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If there was ever a time the Cavaliers needed to pull off another game like their previous it is Monday night at the Q.Â Last year the Cavaliers came back from a 0-2 defecit to beat the Detroit Pistons and advance to the NBA Finals.Â Boston is not Detroit.Â If the Cavs have any hope of making a series of this, game 4 is a must win.
So much attention has been given to LeBron Jamesâ€™ sagging offense and the Celticsâ€™ stout defense. Both are true. James is mired in the worst postseason slump of his career and much of it is because of the Celtics, who were the NBAâ€™s best defensive team in the regular season and their numbers are backing them up in the postseason.
James shot only 5-for-16 from the field, giving him an ugly three-game total of 13-for-58, but his teammates were 32-for-54 (59 percent) to help the Cavaliers get back into the series. Kevin Garnett led five players in double figures with 17 points for the Celtics, who fell to 0-4 on the road in the playoffs.
Cleveland Cavaliers fans remember the team’s Miracle of Richfield back in 1976, when the franchise, making its first playoff appearance, knocked off the Washington Bullets in seven games before falling to the Boston Celtics in six games in the Eastern Conference finals.
Afterward, Rondo vowed to take on more of an offensive burden.
“At the start of the game, I probably need to be more aggressive in transition, but I think it starts with defense. We need to get more stops in order to start the transition break,” he said.
Shortly after he wrapped up extra shooting following the Celtics’ practice yesterday at Quicken Loans Arena, Rondo met with the media and was reminded of his statement. Did he still feel compelled to take on more of an offensive burden?