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Monday, May 5, 2008

NBA Playoff Preview Cleveland Cavaliers/ BostonCeltics

Posted by Eboy


SPOILER WARNING: For anyone that hasn't seen the blockbuster, Iron Man, beware, there are a few plot points in this preview that may be spoilerish.

Can I be adventurous for a moment? Please? I saw Iron Man three times this past weekend (once on my own, twice in a throng of squealing kids and my own hyperactive 3 year old who forced my hand with tears), so the idea of a sole hero taking on an army in an effort to overcome insurmountable odds is playing heavy in my mind right now. I am now, for the sake of this piece, anointing Mr. Lebron James, the NBA’s version of Iron Man. Strong, fast, can fly, smart, hungry for money and power, built for the future. It’s a good fit. Plus, if Iron Man is the new hero of the 21st Century, Bron’s place in the game is similar for sure.

So what does that make his opponent? Well in the Iron Man film, a group called the 10 Rings had captured the man who would be Iron Man early on, and later, once Iron Man was battle ready, he returned to the Middle Eastern war camp hellbent on revenge. 10 Rings, huh? Can I call the Celts the 16 Rings? I f*ck you if you don’t like it. Does Lebron want revenge against these Boston Celtics? I don’t think that applies here, and unlike the previous matchup that the Cavaliers faced, the Celtics won’t downtalk Lebron to give him extra motivation. Or at least they better not. That would be the Cavs only chance. Another Piston-esque beatdown in the mix? You never know. What Lebron will do is put another fearful run into a team that should be primed for an assbeating of his team, but as the 16 Rings showed in their series against the suddenly pertinent Atlanta Hawks they are very, very beatable. So will Lebron and his boys leave the Celtics home floor with Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” blaring in the background, as they triumphantly leave the enemies home floor with a series win or will they shrink in Cleveland, a season of discontent finally catching up to them and Bron’s great one man ride come to an end with nothing more than 5 x’s marked off on the scoreboard tables NBA Playoffs win counter? For some reason, I think it will be the later.

The Cavs are just too predictable to be able to pull out more than two wins against the 16 Rings. That is....if the 16 Rings play with the fire they showed in Game 7 against the Hawks, at that type of pace and defensive level, they could beat anyone, on any teams floor, as they had done throughout the season. The problem so far in the playoffs? They haven’t shown up on the opponents floor and the three leaders of the 16 Rings all have shown that same type of “shrink in the hour of most needed performance” several times already, the common thread between the 16 Rings and the villains of the 10 Rings group in Iron Man. As a group, they are powerful, when it comes down to a one man for the series type of thing, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett have all the heart of another famous Iron man, the Tin Man of the Wizard Of Oz. The three of their tickers together seems to be "ironclad", so to speak.

Just as Iron Man swooped out of the sky and dispatched the 10 Rings with ruthless efficiency, Lebron might be able to do the same against the 16 Rings without much resistance for a couple of games. His problem is simple, though. There is no one else on the Cavs that can make life easy for him consistently. Wally Szb%^&*#k, Boobie Gibson, Big Z, Ben Wallace? Ugh. Joe Smith can be helpful and Delontae West, all 159 tattoos of him, has been serviceable so far, but that “Big Three” has nothing as a whole in comparison to the 16 Rings “Terrible Tres.”

So where does that leave my prediction? I think the Cavs can steal 1 game in Boston and possibly get two at home to extend it out to seven. Realistically though, and not playing in the fantasy world of the Marvel universe, I think the Celts will not let another “lesser” team stick around too long and play up to potential for this series. Lebron may be Iron Man-ish throughout (ie: a one man army), but since he’s playing a team with guys that actually have a clue on how to be efficient, his flights of fancy will end early and he’ll wind up back in his lab like Iron Man’s alter ego, Tony Stark, looking for a solution to the short circuit overload that will take place. The 16 Rings should then be getting ready for a battle with another known supervillan after that, which should be extremely entertaining and a battle for the ages.

To quote another Sabbath song:

“Now in darkness, world stops turning
As the war machine keeps burning
No more war pigs of the power
Hand of God has struck the hour
Day of judgement, God is calling
On their knees, the war pigs crawling
Begging mercy for their sins
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
All right now!”

That will be a great lead in for that upcoming battle. Celts/Pistons, we’ve all been waiting for it, haven’t we? There won't be much to be excited by in this series, I'm pretty sad to say, so looking forward is all I can do at that moment.

My Pick: Celtics in 5.


CoCo said...

Cavs in 6! Like I'd really pick the Celtics! LOL

CoCo said...

And, you are giving them way too much credit. They got taken to the 7th game by my beloved Hawks, a team they won 29 more games than. The Celts have 3 good players on their squad, but LeBron will be far and away the best player on the floor in this series. The Cavs have better 3 point shooters than the Hawks and I just think they'll beat the Celtics.

Eboy said...

Allright, I know you are being even handed and all! LOL. But seriously, I think the Celts a)took the Hawks way too lightly (who wouldn't have, seriously?) b)The Cavs play a slow half court game that the Celts are WAY more in tune with than the more "running for their lives 'cause that's what they do" Hawks. Lebron WILL be the best player on the floor, every night, without a doubt, but the wake up is in full effect and Lebron's gonna catch hell from a rotating front line of Perkins, Powe, KG, Big Buffalo and PJ Brown. He'll be worn down in 3 games, which won't leave him enough to push it past 5 or 6. You saw how accurate I was on my Spurs/Suns pick right? C'mon now, lady!

TADOne said...

LeBron James.

BETCATS said...

LeBronavilers in 6