Game 3 of the Celtics-Cavaliers series will take place this evening at the TD Garden in Boston and with this second round matchup deadlocked at one win apiece, LeBron James’ bruised and strained elbow will surely have everyone’s early attention. If the reigning two-time NBA MVP seems tentative or hesitant to attack the rim at the outset of the game, it may well change strategies for both coaches.
The Cavs have a lot to prove in Game 3. They were destroyed in the second half of Game 2 in Cleveland, falling behind by as many as 25 and going on to lose by 18 points 104-86. They didn’t come out with the focus and intensity that was necessary and suddenly the series is tied up.
The Celtics on the other hand are playing their best basketball of the season at just the right time. Point guard Rajon Rondo was the catalyst to his teams’ dismantling of Cleveland in Game 2. He handed out 19 assists in the first three quarters of the game, tying a Celtics record, and the Cavs had no answer for him. In his fourth NBA season,
Veteran Rasheed Wallace had his best game as a Celtic on Monday night, scoring 17 points and playing great defense after being called out by coach Doc Rivers prior to the game. If Wallace can continue to contribute at anywhere near this level off Rivers’ bench, the 15-year vet will surely get lots of minutes, helping to spell Kevin Garnett and center Kendrick Perkins.
Celtics captain Paul Pierce is scoring about six points below his average in the series. A big part of this can be attributed to his having to lock down on LeBron on the defensive end, in turn tiring him out on offense. If he gets hot at home and the rest of the roster continues to play well, the C’s have a good shot of taking control of the series.