There is a playoff atmosphere both in the Garden and in the press room for this one. It’s a shame, really, that Kevin Garnett  isn’t in uniform, but he is here. His baritone was unmistakable behind the locker room wall. Doc Rivers  reiterated that KG will be out at least another week.
But everyone else is ready to go and we are too. Let’s get it started.
FIRST QUARTER WRAP: If the first 12 minutes are any indication this is going to be a knockdown drag-out street fight. Neither team is giving an inch defensively and fast breaks are but a rumor. Considering the fact that Ray Allen  and Paul Pierce  combined for three points, that the Celtics  have a 21-19 lead is about as good as they could have hoped.
First Quarter Observations
— The Cavs are in mustard yellow finest for this one. The Celtics are in their classic whites. Something to be said for classic.
— Where will the offense come for the Celtics tonight beside Ray Allen and Paul Pierce? Kendrick Perkins  made a nice move on Big Z to score in the lane last time down. Despite a ton of size, Z has trouble moving and could be someone the C’s can exploit. Of course he can also make 20 footers like they are layups.
— This has been like the first two rounds of a big fight with both teams gingerly testing each other but not going for knockout. Now that LeBron just biffed that dunk maybe it’s time to take off the wraps and get down to business. I’m telling you LeBron was WAY up there for that windmill.
— Asked in the opening minute who would score besides Pierce and Allen? We’re at the first timeout and all the points have come from players not named Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.
— Whole lot of everything going on there. Allen’s mysterious shooting funk against the Cavs continues, Perkins got a career-highlight block on LeBron, but most importantly Rondo is down and he is hurt.
It looks like he has a sprained ankle. He was hopping on one foot behind the plan and completely collapsed at midcourt. He is still on the bench at this moment. Eddie House  replaced him in the lineup.
— Joe Smith was booed. Not sure why.
— Update: Rondo has a slightly sprained right ankle and will return. That is huge news for the Celtics.
— Outside shots are just not falling tonight. Both teams defend the perimeter extremely well so that’s not a surprise, but Allen especially has had a couple of decent looks. It would do wonders for his psyche if he had a breakout game against Cleveland. To be sure, Allen is as veteran-tough as it comes, but still the Cavs have defended him better than anyone in the past.
— The Celtics spacing is all messed up but they are playing hard. Baby and Perkins especially.