!Let`s see what Game 2 shows up to be!! Celts are certainly loaded BUT if we can get our outside game plus rebounding....
Jim in Kent

Ravenna, OH

#6 May 7, 2008
East Side Joe wrote:
James was off his game for sure. because of the D, certainly. But Brown must take into account the D. I see the same offense or I see James going one-on-five. Brown must find ways to free LeBron. It won't take much to do it. All he needs is a step. Others must pound the middle so James doesn't have to take all the punishment as well.
Mike Brown is an idiot with no concept of offense. Having said that, the key is what Barkley said after the game. They need to have LeBron finish the play, not start it. First, when he has the ball in front of the defense, they have all the time they need to shift and adjust. Make the defense adjust in the middle of the play, not at the start. That way, the defense will collapse on the ball and we either get the basket and one, or we get a kick to an open player. Second, we're dead ducks if we don't have significant scoring somewhere else besides LeBron. The Boston defense has to feel threatened from several directions. That makes them shift and play a spread defense, not just paking the paint waiting on LeBron. It's too easy to defend a team that comes at you one way. We need someone else that can score close to the basket or at least with the 5 -10 foot jumper. That shot breaks defense's hearts. You can do everything right on defense and give up that shot and it kill you. Look at Rondo in the first half. Although, much of that was because West has no clue how to keep the player he is defending in front of him and prevent them from turning the corner. Third, we squandered a magnificent effort last night. We dug a hole and then climbed out of it with our defense. If we can play like that again, and score, we have a big chance to get one in Boston. Last, Mike Brown's player rotations still baffle me. Why does he have to always screw with what seems to be working?
sptn93

Stoughton, MA

#7 May 7, 2008
We all agree that Lebron will play better... but to play devil's advocate, that had to be one of the worst Celtic's offensive performances of the year and they still won. You know Allen and Pierce will bounce back too. I think the Cavs let this gift get away. Celtics in 6 (maybe 5).
Me i

Dover, OH

#8 May 7, 2008
Celtics are going to SWEEP the CAVS
Lebron is outright PATHERIC, you just dont play that BAD in the play offs, You just dont do it. Lebron is OVERRATED. i used t6o like him butall he does is choke
Matthew

Rochester, MN

#10 May 7, 2008
So Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, they don't play that bad in the playoffs? Combined, they had trhe same 2-18, but without the 12 points.

James did better than Allen and Pierce combined. Z was as good as Garnett, or nearly so (22 points on 18 attempts and 12 rebounds, compared to 28 points on 22 attempts and 8 rebounds for Garnett).

So why did we lose? Rondo, Cassell, and Posey combined for 36 points. West, Wally, and Gibson combined for 24. Our stars played even with their stars, but their role players beat ours, particularly West's 4 points to Rondo's 15.

And if that keeps happening, if we can't get 20 from one of our gunners like we did so many times against the Wizards, we're not going to win these games. No matter what Lebron and Z do.
Celts fan

South Burlington, VT

#11 May 7, 2008
Matthew wrote:
So Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, they don't play that bad in the playoffs? Combined, they had trhe same 2-18, but without the 12 points.
James did better than Allen and Pierce combined. Z was as good as Garnett, or nearly so (22 points on 18 attempts and 12 rebounds, compared to 28 points on 22 attempts and 8 rebounds for Garnett).
So why did we lose? Rondo, Cassell, and Posey combined for 36 points. West, Wally, and Gibson combined for 24. Our stars played even with their stars, but their role players beat ours, particularly West's 4 points to Rondo's 15.
And if that keeps happening, if we can't get 20 from one of our gunners like we did so many times against the Wizards, we're not going to win these games. No matter what Lebron and Z do.
Your Star(s)? Is there any other player on the Cavs you can legitimately call a "star" besides Lebron James? Z is a 7-foot jump shooter and Wallace is a shell of his former self.
BTW, Rondo is far from a "role player." Checks his playoff stats and you will see that he is right behind Chris Paul, in terms of productivity.
And the next time I read the words "Szerbiak" and "defense" in the same sentence, I am going to throw up.
Susie Q

