Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Varejao?

clutch.JPGI don’t know what got into Anderson Varejao, but I wish it would happen more often!

I feel so alive
For the very first time
I cant deny you
I feel so alive
I feel so alive
For the very first time
And I think I can fly
- P.O.D. Alive

What a rush! Kevin Garnett may have been awarded the Defensive Player of the Year, but Andy Varejao gave him a lesson in second half defense tonight. Varejao held Garnett to only 2 points on 1 of 4 shooting in the final half, and scored 6 points himself down the stretch. To punctuate the performance, LeBron James blew by two defenders and threw down on Garnett with a thunderous dunk that essentially ended this one. League of Clutch??

The Cavaliers clamped down on the Celtics in the fourth quarter, holding Boston to only 12 points by denying them access to the paint. Boston in fact shot only twice in the painted area all 4th quarter! The Cavaliers didn’t shoot quite as well as game 3, but 45% was good enough to get the job done Monday night. The Cavs limited their turnovers, and racked up 24 assists in the game. In addition to Varejao, Joe Smith and Daniel Gibson were huge off the bench for the Cavaliers. In fact, Varejao and Smith finished with more playing time than Zydrunas and Wallace, including more minutes in crunch time. Gibson hit 2 huge three’s and a long two to keep the Cavs out front of Boston when they were trying to make a run in the fourth.

Honestly, all the Cavs played well, even with Zydrunas Ilgauskas having his worst shooting night of the playoffs. This was a total team win. Just a quick look at the rebounding totals can attest to that. Wallace and Big Z had 7 each, LeBron, Gibson, Smith and Varejao all had 6 as the Cavaliers out-rebounded Boston 42-38. The Cavaliers took advantage of the smaller Celtic line-up, despite what TNT’s moron announcing crew had to say about it. Numbers don’t lie, and when Posey was playing the 4 and Garnett the 5, Cleveland outscored Boston by 18. Go ahead. Go small again.

Varejao has been rather abused for his ‘offense’ throughout the blogosphere, and deservedly so. Nobody expects him to go toe to toe with Garnett for a whole series or even game, but the energy and presence he brought tonight was enough to pester Boston’s MVP into a bad night, and gave the Cavaliers the opportunity to get the win. That’s the Andy Varejao we saw last year in the playoffs, and that’s the Varejao we need if we’re going to get a game in Boston!

  • darren

    im so sick of that commercial. its so overplayed.

    on varejao, i usually yell at the tv when he is moving with the ball…tonight he actually played great. i was surprised.

    also, thought i’d point out that 3 of the top 5 plays on SportsCenter were cleveland related:
    5-Cabreras flip to start DP
    2-LBJ’s dunk
    1-triple play

    good day/night for cleveland.

  • Tim

    The only downside of Andy’s made jumpers is that he may take more of them now.

  • http://www.dbuu.com buu

    i agree with tim.
    whenever andy gets the ball iits amazing how you can see his thought process acted out before your eyes. he gets the ball, glances at it to make sure its there, thinks “pass?” for about a second, but as hes thinking pass his feet have already started moving, much like milhouse when bart tried to reunited his parents by faking his death, and the next thing you know hes doing a spin move into 4 guys and the only thing you can hope is that hes getting fouled.
    seriously, up until the last game anytime wally or anderson got the ball i would just yell “nooooooo” hoping they would pass it.

  • http://majorleaguejerk.com spencer096

    last night was great…kinda wish i coulda made it to the live blog.

    KG is a punk, btw…Cavs in 6.

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  • MacNip

    I take back every bad thought I had about Andy….at least for one night

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    I still get scared sh*tless everytime the ball’s in his hands. Huge rebounds on defense, key shots on O. It was his “Donyell” game…

  • browns87fan

    Bobby O’Brien here-
    The atmosphere was positivley electric downtown last night. It was so loud and crazy. I got a text message about the triple play so luckily I knew to look for the highlight last night. After LeBron’s dunk the crowd erupted. I call that dunk, “The Boston Tea Bag Party”

  • BB

    Tim, nail on the head. Last thing we need is Andy thinking his fall away banks shots are money.

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  • Reality

    K.G. is a punk…says the fan of BronBron, who’s mom came out on the court to defend him? J.R. Rider says, “Sup with that, LeBron?”

    Quoting P.O.D. lyrics is extremely sad.

  • Rick

    Thanks reality for your expert opinion. What’s your site…

  • JL-PRETTY-MONEY

    I LOVE GARNETT, BUT I HAVE TO QUESTION HIS KILLER INSTINCT.. IN THE 4TH QUARTER HE SHOULD BE TRYING TO DOMINATE LIKE THE MANCHILD WE GOT GLIMPES OF WHEN HE WAS PLAYING IN HIGHSCHOOL IN BOTH S.C. AND CHICAGO

  • Rick

    dude, it’s the button to the left of the A. Press it again…

  • JerrypharmD

    HE SHOULD BE TRYING TO DOMINATE LIKE THE MANCHILD WE GOT GLIMPES OF WHEN HE WAS PLAYING IN HIGHSCHOOL IN BOTH S.C. AND CHICAGO

    Wow- please tell me your not equating dominating a high school level basketball game to the NBA playoffs. Its funny how so many of our great PF’s through the years couldnt get it done when it was most needed (see. Malone, Karl)

  • http://sonsofnev.wordpress.com The Seaward

    Now, Rick, you see the danger of getting links from Deadspin… having to defend your writing to the lowest rung of society: Boston and New York fans. We had a similar problem over the weekend with the whole Flip Bondy thing. God forbid somebody write something bad about somebody else’s team, right?

    The debate rages on between getting more people to notice your site and dealing with comments that look like this:

    ZOMGZ KEVAN GARNTT IS TOTALLLY THA SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. YU CLVLAND PPLZ CANT TUCH HIM, STOP BEIN HATURZ!

    Blogging is fun.

  • Rick

    Yeah, we’ve been pretty fortunate in that we have gotten good links from Deadspin since we started this particular blog, but for the most part the comments we’ve gotten have been pretty level-headed. I think part of it is that we really don’t attack other team’s players or fans so much. (Even in the Wizards series, and that is a fanbase dying to be attacked…)