Well, well, well what do we have here?
By the looks of it we have ourselves a series. (At least for the moment) Something I would've never expected after how games 1 and 2 played out. The C's never held a lead, for even a second at either home game. Not ideal. In game 2 they looked like a middle school team and lost by about 500 points. Not exactly how you want to come out at home in the Conference Finals after getting embarrassed in game 1. Oh and Isaiah Thomas DONE for the playoffs. You had all the ingredients for a sweep.
Yet somehow that isn't what played out.
Last night the C's were at least competitive to start. They lead 2-0 and 5-3 early, which given how the series had been going, at least finally gave Celtics' fans a brief moment to see their team hold a lead in the Conference Finals. Then Kevin Love went what felt like 20-21 from 3. The Cavs were in control, but at least we weren't down 50 at half again, so I considered that a win. C's were down 21 in the 3rd on the road. You'd think they were done, but the Celtics fought and clawed back to steal a game in Cleveland. At the very least they avoided getting swept by Lebron and company which was really all I ever wanted going into the series. Thank you Avery.
Speaking of Lebron, for someone sooo upset that he wasn't an MVP finalist, he sure took it out on the floor, especially late. These games are why Lebron is the best. You can always count on him.
At least he handled it well post game.
Now are the Cavs still in the driver seat?
But without Isaiah last night the Celtics defense improved immensely. After allowing 130 points (which could've been more had the Cavs not let up) the C's "held" the Cavs to 108. Sure it took the worst playoff game Lebron has had in over 5 years, and 45% shooting from 3 to pull off the win, but a win is a win.
I'm not saying the Celtics are going to somehow shock the world and pull off the most shocking 1 seed series win of all time. But what I am saying is they at least won a game. Something that seemed impossible 48 hours ago. They showed heart after being written off by the entire world. It says a lot about this collection of guys and Brad Stevens to come out and win on the defending champs homecourt, without your team MVP, after getting absolutely embarrassed in the first two games at home. Who knows maybe the C's can get a little Ewing Theory (look it up) going in Isaiah's absence? Marcus Smart isn't going to shoot 70% from behind the arch every night. But maybe someone else can pick it up Tuesday night.
Now the more likely scenario is that Tuesday night Lebron will have a game 6 of the 2012 ECF like performance after laying an egg Sunday to assert his dominance and show that even the best guy in the league can have an off night. But until then I am going to get my hopes up that somehow the Celtics are actually better off with out I.T. (I don't believe that) and can at least make things more difficult for the Cavs instead of rolling over and dying after an embarrassing start at home.
The Celtics' twitter account said it best.