Canton, OH

#12 May 7, 2008
Me i wrote:
Celtics are going to SWEEP the CAVS
Lebron is outright PATHERIC, you just dont play that BAD in the play offs, You just dont do it. Lebron is OVERRATED. i used t6o like him butall he does is choke
Watch out--you are calling Lajames a crybaby!! I for one think that Papa Johns did right by the shirts--and I saw a sign on one store that stated that they still love him--oh well to each their own. I won't take in the 23 cent pizza, but I hope that other fans relize that what that shirt said was true.
Ruken

Columbus, OH

#13 May 7, 2008
Why the hell with lebron havng such an off night would we set up the play for him rather than run the same kick out play to Z we had done all game and he had converted those shots
Phil

United States

#14 May 7, 2008
Pat,

Congratulations. You are the only leading sports columnist I know who can craft an entire piece with only two multi-sentence paragraphs. Michael Wilbon will be jealous.
CLE fan

Kent, OH

#15 May 7, 2008
Wow, if the Calvs aren't up in the area there, they tend to not be so good. As if the others might step up and do something, but prolly not.
Why not force the defence off the court, or playing surface if it isn't descafont. Usually doing a tactic such as this will lead to generally better outcomes than that of a whiney fella.

(just your typical CLE fan--rather ignorant)
bob lewis

Overland Park, KS

#16 May 7, 2008
Ever had a bad day? You know, while you're scraping the ice off the windshield you drop your keys into a snowbank, and then when you bend over to get the keys you spill your coffee all over your shoe, and then when you stand up you hit your head on the rear view mirror???

LeBron had a bad night. He's certainly entitled to one.

We'll see a different LeBron on Thursday.
STILL BELIEVEN

Akron, OH

#17 May 7, 2008
Its only one night, and if I remember correctly we were down 2-0 to a more experienced Detroit team last year and won in six. I am sick and tired of all the haters out there, you will be the same clones that where Lebron James Jerseys to the mall!
Nice try losers........GO CAVS
STILL BELIEVEN

Akron, OH

#18 May 7, 2008
ME I, what do you mean choke? You must not watch him that much, the pathetic part is recieving only one first place vote for MVP!!!! Without Lebron the Cavs and the Heat would be fighting over beasley!!!!!!!!!
Steve G

United States

#19 May 7, 2008
Garko Polo wrote:
What's most positive is that even though James didn't do well, the rest of the team stepped up enough to give them a chance to win it. If the rest of the team plays the same way and LeBron gets his usual 30-35 points they will have a great chance to take one in Boston.
On the flip side, I don't know that we'll ever see Pierce and Allen so anemic again. It looks to be a tough series all around!
Exactly, if now in game 2 we get the usual LeBron, but also the usual Pierce and Allen the Cavs lose again. This was the perfect opportunity to take a game in Boston, and the Cavs failed. I'm not putting all the blame on LeBron. At the end of the game, with everything on the line, the coaching staff needed to find something that worked. Rather than let him continue the same one-on-five type action.
Steve G

United States

#20 May 7, 2008
Me i wrote:
Celtics are going to SWEEP the CAVS
Lebron is outright PATHERIC, you just dont play that BAD in the play offs, You just dont do it. Lebron is OVERRATED. i used t6o like him butall he does is choke
I don't know where to start tearing apart this moronic post, so I won't even bother.

Hey Deshaun (Stevenson) is that you?:)
Steve G

United States

#21 May 7, 2008
Celts fan wrote:
<quoted text>
Your Star(s)? Is there any other player on the Cavs you can legitimately call a "star" besides Lebron James? Z is a 7-foot jump shooter and Wallace is a shell of his former self.
BTW, Rondo is far from a "role player." Checks his playoff stats and you will see that he is right behind Chris Paul, in terms of productivity.
And the next time I read the words "Szerbiak" and "defense" in the same sentence, I am going to throw up.
You're a Celtics fan, so who cares what you think. I'm sure you're not just a little biased. What happened to your start players Pierce and Allen, they sucked as bad as LeBron did last night. And Cassell is a big whiner. Now go get us some chowda!
will

Salem, OH

#23 May 7, 2008
there wouldn't be a next year if there was no James. Big deal James had a off night it happens half those shots went in and came back up. It seems most forgot how great the cavs were 6 years ago. We win games because of James we have no other player willing to step up when the shots are not falling. But anyways give me the playoffs every year and you guys can dream of those great lottery draft years.

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