Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Friday, May 16, 2008

All tied up

Now that was an MVP effort. Full of energy, precise and exactly what the doctor ordered. I am not talking about LeBron and the Cavs but Austin Carr. Good ole AC was on the top of his game tonight. He called out the Cavs when the offense wasn't working and he took delightful glee when they stepped things up.

I stayed at home tonight and I am glad I did. Austin Carr knew what the Cavs needed to do and begged for them to do it. He was on point about the team letting Garnett getting free after he picks. He was right about criticizing the Cavs big men doubling too high. He let Andy have it after taking a long jump shot. And then praised him with enthusiasm when Varejao stayed near the basket and put in an offensive rebound. Actual analysis during a playoff game, what a novel concept.

And I am sucker for when Austin starts laughing. The man loves basketball and he loves the Cavs. No one wants the team to win more. I bet if they let him suit up, he could still drain a few shots and give one hard foul.

On the court, it was the defense that won the game. They held the Celtics under 20 points in each quarter and the 69 points set a team record for points allowed in the playoffs. The offense did just enough. It still wasn't pretty. And it was the runs at the end of second and third quarter that was the difference. Early on it was particularly frustrating watching LeBron either dribble or stand alone above the three-point line. The Cavs were at their best when West had the ball and let LeBron move without it. The few times LeBron posted, the Cavs would score. The Cavs posts played well and controlled the boards. For them to win a game seven that has to happen again.

I will say this about Wally. That man is one confident SOB. He lays bricks all game and then doesn't hesitate from hoisting a deep three with the game in the balance. I wish I had that kind of confidence.

Before the series all of local big newspaper "experts" all agreed there was no way the Cavs could win a game seven in Boston. All the national media guys seem on board with that as well. I like those odds and I will take my chances. I can't see this team folding under pressure. They have been inconsistent all year. But I don't see that happening on Sunday. The pressure is all on Boston. No expects Cleveland to win but LeBron and his teammates. It should be fun.