Smack / May 4, 2010 / 4:56 am

Celtics get even in Cleveland; Suns get one-up on San Antonio

Rajon Rondo (photo. Christian Kozowyck)

Right when the critics are hitting their hardest, right when his team is about to face a daunting 0-2 playoff series hole, right when he’s about to lose his job to a certified Top-5 Lottery bust, Rasheed Wallace steps up and creates another chance for himself. He’s like clockwork on the world’s most unreliable clock. ‘Sheed went into last night’s Game 2 of Cavs/Celtics under fire from all angles, and responded with probably his biggest game of the season … You can’t really blame Cleveland for leaving ‘Sheed open, as he’s been a self-check for months, but he made them pay this time. Knocking down baseline jumpers and unmolested threes, ‘Sheed led all scorers with 13 points in the first half and finished with 17, which even included a dunk. The Celts were up four at halftime, then blew up in the third quarter behind Ray Allen (22 pts) and KG (18 pts, 10 rebs) to lead by 23 going into the fourth. Sparked by a couple of J.J. Hickson dunks, Cleveland went on a 15-0 run during the fourth and almost got to within single digits, but KG’s and-one with about two minutes left took what last little bit of momentum the home team had left … Rajon Rondo (13 pts, 19 asts) looked like he had the play of the night when he got Anthony Parker and Anderson Varejao looking silly with his Sidney Deane move in the lane, but it became an afterthought 10 seconds later when LeBron smacked a Tony Allen layup off the glass and caused a simultaneous orgasm at the announce table … LeBron (24 pts, 3 stls) may have been having issues with that right elbow, but he said already that he refuses to make it an excuse, so we won’t either. Simply, he just wasn’t on top of his game. The Cavs’ shooters didn’t help him out at all, as the team went 4-for-21 beyond the arc, and Shaq (9 pts, 4 rebs) wasn’t doing much more than taking up space … You know how Steve Nash will spend three and a half quarters making sure everybody else on his team is eating, then in crunch time he turns into a scorer when the Suns need somebody to take over? Yeah, not this time. Facing his longtime nemesis Spurs, Nash was in killer mode from the jump, scoring 17 in the first quarter on his way to 33 points for the game (with 10 assists) as Phoenix took care of business at home for a 1-0 series lead. Mixing up threes, off-balance pull-ups and crazy scoop shots and layups, Nash wasn’t so much going at George Hill and Tony Parker — more like he wasn’t even paying attention to them as he got to his spots for buckets …

Amar'e Stoudemire (photo. King Lawrence)

Phoenix led by 10 at halftime, then Parker and Manu Ginobili (27 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts, 4 stls) led the San Antonio charge in the third quarter as they grabbed a brief lead. But Nash responded with a run where he scored or assisted on 16 straight Suns points, and it was back to a double-digit Suns lead going into the fourth. Then Tim Duncan (20 pts, 11 rebs, 3 blks) decided to own that quarter, bringing the Spurs within one point with less than five minutes to go, but ultimately San Antonio couldn’t get the stops they needed after that, and Phoenix didn’t let them get back in it by missing free throws … If the rest of this series goes like Game 1, it’s basically Nash, Amar’e (23 pts, 13 rebs) and J-Rich (27 pts) versus Parker (26 pts), Duncan (20 pts, 11 rebs, 3 blks) and Manu, with everybody else just filling the lanes and setting screens. So which trio is better this year, right now? … By now you’ve probably heard of the newest controversy brewing over Kentucky and John Calipari. Short version: Over the weekend All-American senior Terrence Jones announced he was picking Washington over Kentucky; a phone conversation with Calipari ensued; and now by all accounts, Jones is second-guessing his decision and hasn’t signed the all-important binding letter of intent for Washington following Calipari’s last-ditch pitch. UK and UW fans are going for the jugular over issues of whether Coach Cal made the call to Jones or vice versa, what was said during that call, and whether it’s ethical to keep recruiting a kid after he’s given a verbal commitment … But here’s the question nobody is asking: Forget who called who, how did Calipari know that Jones hadn’t signed his letter of intent? He most likely asked him. You really think Jones called and said, “I’m really sorry Coach, I just wanted to let you know that I picked UW. Oh, but I haven’t signed my letter yet.” No way. Calipari had to have asked if Jones signed his letter, and when Jones said no, Calipari went in with his best guilt trip. And so no matter who dialed, Calipari most likely opened the door for re-recruiting to take place. And if anything, that’s the shady part … We’re out like Vinny Del Negro

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  • BUDZ

    FIRST!!!!

    pacman rocks!

