Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2036 times:
It wasn't pretty tonight, but the Cavs turned in their second series sweep, and not get to wait almost a week-again-before playing their next opponent, either the Celtics or the Magic. Cavs beat the Hawks for the sweep, 84-74. Cavs are the first team ever to win 8 straight by at least 10 points.
Early returns out of Dallas seem to indicate that the Denver Nuggets will be the first half of the Western Conference Finals, as they're up 10 on Dallas.
Cavs could use the rest again. Zydrunis Ilgaulskus sprained his ankle tonight, and the time off will help the old man out for the Conference Finals.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2031 times:
Quoting IliriBDL (Reply 1): I'm hoping it's Boston that makes it, one as a fan, and second to see if the Cavs are really this good or they had weak opponents so far. (the latter imo)
The Cavs are really that good. An overall record of 74-16 ought to tell you that.
Gotta be impressed with the heart the Celtics have shown the first two series, but with the Cavs at full strength, I think it won't go past 6 games. In fact, I don't think it'll go beyond 5 if they play Boston. If they play Orlando, I could see that one go 6 or 7, simply because the Magic match up better with Cleveland.
And yes, they've had weak opponents, but the fact they've sent an NBA record winning 8 in a row by 10 or more points tells you they're simply far superior than those teams.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 1894 times:
Well, the NBA's Final Four is set.
Barring a miraculous comback by the Celtis, it's the Magic v. Cavaliers in the East, and the Nuggest v. Lakers in the West.
I think Denver is playing solid ball, and could very well give LA a fight, but I just can't see the Lakers losing. Same with the Cavs in the East. Orlando played the Cavs damn tough in the regular season, but I think the Cavs have just too much depth and experience for them to not beat the Magic. Orlando is lucky they had Boston not near to full strength. They won't have the luxury against Cleveland.
Aerobalance From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 4666 posts, RR: 50 Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1836 times:
Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 4): Orlando played the Cavs damn tough in the regular season, but I think the Cavs have just too much depth and experience for them to not beat the Magic. Orlando is lucky they had Boston not near to full strength. They won't have the luxury against Cleveland.
Right! Orlando would have a team that steps up when they need to, and they did tonight.
You can't ride James's back as the Cav's have done all season, you'll wear him out. In the playoffs you're TEAM is going to have to play, both Off. and Def.
How will Cleveland adjust?
Both teams did not play great games tonight, one was just good enough to win.
I'm not cheering for either team, just watching b-ball.....
Elite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2773 posts, RR: 10 Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1799 times:
Quoting FXramper (Reply 6): Cavs went down in flames. Good riddance. Can't wait for Magic to face Lakers in finals. Lakers better have an answer to Howard. yes
Wishful thinking. This is just game 1, and don't think LeBron James won't step it up in the remaining games. As a Sixers fan, I know that game 1 doesn't mean much, despite the statistic that 70% of teams that win game 1 wins the series.
It's going to be the Kobe Bryant - LeBron James showdown this year.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1748 times:
There are moments in sports when a player defines his career, and sets it to another level: Magic hitting the hook shot to beat Boston; Elway engineering a 98-yard drive; Jordan hitting "The Shot". Great players taking it, in an instant, to a level they hadn't seen before, and set them apart from the others.
LeBron James just had such a moment tonight in Game 2 of the ECF's.
The Cavs had blown ANOTHER big first half lead, and Orlando had taken a 2-point lead with 1 second to go. The Cavs season, the best in the league this year, and best in team history, looked to be all but over, going down 2-0 heading to Orlando, and possibly being swept out of the playoffs.
But LeBron hit an absolutely miraculous 3-polnter as time expired, saving the Cavs season, tying the series at 1 apiece, and raising the bar on greatness once again.
I was almost too stunned to respond. What's more stunning? My DVR stopped recording the damn game just before the winning shot!!!!
Elite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2773 posts, RR: 10 Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1654 times:
Quoting FXramper (Reply 13): Congrats to Stan "the Man" Van Gundy; most underated coach in NBA.
You mean the master of panic?
Credits to the Orlando Magic though, I never thought I'd see the Cavaliers go down 1 game, let alone 2, especially at home. I still think that the Cavs will make it all the way to the Finals (just not 12-0) and the Lakers win it all.
IliriBDL From Germany, joined May 2007, 1205 posts, RR: 15 Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1641 times:
Magic should be 3-0 IMO.
And we're seeing how weak the Cavs are, if Boston had made it, they would have gone to the Finals and at that point we might have seen KG back and could have gotten another title. (damn allen who sucked all series) lol
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1606 times:
And, despite having the best look perhaps since 1964 at a Championship, it looks like Cleveland's sports futility will go on and on and on, for at least another year.
Magic, 116, Cavs, 114 in OT. Just incredible.
And, the last two games, I'll put the blame squarely on Lebron. I know-they wouldn't be where they are without him, but in game 3, he missed 4 crucial FT's in the 4th quarter. In game 4, he missed a late free throw that could have been the difference in the game, then committed 3 turnovers in OT, and got tied up for a key jump ball very late.
And someone figure out Dwight Howard and his FT shooting? Dude is a 65% FT shooter, and can't miss the last two games.
More sports devistation for Cleveland. Hey, at least we have the Indians and Browns to look forward to.
IliriBDL From Germany, joined May 2007, 1205 posts, RR: 15 Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1602 times:
Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16): And, the last two games, I'll put the blame squarely on Lebron.
I blame every player after LeBron, this series just shows you what a weak team the Cavs are and that they have absolutely no help for LeBron, for example Kobe has Odom, Gasol and you could argue even Ariza, Howard on the other hand has Turk, Lewis and Alston, LeBron only has Williams and I'm sure we can all agree on both the Lakers and the Magic he would be the 3rd or 4th option.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1580 times:
Quoting IliriBDL (Reply 17): I blame every player after LeBron, this series just shows you what a weak team the Cavs are and that they have absolutely no help for LeBron
That myth just won't die, will it? You're not a "weak team" if you win 66 games. Sorry, but you aren't. LeBron could not carry any team to 66 games all by himself. Mo Williams was an All-Star. They had great play all year long from Delonte, Z, Wild Think, Szczerbiak and the entire bench, for that matter.
The NBA is about matchups, and this is the one matchup that has given the Cavs fits the last few years, as good as they are. The Cavs, by their nature, play a more packed-in defense, and that has killed them in this series. Orlando is quick, they can pass, and they can flat-out light it up from the outside. Plus they have a 6'8" Rashard Lewis and a 6'10" Hedo Turkoglu basically playing guard spots. One is matched up against a very good post player in Varajao, but who is not made for running around on the outside, and the other against 6'3" