Shades Of ’88 – LeBron, Pierce Engage in Game 7 Shootout for the Ages

The Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals yesterday with their 97-92 game seven victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Garden. Paul Pierce and LeBron James drew comparisons to the legendary Larry Bird/Dominique Wilkins shootout 20 years earlier as they went for 41 and 45 points respectively.

Mark Murphy has Pierce and the Celtics getting the last word in this one, just like in ’88. Marc J. Spears has the Celtics finally getting into the Eastern Conference Finals, having taken the longest road possible to get there. Jim Fenton has insurance policy PJ Brown making some huge plays for the Celtics to help them into the ECF. Mike Fine doesn’t get moved by basketball games, but yesterday was a classic in his eyes. Scott Souza notes that Pierce might’ve truly earned his place among the all-time Celtics greats with his performance yesterday. Bill Doyle says that the Celtics turned back the clock in order to move on. Bill Burt has Pierce willing the Celtics into the next round.

Kevin Henkin of the BSMW Full Court Press noted two worthy sub-plots to the James/Pierce shootout.

Steve Bulpett has PJ Brown coming up big in game seven, scoring 10 points and playing some huge defense down the stretch. Christopher L. Gasper says the Celtics know now what Brown can do for them. Robert Lee has Brown thrilled to be able to lend a hand in this one. Dave Nordman says Brown could end up being the Dave Roberts of the Celtics after his huge shot yesterday. Tim Weisberg recounts how Brown came to Boston for his best shot at a ring, and how he did his best to keep that dream alive yesterday.

Jeff Jacobs has Pierce winning this duel with James. Tony “New England fans are a bunch of yahoos, hero worshipers and gutless suck-ups” Massarotti has Paul Pierce carrying the Celtics into the Conference finals. Reynolds says it is only fitting that Paul Pierce be the man of the hour in this one. Bob Ryan has Paul Pierce coming up huge in his moment of truth. Lenny Megliola has Pierce winning the mano-a-mano showdown. Tim Weisberg says that the Truth was the last word in yesterday’s discussion.

Steve Buckley expands on how this game brought back memories of that great Bird/Dominique shootout so many years ago. Dan Shaughnessy has LeBron coming up short at the end of this duel, and hits the right tone with the analogy at the end. Monique Walker has a look at the continued struggles of Ray Allen in the postseason.

Dan Ventura has Eddie House making huge contributions with his energy, despite only going 1-5 from the field.

The Celtics next get ready to face the Detroit Pistons starting tomorrow night. Bulpett has some thoughts from both sides on the matchup. Ventura gets some parting thoughts from LeBron James on the next series. Michael Vega has James’ supporting cast letting him down yesterday. Lee has James’ best moves coming up just short.

Murphy’s notebook has Chauncey Billups and the Pistons ready and waiting to take on the Celtics. Spears’ notebook leads with James talking about Pistons/Celtics. Fenton’s notebook has the Celtics with very little time to enjoy their win over the Cavs. McNamara’s notebook has the Celtics jumping right back into the wars tomorrow night with the Pistons coming to town. The Telegram notebook has Celtics/Pistons on tap for tomorrow night, just as we had all planned since August. The Eagle-Tribune notebook has more on Brown’s heroics.

Red Sox

The Red Sox finished off a three game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers with an 11-7 win at Fenway Park yesterday. The Sox are back in first place atop the AL East. Four home runs – two from David Ortiz – powered the attack yesterday and got Josh Beckett off the hook for another sub-par performance. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

Patriots

Over at Patriots Daily, Scott Benson is ready to move on from Spygate once and for all. David Scott lists out some Winners and Losers from Tomasegate.

Check all the local coverage on the Patriots at PatriotsLinks.com

  • Brad

    Pierce has a ways to go in my mind before he totally redeems himself for his childish antics and T against the Hawks that almost snuffed the Celts in Round 1. You can all fawn over him for coming up big against the Cavs, until he wears the Ring he is at the Antoine Walker level in Celtics history. Yes he had a great game and the battle versus LeBron is one for ESPN Classic. I don’t think they can beat Detroit unless Pierce plays seven Game 7’s. Is he capable? I think not.

  • Scott

    So unless Paul Pierce scores 41 points in seven consecutive games, the Celtics will lose, and it will be Paul Pierce’s fault.

    That sounds fair.