This Eastern Conference semifinal is the lone playoff series with any extended drama, and Game 5 here Tuesday is shaping up to resemble a graphic novel showdown -- LeBron vs. Rondo.
Rondo's magnificent showing of 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists Sunday was accompanied by a full-court defensive performance to lift Boston to
"I thought we played well [Sunday],'' said James, who did not view the loss as a letdown following Game 3. "They came out with a lot of energy, and then they turned it up and we were able to weather the storm late in the third quarter going into the fourth. I don't feel like as a team our aggression was down."
By outrebounding Cleveland, taking care of the ball and refusing to create easy field goals in transition, Rondo's Celtics kept James bottled up and forced him into seven turnovers and 22 points on 7-of-18 shooting. That's why James has offered to guard Rondo, and why coach
"You've got to be a fan of the game, and what we call in the urban world, you can't be a hater,'' Cavs point guard
That's true, and it's why Williams and
As much as the Celtics would like to build off their latest victory and turn the remaining two or three games into a recreation of their 2008 defensive triumph over Cleveland on their way to the championship, the lesson of this series is that no two games are quite the same. Neither team has been able to maintain positive trends from day to day. James dominated Game 3, Rondo ruled in Game 4 and what happens next is anyone's guess.