  • YW

    that Vinny firing is cold blooded, even if Vinny did suck

  • common sense

    vinny was a rookie head coach.. he might wasnt technically sound but he did have the players committed and paying hard.. mike brown needs to go.. charles barkley says everything i want to say week in week out, and brown is quite retarded, its not an act, hes actually retarded….

  • Valenfat

    MAN, if that boi SHEED can keep providing a spark off the bench, the CELTS have a GENUINE shot at beating the Cavs this series.

    Speaking of genuine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYQc6pxxwA4

  • Hawkeye

    bulls should have fired paxson instead

  • geoluhread

    the game i was waiting for sheed to have.

  • geoluhread

    >.> wonder if how many more games like this he’s got left though.

  • Sambuu

    who’s gonna have more productive games between Sheed and RJ?

  • common sense

    and man… seriously.. living in engalnd was expecting to wake up and find out that the spurs had won… SUNS for the chip this year… i like their chances especially if they can get lopez back and if nash stays agressive

  • Rafa23

    Watching last nights games and the games the days before makes me really appreciate the Thunder with the players almost never crying about the calls. Last night was awful in that aspect, now we can watch james, kobe and duncan cry about everything every night.

  • Soul Jax

    Hahaha the calls were once again ludacrisly in the Cavs favor on Lebron’s MVP night, as the king could do no wrong whether it was the uncalled travel as if the person controlling him hit triangle twice in 2k10 or the several times he intentionally fouled KG under the basket the refs seemed to forget their whistles. Calls were 16 to 4 in the Cavs favor by half time.

    But no problem as The Celtics proved what no one in the media would publicly admit, they match up phenomenally against the cavs and could, and frankly should, win this series. I can’t imagine Stern was too thrilled as his goon squad did all they could to keep the Cavs in the game to no avail.
    Rondo>>>Mo Williams(No contest)
    Ray>>> AP(No contest)
    Paul Pierce<<>>Jamison(Absolute Mismatch)
    Perkins<or=Old Shaq(Virtually negated Shaq last night)
    bench is about a wash too.
    If the Celtics can manage to go 5 on 8 This is their series to lose.

  • Soul Jax

    That should read
    Paul Pierce>>>Lebron(enough said)
    KG>>>Jamison(Absolute Mismatch)

  • Soul Jax

    sorry my b
    Paul Pierce<<<Lebron(Enough Said)**

  • Wait, what?!

    ‘Knocking down baseline jumpers and unmolested threes…’
    Do y’all have editors?

  • QQ

    Damn, now that playoffs are REALLY starting. I mean, Sheed caring bout the game??? Come fucking on, the last time Sheed cared, Arenas was a top 5 point guard. DAAAAAAMN.

    Still picking the Celts. In teams full of assholes, will you pick the assholes who talk shit but at least won shit, or the assholes who talk shit YET did not won shit? Hmm, lots of picking among shit and assholes…..

    GO CELTS!!!! Yall the biggest bastards in the NBA, but hey, yall got rings.

  • Rizwan

    @ 14

    HAHA!! I thought the exact same when I was reading the piece. I felt Gerald was back!! Wonder what defensive schemes Dime writers would run against the Suns or Cavs!!

    Game 1 of 4 to the Suns! Great game, awesome atmosphere. The ending of the 3rd was some of the best playoff basketball in a long time!

  • kudos

    The lebron crab dribble was in full effect last night. A few times. Hilarious that the ref’s believe this is a ‘legit move now.

  • fallinup

    When the Cavs cut the Celts lead to 10 in the 4th… I was about to punch the TV. The refs were trying HARD to get them back into the game. I was just plain disgusted.

  • isotope

    Is it me or is this series looking very similar to last year’s Cle-Orl series? Cleveland barely wins Game 1 but then get smacked in Game 2 on their way to losing in 5. Will this series have the same outcome? Are we going to have a 2008 Finals rematch?

