Links To The Present: May 8, 2010

May 8th, 2010 by Tom Pestak

“Brown basically toned down the team’s basic defensive strategy, which is to shrink the floor and give help defense in the paint. The plan instead was to stick to the Celtics shooters and let Rondo try to score his way to a win and not pass his way there. As a result, Rondo had the ball in his hands a lot with not a lot of passing options. He got his 18 points but took 17 shots and was “limited” to eight assists. That’s 17 times when he didn’t pass to a player who was probably much better at scoring than him.” [Brian Windhorst’s Beat Blog]

“From firmly stating he was ready to play Thursday after practice to an intense jump-shooting workout that soaked him with sweat more than two hours before the game, James sent out the strong vibe that he’d be ready for Game 3. With a frown on his face, he delivered on that emotion. It seemed to infect his teammates.” [Brian Windhorst’s Game Recap]

“A playful Shaquille O’Neal was humming while getting dressed after the Cavaliers pounded the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Unfortunately, the tune he’s humming is the song from the Dockers commercial: “I wear no pants.”” [Mary Schmitt Boyer on Shaq]

“King James, after appearing mortal in the first two games of the series, reverted back to himself in a pivotal road game in which Cleveland took a 2-1 lead heading into Sunday afternoon’s Game 4.” [Jeff Goodman on the Cavs Game 3 Victory]

“There’s nothing wrong,” Brown said of Gibson. “He actually was playing his best basketball in stretches this year. We brought guys in with length, and I chose to go with guys with length. When he had an opportunity to play, he played terrific for us. It’s just a decision I made. It’s a tough one to swallow. But it’s part of what I have to do.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer on Mike Brown Sitting Z and Boobie]

“They shot 60 percent in the second quarter and lost ground to the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Of course, by then why not? They’d already lost the game.” [Ron Borges]

“Is the Celtics captain simply spooked by the prospect of having to defend and go against the league’s two-time MVP again and again?” [ESPNBoston]

“Well, now we know what LeBron James — the media-friendly, quick-to-laugh, nice-guy superstar — plays like when he’s mad.  He blocks shots with such abandon that it leaves a 6-foot-9-inch, 290-pound former football player sprawled out on the floor.” [Chris Broussard on LeBron’s Beatdown]

Celtics coach Doc Rivers noted that Cleveland shot nearly 60 percent overall and that helped put the brakes on Rondo as well. “It’s tough to run when you’re taking the ball out of bounds every single time,” said Rivers. “When you think about that they shot 62 percent in the first half and they still had more offensive rebounds than us, that’s just bad numbers for us. [Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston]

I love the picture that goes with this post, and also that they use “tsunami” in it.

Tweets To The Present: (follow me @tompestak)

LeBron James stats in this year’s NBA Playoffs: 32.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 7.4 apg, 1.6 spg, 2.2 bpg, 55.7% FG, 48.6% 3FG [InsideHoops]

#Cavs businesslike in morning meeting, expecting a strong Celtics response tomorrow afternoon in Gm 4. [Brian Windhorst]

More 4 LeBron/Dragic debate. Only other 38/8/7 (Bron) on road: Oscar R. Only other 26 pts in 17 mins in playoff gm (Dragic): nobody. [JA Adande]