The Boston Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with a 94-85 victory over Cleveland in Game 6 on Thursday night, sending LeBron James and the Cavaliers into an early offseason destined to define the future of the franchise -- and the rest of the NBA, too.
The LeBron watch began at 10:53 p.m., when Rajon Rondo dribbled out the last 14 seconds and the Celtics began celebrating. James is eligible to opt out of his contract this summer, a move that would make the two-time MVP -- and zero-time NBA champion -- a free agent and set off a scramble for his services from New York to Miami to Los Angeles and, of course, back in Cleveland.
Here's the sad part to all of this:
It was the second straight year Cleveland has finished the regular-season with the No. 1 overall seed, and the second in a row that they have failed to get out of the East.
Sure, the final score was 94-85, but Cleveland just plain quit after Rasheed Wallace made the three pointer with 6:09 left in the 4th. With 1:30 left, the Cavs just didn't seem all that interested in playing anymore, which must feel like a betrayal to Cavaliers fans. Jordan wouldn't go down like that. Neither would Kobe or Magic. They would rather go down swinging than quit
Edit from The Count:
Nobody...nobody...including myself predicted Celtics in 6 in this series certainly every single "expert" predicted Cleveland to win somewhere between 4 and 7 games. And why wouldn't they? Most of the second half of the season Boston was a bad basketball team scoring goals in their own basket and losing to New fucking Jersey Fuck Nets at home. Even Boston's fairly dominant 5 game brush off of Miami didn't give many any reason to think that Boston could win this series but win it they did. In 6 games and really it should have been 5 even shooting 30 less free throws in this series than Cleveland. Boston kept saying they would flip the switch come playoff time... maybe they have.
So why did Cleveland fail again? Why aren't they Chicago?
1. LJ ain't MJ.
Michael Jordon never shot 65% from the free throw line nor disappeared for complete games. LJ was better tonight but his shot failed him again and he turned the ball over 9 times. LeBron James right now is a great basketball player and most valuable puppet but he's not a an all time great basketball player.
2. LeBron and who?
MJ had a HOF'er in his prime as a side kick, LJ has a broken down Shaq, Antwon Jameson and a dude that moonlights as a WWE Wrestler.
3. The Only way Mike Brown and Phil Jackson should be mentioned in the same sentence is Mike Brown will never be anywhere near as good as coach a Phil Jackson.
Nobody hates that whiny ass pussy out west more than I do but the truth is zen ass tactics work on his team and most of the time he get's the most out of them. People say well he's got the players but other coaches never won titles with players he has won titles with. Mike Brown is just a douchebag. Really I see no evidence that that guy has an ounce of coaching ability. You can get away with subpar coaching in the regular season when most of the time you are going after teams like the Clippers, Wizards and Nets where your supreme talent will mask a coaches short comings. But once you reach the playoffs, especially after the first round all of the sudden you need coaching to go along with the talent and it's pretty obvious Mike Brown just does not have it.