Links To The Present: May 7, 2010

May 7th, 2010 by Tom Pestak

“At shootaround, Mike Brown said Anderson Varejao would be ready to play tonight. Garnett and Perkins will start for the Celtics after missing some practice time this week. Of the two, Garnett may have the more bothersome injury with a mid-foot strain. But the three days off helped everyone.” [Brian Windhorst’s Pre-Game Beat]

“Rondo has sat out only nine total minutes in the first two games. The Celtics have been outscored by nine points in those nine minutes. Another strategy is to make him work on defense. In Game 2, the Cavs guards were so passive, especially Delonte West who was only 1-of-4 from the field in 31 minutes. Yes, Rondo made first team All-NBA defense, but you still can make him move and sweat a bit when he has to defend.” [Terry Pluto’s Scribbles]

“Instead, another problem has come to the fore that explains a lot of the Cavs’ struggles — Cleveland is playing shockingly average defense. In the regular season, the Cavs gave up just 101.5 points per 100 possessions, good for seventh in the league. Their two playoff opponents, Chicago and Boston, didn’t figure to threaten this standing much. The Bulls were awful, ranking 28th in offensive efficiency, while the Celtics were just average at 13th.” [John Hollinger on the Cavs Troubles]

The shot attempts, though, have been only part of the issue. James hasn’t been the same on defense from tipoff to final horn, sometimes avoiding contact. He also hasn’t been as active as a passer. He had just four assists in Game 2, his fewest since Jan. 25.  Nonetheless, James and his teammates are taking the stance that the Most Valuable Player and the team are fine. [Brian Windhorst – Special to]

Tweets To The Present: (follow me @tompestak)

Rumor has it Cavs will sport Cavs fanatic wine tonight. [George M. Thomas]

In Celtics locker room, sermon of today’s pregame chapel was “the spirit of SHUT-UP.” [Joe Gabriele]

LeBron did his standard 100+ shot routine more than two hours before the game with no restrictions. #cavs [Brian Windhorst]