If you had told me that Ray Allen and Paul Pierce would combine for 4 points in Game 1, I would assume that they had lost. If you told me LeBron James would only put up 12 I would assume the Celtics would have won easily. Both of these things happened on Tuesday night, but fortunately the Celtics were able to come out on top 76-72 in a game that highlighted the defensive skills of these two teams.
Both teams failed to hit a true offensive rhythm, but KG would have the best performance of the night with 28 points, 13-22 from the field and 2/2 for free throws. Rajon Rondo also had a solid night with 15 points, 5-8 from the field and 5-6 from the charity stripe. Sam Cassell also came up big scoring 13 points in just 18 minutes of play. Sam was 4-8 shooting including 2-4 from beyond the arc.
Cleveland also had it's fair share of players that stepped up with Zydrunas Ilgauskas putting up 22 as the game's high scorer, followed by Wally Szczerbiak with 13.
Despite lackluster performances by Pierce and Allen, I got a good feeling about the series from this game. The Cavs had more preparation time and rest than the Celtics, but the Celtics still managed to take care of business at home. Despite their offensive miscues, the Celtics played stalwart defense and were able to contain King James, even if this did open up other opportunities for Ilgauskas and Szczerbiak to make plays. It is unlikely that they can keep James under wraps like that for the remainder of the series, but it is just as unlikely that Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will continue to struggle to score points as they did in Game 1.
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)