  • rangerjohn

    spurs suns is going nearly exactly like the spurs mavs series.
    they let nash get his ridiculous shooting out of the way in a game one they where never supposed to win. think about it, game one in phx, against the most hated team in the league (or at least in AZ), you KNEW the suns where going to be pumped. it is time for gentry to get out coached by pop and game 2 is all spurs.

    oh and the refs SUCKED, i mean they where missing/making some of the worst calls at both ends. how about the out of j-rich but called on manu, then the very next play (3 seconds later) out on manu but called on j-rich? or the one where amare had tim duncan pushed to the floor nearly (his hands where on the floor to hold himself up) and no call then george hill drives and gets the ball knocked in his face and its a foul. benet salvator is TERRIBLE.

  • Moochie

    Yeah, Sheed scored 17, but while he was on the floor his team was beaten by Cle (his +/- stat is -2)…doesn’t this show his defensive liability?

  • http://www.espn.com Sho-Nuff

    @21…..but on a night when Cleveland couldn’t shoot or shall we say were offensively challenged, ‘Sheed’s points were huge.

    Was Varejo wearing AF1’s?

  • http://dimemag.com/2010/01/daily-fantasy-diagnosis-1-20/#more-30658 Mike

    Did anybody hear Barkley on the LeBron travel? “If they let him travel like that he’ll get alot of MVP’s” LMAO

  • b$

    pop would’ve called the cavs dogs last night. lebron played like he was wearing kobe makeup from the lastyle shoot.

  • The Other Aj

    The situation in Chicago is grimey…reminds me of the wizards 2 yrs ago. A coach is busting his but with a flawed line up and gets fired (Eddie Jordan) and the moron GM who assembled the flawed line up is still employed (Ernie Grunfeld)!!!

    Paxson’s job can’t be safe after this…!!!

  • That’s What’s Up

    Suns played out of their minds and deserved that win. I’m not sure if they can keep it up over 6-7 games, but it should be a great series

  • http://dime eyes

    Seriously after the assasination on Mo Willimas from Pierce. How that’s a technical? Blows my mind. I really can’t believe my eyes to what I saw last night. The Celts had the game won & the zebra’s got involved heavy. They almost single handely gave the game back to the Cavs. What are we teaching our kids? I was watching the game with my 15 yr old. He was like they’re cheating. LOL.

    Did anybody see the delayed reaction from Bron when he ran into Pierce. I swear either my TV has a delayed reaction or flopping & drawing contact is OUT OF HAND. Mo Williams grabbing Perkins arm. Rondo reaches for the ball & gets air. Delonte acts as if he was poked in the eye. Yet when you watch the replay both eyes open with no tears. What happens when you get poked in the eye. Lebron blocks KG’s arm no foul. The 15-0 run was implored straight from the refs. I wanted to turn it off but had to see how bad it could get.

    If the Cavs lose PLEASE refrain from using the elbow as an excuse. The Celtics are the better team overall. Not regular season including or trophy based either. Both Rondo & Rivers do not get enough credit. Rondo is a stud in the making. His only flaw is he doesn’t trust his jumpshot. Not that he can’t shot. No one has been able to teach him he has to shoot & believe it’s going in. That can be taught in a summer. If he ever figures that out. He will be the best PG in the game overall. His intagibles & what he brings. He’s a floor general like no other. Only Chris Paul,Deron,Kidd, & Nash see the floor better.

    Steve Nash is something else to watch. Who blows up Grant Hill taking a bathroom break during the game. TMI. I’m suprised we didn’t have video coverage of the shake. It’s also amazing how vital a role Amundson plays. Could you imagine Earl Clark panned out. Alando Tucker & Earl Clark had they been legit. It could have been Nash homecoming. One player who deserves a chip for playing the right way. He just had to be in Orlando this yr & a chip would be guaranteed. He plays the game the right way aside from his defensive inabilities.

    So many other players just score & don’t do anything else. Rondo’s weakness is only shooting & Nash is defense. Yet critics only harp on the negatives.

    Lebron still can’t shoot free throws. That Hitch is killing in him toward the end of the release. Jay Z somebody help him please. That will cost him a zebra assisted chance for two freebies in the clutch. If he overpowers & your retreating how is this a foul. He took 4 steps on one lay up in human slow motion. 3 officials said legal. LOL. Just watch Garnett’s & the Celts bench when a whistle is blown unfairly. It’s comedy. They’re like damn. I would have been the best player in the league had I been getting the benefit of the doubt.

