The Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets had the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors dead to rights in their respective Conference Final series and let each one off the hook. The Celtics and Rockets both enjoyed double-digit second quarter leads on their home floors in win or go home Game Seven’s and what do we get ??? Cleveland and Golden State for the fourth straight year and the Rockets and the Celtics have only themselves to blame.
The Celtics entered their Game VII ultra-confident despite being spanked three times in Cleveland. This was a franchise that was 10-0 SU and ATS in its 10 playoff games this year and a team that had never lost a home court Game Seven in the franchises illustrious history. That form looked like it would hold for the Celtics but up 14 against an ice cold Cleveland team that other than Lebron couldn’t hit water from the end of a dock, jacked three after three after three without running any game clock. What should have been a 20-point halftime lead for the Celtics was four and the writing was on the wall. For the game, the Boston super kids (Brown, Tatum, Rozier) finished just 3-26 from downtown. With no “go to” scorer and Lebron on the other side, the Celtics take home a “learning experience” as they head to the golf course for the summer. As good a coach as Brad Stevens is said to be, he never once tried to reel these kids in and as a result, it cost the Celtics the game and the series.
The Rockets can use Chris Paul’s injury as an excuse all they want and they will but …. the fact of the matter was that they went 18-9 during the regular season without him and Golden State down and with their foot on their necks in both Games VI and VII. The Rockets played an near perfect first half in Game VI and took a 10-point (could have easily been 20) into the half at Oakland, only to be outscored 64-25 in the second half. You read that correctly … 25 total second half points. In Game Seven, another double-digit lead evaporated from the git-go in the beginning of the third quarter and wound up a double-digit deficit to start the third as Houston went 7-44 from beyond the arc for the game. Maybe the Rockets did miss Chris Paul and they will NEVER get ANY type of leadership from probable MVP James Harden who is very quickly becoming a very unlikeable Russell Westbrook.
DMack is a key contributor to www.VegasCovers.com and a leader-board fixture.