Sunday, May 18, 2008

Celtics-Cavs -- Game 7 (pre-tipoff)

* Sasha Pavlovic, the starting guard on last year's Cleveland team that reached the NBA Finals, has showed some signs of rounding back into shape. Look for him to get more of Gibson's minutes. He could be a huge X-factor for the Cavs today.

* The best way to win a road game of this magnitude is to allow the home team and its fans to feel comfortable. In other words the longer the Cavs can keep the scoring margin +/- 5, the better. Just lull everyone along.

* Given Ray Allen's struggles, the Celtics need Paul Pierce's offense more than ever today. Although Pierce's defense on LeBron James has been stellar, it has also sapped him of energy and focus at the offensive end of the floor. Boston should put James Posey on James and let Pierce focus almost exclusively on offense.

* Daniel Gibson first emerged as a rookie last season as a big-time shot-maker. Gibson, who won't play today because of a separated shoulder he suffered in Game 5, will be sorely missed. Gibson is shooting 45.2 percent from beyond the arc in this year's postseason, averaging 9.0 points in nearly 26 minutes per game.

* On the pregame studio show Michael Wilbon has made no less than four errors regarding Game 7 history.