    If the league really wants to stop losing money. It has to do better. From the top to bottom. Owners,Coaches,
    Scouts,Commish,Refs,Training Staffs,Fans. We need a complete overhaul. The playoffs with DVR are the worse time to blatantly control a game. It’s to obvious & you lose to die hard fan. If you haven’t already. People that watch games mostly use it as a past time or tax write off.

    It’s all about the Superstar & not the team. That alone is a problem The TEAM makes the GAME. If you build it correctly they will come. Fans aren’t that naive to believe everthing sold their way. They can be swayed & convinced. Eventually they will come out the coma. That was a disgusting display of power,politics & everything wrong with the sport & life we live in today. We have to give the people what they want. Who are the people? Who really counts?

    RONDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. 19 AST is UNREAL(PLAYOFFS). Does it not count because he’s not liked. He accounted for like 50 some points by passing. PG’s in the league & college. Game film that needs to be studied. If Bron got 20 Ast. They’d be a new category or award. We would have had to watch each individual assist. The whole day on Sportscenter. LOLOL

  • http://www.myspace.com/40sand9s Loc

    NCAA basketball involved in shady rumours?
    Coach Cal? Shady?

    The NCAA is such a farce. It is so frustrating. Pay the damned kids the money they are earning. Let them go to the NBA if they are skilled enough.

  • K

    When I have a son and if he takes after my grandfather and is real tall I’m gonna get a highlight tape of all Sheeds turnaround jumpers over his career and show it to my son every day. That’s one of the most stopable shots ever up there with Kareems sky hook

  • JH

    “Eyes” is trying to beat “Brogden” with the longest reply of the day. Brogden…where you at?

    When your reply is as long as the original Smack Post…you might want to do some minor editing before submitting.

    San Antonio will adjust and eventually win the series. Before people start calling the Suns “contenders”…just remember that it’s a best of 7 series.

  • K

    Also is getting sad watching Shaq out there

  • LakeShow84

    OK

    As much as i get on Rondo the little man led that charge last night.. Major Props from a Laker fan which singes like hell lol

    And ive been waiting to say it;

    Cleveland will not make it past Boston..

    Everyone acting like Boston couldnt see CLE this year was on some other shit.. Boston damn near won the season series had they not been jumped on by that fast lineup in one of those reg season games, shit they were even leading that game until Shaq went out Cleveland proceeded to run them into the ground..

    This is just another example of why i dont pay ANY ATTENTION to what Charles Barkeley says anymore.. what did he say a sweep?? Shit Cleveland couldnt even hold they homecourt..

    I’ll break it all down once they eliminated.. But all im going to say for now is what ive been saying the last 2-3 years..

    FOOLS GOLD

  • control

    Just putting up a late entry to all of the Greatest Rapper discussions out there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmOhPY3Y5yU. YELAWOLF BITCHES!

  • QQ

    @ 31: Didn’t they get Shaq to defend against Dwight? Then you see Perkins and Glen Davis making it hard for Shaq, that’s when we all know somethings wrong…

  • K Dizzle

    If Lopez gets back soon, Spurs are in real trouble. Legitimate reason why Phoenix can take this series?
    A centre that shoots and MAKES 3s. Think about it. Tim or McDyess can’t just sit in the paint guardin Amare or Shaq or whoever Phoenix used to put in the paint. They gotta come out 23’9 to pick up Frye so Amare gets the one-on-one and this weakens the Spurs defense and ability to rebound, not to mention opens up all kinda drivin lanes for Nash to abuse. Spurs always owned the Suns cuz their strengths were always the Suns weaknesses so if Manu, Tim or Tony turned it on, that was usually enough. Usually close series turnin on one big play. Robert Horry hipcheck. Amare and Diaw suspended. Spurs win. Nash busts nose on Parker’s head. Can’t stop the bleeding. Spurs win. Joe johnson goes up and comes down on his face. Misses games. Spurs win. Up 3. Tim hits big 3. Overtime. Spurs win.
    This Suns team is different. They actually play some tough d. Hill, Dudley, JRich, Lopez(needs to get back) are huge improvements on the defensive side. And Parker off the bench isn’t even an advantage anymore cuz Barbosa takes it to the hole as well as he does so they kinda cancel each other out. Parker’s still the better playmaker, but off the bench, who’s he makin plays for other than himself? Good 2nd round series. Hope they go 7.
    Lakers goin up 2-0 today.
    Allllllllllll day, baby!!!

  • http://facebook.com/Mr.Brogden Mr. Brogden

    “Cleveland will not make it past Boston..”

    LAKESHOW – you might be right.

    This in NO WAY compares to the 20 piece nuggets OKC gave LA.
    This was at HOME!
    This was Mo and Jamison getting ABUSED.
    This was RAY ALLEN j’n the S*** outta Parker.
    This was LBJ not making his freebies.
    This was a 33 point to 12 point 3rd quarter ROMP.
    This was the first game except Boston responded the RIGHT way and absorbed Cleveland’s best shot and still damn near won by 20.
    This was the REFEREES making HORRIBLE calls ALL in favor of the CAVALIERS.
    That s*** was DISGUSTING.
    This was Shaq not being AUTOMATIC.
    This was Mike Brown not running JJ with the ones earlier.
    This was Mike Brown not forcing the ball outta Rondo’s hands.
    Matter of fact, better yet, this was RONDO being the ULTIMATE FLOOR GENERAL, f*** Mike Brown.
    This was SHEED being AUTOMATIC. Wow. What did I just say?
    Wait, hold up, SHEED was automatic???
    I don’t get it.

    And THAT wasn’t a travel y’all, c’mon…that’s what we call a “JUMP STOP”…he planted 1 ft. boom. jumped. landed. boom. 2 steps. If you say he moved the 2nd step before jumping…your being nitpicky or I’m being a biased Lebron fan. Probably the latter. Hahaha

    @eyes – the league’s not gonna lose money. And the league does not feel sorry for people who feel the same way as you. The league’s getting money and you know that. TNT, ESPN, ABC…those broadcasting contracts ALONE are worth BILLION$. They’re doing, by my estimation, AOK.

    @30 – JH
    Your Welcome.

    MISC…
    Can the Suns run the Spurs out of the gym??
    Sure looks like it.

    Did you see Chris Paul’s face when Barkley told him he wasn’t the number 1 pg??

    He had that same look on his face that Mayweather had after the 2nd round.

  • rangerjohn

    ok ok ok i am seeing/hearing craziness a lot lately about the suns. the suns play better defense then in yrs past BUT they in NO WAY play even decent defense. case in point they are ranked 26th in the nba in defense. TWENTY SIXTH! there are only 3 teams with worse defense then them.

    game one was an expected win for them, supposed to be fairly simple but the spurs made a heck of a game out of it. the spurs missed a ton of wide open looks and when was the last time tony parker and manu both missed back to back layups?

    game 2 will be different.

    spurs in 6

  • Rizwan

    @ rangerjohn

    Man, shut up!!!! What the hell is that crap about game 1 being an expected win for the Suns?!

    why dont you just give the team its due, as they outplayed the Spurs? I would have if they had beaten us!!

    The only reason the Spurs made a game out of it was the turnover issue. We have to keep that under control, 16 is just way too much.

    As for the defense issue, who cares where we were ranked during the regular season? This is the playoffs, and as long as we play good defense for 4 wins, that is all I care about. The regular season is in the past. If we were good enough to push the Spurs to the limit before playing no defense, that ‘no way decent defense’ you mentioned is the key.

    A better defense + the same offense = Suns in 6

    Onto the other game, MY GOD, the officiating was bad. I could not believe they let LeBron bring that crab dribble thing back and allow it after the issue it made the last time. Blatant, blatant travel!!! I couldnt believe it. Doc Rivers on the bench was funny, when he saw the ‘play’!

    Rajon Rondo was amazing last night! I dont like the guy because of his attitude but he was immense in carrying that team. Cavs have to be a little worried about game 3 and 4. Still think they will win, but I see Orlando taking them out.

  • rangerjohn

    LMAO at suns fan

    ok the game WAS an expected win, look at it man take off your purple and orange glasses. the 1st game of the series, at home, huge crowd against the team who has kicked the shit out of you but literally and figuratively over the past decade. the suns came out with huge energy early and won the game in the 1st quarter before the spurs put a to little to late run together in the second half. the suns where expected to win (hell vegas even them in the odds too). now that the “hype” of the 1st game is over and nash got his perfect game (much like dirk) out of the way, the spurs will go about the business of beating down the suns as the always do.

    as i have said (and others) defense wins rings, offense wins fans. the suns sure have a lot of fans but not a lot of anything else. no team with steve nash and amare together will ever win a title and they will not get past the spurs this year either.

  • got beef?

    Rondo has a monster game and dime only drops one line on him, THATS RIDICULOUS HATE

  • LakeShow84

    Man if Phoenix beats SA and Boston takes out Cleveland ima have to make hotel reservations down in SoCal..

    Cuz that shits a lock lol

  • fallinup

    I kinda hope the Cavs win the series. Just so that I don’t have to hear the “Lebron’s Elbow Excuse” for the entire friggin off season. :)

  • Rizwan

    We will just have to wait until the end of game 2 then.

  • got beef?

    @lakeshow
    ok the same lakers that got wrecked by the celts a couple of years ago in the finals… whoever comes outta tha east wins the title, GUARANTEED

  • baron

    K-Dizzle,

    Barbosa kinda cancels out Tony Parker?

    Barbosa kinda cancels out Fisher, maybe!

    You give me guttural laughs, man.

    . . . .

    And why is everybody acting like that lurch Robin Lopez is buttermilk biscuits? That’s the guy you think are saying is gonna put Phoenix over the top? Are you people getting too much Sun?

    You live on a yellow fuckin’ submarine, my friend, if you think Lopez is gonna be that much of a factor. I mean you’d make it sound like he was Robert Damn Horry or somebody!

  • LakeShow84

    @ Got Beef?

    Nah bruh.. that aint the same team.. they older and they dont have a defensive thorughbred like they had in Posey..

    They dont have a workhorse hustler like they did in Powe..

    They dont have a journeyman professional in PJ Brown..

    All 3 of those guys i mentioned provided the intangibles to take out our YOUNG fresh in the ass team..

    Since then Pau has gotten tougher, Bynum has been able to play more, we picked up someone who cant stifle Pierce in Artest and we have now have a championship pedigree.. dont forget who made it back while another team watch from the couch talkin like they animal veterinarians..

    The same teams??

    You call yourself a basketball fan??

    Oh and you ni$$as aint won in LA since you got your fluke championship.. got swept last year AND barely won considering Kobe didnt play and Gasol nutted up and called that time out..

    I pray the C’s make it back

  • got beef?

    @Lakeshow
    you seem to forget this is a diff. team too, we have Tony Allen who can come off the bench and slow up Kobe, Gasol is only tough till he plays tough players like Garnett and Perkins, then he reveals his softness, and we have Rondo, who will make Fisher look like he has cement feet… That is if the Lakers can even make it outta the west, cuz they will struggle wit whoever wins PHX SA series… again, whoever comes out da east wins the title… Boston, CLE, or ORL

  • K Dizzle

    lol @ Tony Allen even pretendin to guard Kobe.
    Lakeshow right. This year’s Laker squad is nothin like the team that got shelled in the Finals 2 seasons ago. Lakers got more experience, Celts got old. When you need production from Sheed just to be in the series, you gonna have problems. All we did was replace Ariza with Artest. Celts lost Posey and PJ, who were HUGE defensively and Posey hit those open threes and lost Powe who won a Finals game damn near by himself. If it’s a rematch of ’08, I’d take that matchup over Cle or Orl.

    @ Baron
    yeah, I’ll say Barbosa and Parker is a wash. That’s probably not true, but what do I care? I’m a Laker fan lol.
    If you don’t think havin a legit 7 footer who can body up Tim in the post would help the Sun, then you really don’t know basketball.
    We already know this series is gonna be 3 on 3 and whoever gets more defensive help on one of those 3 and the supporting cast that helps offensively will win the series. Basketball is all about matchups and taking advantage of mismatches. U don’t think the Jazz miss Okur or the Nuggets missed Nene last game?
    Another legit big to help guard Duncan will always make a difference