"The fans came to see Paul Pierce and LeBron James play," said James, who did his best Michael Jordan impersonation and referred to himself in the third person multiple times in the postseason news conference.
He's right on the Cleveland end, though. No one is coming to watch Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak or Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
It's all about 'Bron-'Bron.
But Boston's next opponent won't be nearly as easy to contain. The Pistons have weapons everywhere you look. They are clearly superior to Atlanta and Cleveland. Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace and Tayshaun Prince are all capable of putting up 20 points, and each has extensive postseason experience. Even reserve guard Rodney Stuckey would probably start for the Cavs.
But Boston does have a saving grace its home-court edge. The Celtics are now 43-6 at home since Ainge made the deals to unite Pierce with Garnett and Allen. And while Pierce carried the Celtics Sunday, he did get some help from who else but P.J. Brown. The veteran big man came up with the most critical basket of the entire game when he was left alone and buried a 17-footer from the left side with 1:21 left in the game to give Boston a 91-88 advantage.
After a pair of Eddie House free throws a little more than a minute later, Cleveland's Sasha Pavlovic knocked down a 3-pointer that once again cut the deficit to three points.
Then Pierce put the game away with the friendly shooter's roll at the line.
"Home court meant a lot in this round," James said.
In fact, it was the difference between staying alive and going home for good.