Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. Boston Celtics
ROUND - Eastern Conference
Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics Series Preview
The Cleveland Cavaliers made it to the Semi-Finals by beating the Washington Wizards four games to two. For Boston round one versus Atlanta was, surprisingly, an uphill battle. Finally in game seven, the Celtics hammered the Hawks 99- 65.
Once again, the Cavs rise and fall on the broad shoulders of small forward LeBron James. In the series versus the Wizards, James lead the club with 29.8 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.33 BPG and 1.33 SPG.
But despite James’ dominance, the other four guys on the court with him are able contributors. The Cavaliers are the only team in the playoffs that saw five players average double figures in scoring. Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas hit for 14.5 PPG. He also took down 7.3 RPG. Shooting guard Delonte West, who dished off 5.0 APG, scored 10.2 PPG, while small forward Wally Szczerbiak hit for 10.8 PPG. Point guard Daniel Gibson was good for 11.8 PPG.
One major problem area for Cleveland is it’s low accuracy rate from the free throw line. It stands at 70%. The club also hit 38% from downtown, which is average, and 43% from the floor.
Against the Hawks, it was Celtics’ power forward Kevin Garnett who dominated almost every aspect, scoring 21.5 PPG, making 8.5 RPG and notching 1.50 BPG. In the backcourt, Rajon Rondo, who hit an average of 11.8 PPG, dished off a team high 7.5 APG. Both shooting guard Rae Allen and small forward Paul Pierce produced points. Allen put up 17.7 PPG, while Pierce hit for 17.3 PPG.
The Celtics are a fine all around defensive team, making an impressive 8.17 SPG and supplementing that stat with 5.00 BPG. Garnett managed 2.17 SPG, which was a club high. They are not the best rebounding club and that may hurt them down the stretch. They are accurate from the foul line, sinking 77% and sound from the field, hitting 46%, with a 42% accuracy mark from downtown.
If the Celtics can shut down James, they’ll easily handle Cleveland but don’t expect that to happen. James is on a mission to get to the NBA Finals again and this time win it all. Of course, he’s also got to deal with one of the best defensive teams in the league. This one could go seven.
Maddux Sports Series Prediction:
Boston Celtics in 6 Games
Enjoy Maddux Sports' NBA playoff coverage throughout the 2008 postseason.