It wasn't the prettiest game to watch by any stretch of the imagination, but the Cavs and Celtics traded baskets for about 44 minutes before Lebron James took control of the game.

I watched the TNT after show after the game and they kept talking about the Celtics, what's wrong with the Celtics, how they can't win on the road, how they'll have problems against Detroit, etc... Kenny said the Celtics are a "front-running team", meaning they can only play with a big lead. Chuck said he felt that the Celtics are bad 1v1 defenders. Magic made the comment about the Celtics not knowing who their go to guy was.

Though they did mention Lebron, I think they were missing the main point. The sole reason why the Cavs won the game tonight was due to Lebron James. 7-for-20 isn't a good shooting night, but LBJ did have 13 assists and 6 rebounds. Most importantly, Lebron was a part of every single big play from the Cavs in the last 4 minutes. I like analyzing sequences so here is roughly between 4min to 1min:

3:16 73-79 LeBron James makes 25-foot three point jumper
2:55 75-79 Paul Pierce makes 13-foot two point shot
2:38 75-82 Daniel Gibson makes 25-foot three point jumper (LeBron James assists)
2:19 Paul Pierce misses 25-foot three point jumper (LeBron closes out)
2:18 Boston offensive rebound
2:15 Jumpball: Kevin Garnett vs. Joe Smith (Ray Allen gains possession)
2:06 Ray Allen misses 25-foot three point jumper
1:45 75-84 LeBron James makes two point shot
1:25 LeBron James blocks Paul Pierce's 9-foot jumper
1:09 75-86 Anderson Varejao makes 11-foot two point shot (LeBron James assists)

On-ball screen:

The Cavs "crappy offense" as Chuck calls it, is deceivingly simple. Yet, when you have the NBA's best player, why make things complicated. On the 3-pointer, they run a simple ball-screen with Varejao. The Celtics don't switch and sag allowing him to take the outside shot,

In the second clip, Joe Smith comes to set the ball screen. You'll see 3 Celtics, Posey, Garnett and Rondo (I think). Point is, that they don't really make a play on Lebron. You must not allow him to get to the rim, take a charge or wrap him up,

Chuck thinks the Celtics 1v1 defense is bad. I think they actually defended both plays as good as possible. I would've sagged to give Lebron the shot. On the dunk, that's just Lebron being Lebron. You could've fouled him, but that's easier said then done.

In the end, I thought this game was decided by the fact that the Cavs have the best player on the floor. The Celtics do have a go-to-guy, it's Paul Pierce. But Lebron > Pierce.


I've coached both football and basketball in my life. In football, you can have a star RB but you need an O-line to block for him. You can have a star QB, but you need athletes that can catch. You can have a devastating LB or rush end, but the offense can always run to the other side.

Basketball differs in that I think 1 superstar player and 4 average players can actually be better than 5 good players. My traditional thinking has been I would prefer 5 good players over 1 superstar + 4 average. But, if that 1 superstar was a special player like Lebron, maybe that is better...

A brand new video has just come out, Keno Davis' DVD on his Spread Dribble Drive Motion. I didn't know Drake ran dribble drive motion, but the video looks more like spread with drive + kick than the Walberg version. In any case, it should be a good view for you DDM fans. Talk hoops strategy at the X's and O's Basketball Forum with other great coaches from around the world.