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3 votes – Lebron James. I wasn’t really surprised. Even when the Cavs were down double-figures and Rondo looked like he had morphed into the lovechild of Gary Payton and Tim Hardaway. When the Cavs came back, I wasn’t surprised. Only because the most unstoppable singular force on the planet happens to be on their side. And you know what? I don’t give a fuck about his elbow. I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want people to make excuses. I don’t want to see Lebron wincing and holding his arm to constantly remind us he’s not 100%. I don’t want to hear him talking about how he has a policy not to talk about it. It’s the image-fabrication of Lebron that has always sickened me and threatened to overshadow the sheer joy I get from watching him perform. I don’t want to hear about no freaking elbow. I just want to see him thoroughly dominate like the MVP he is. 35-7-7-3-2. More of this please.
2 votes – Rajon Rondo. I could give this to Mo for catching fire in the third. Or I could give it to Rondo who was mindblowingly good in this game. There’s always been that knock about the “Big Three” and Rondo’s place in it. Well you know what? Tonight he didn’t belong in the “Big Three”. He belonged on another plane, well above this aging trinity. Tonight he was the Big One. I may be suffering from a little playoff delusion, but when I see Rondo play like this I’m 100% comfortable in categorically saying he is the best two-way point guard in the league. He’s the best defensive point guard – that much should be confirmed when he secures an All-Defensive First Team birth this year (if he doesn’t I’ll protest violently). But when he’s scoring and splitting the defense and dishing and trying to take on Shaq like he was tonight, he’s is offensively sublime too. All he needed was Pierce or Ray to have a good game and it would have been enough for Rondo to drag this Celtics team over the line. He wasn’t far off doing it himself.
1 vote – Mo Williams. “Getting it out of his system before the Conference Finals” was the Tweet that made me chuckle during this game. Mo’s third quarter not only brought the Cavs back, but it brought the Cleveland crowd back who had been noticeably quiet thus far. His dunk on The Truth was flat-out embarrassing for Pierce and his extended family, and it ignited a fire under Mo’s ass that burned through till the final buzzer. Mo’s game, to me, was the second most important thing that happened for the Cavs in this game. The first being Shaq’s play late in the fourth where he delivered on two huge buckets. Being able to count on those guys is the difference between this team being great and being world champions. On this day they certainly looked like the latter.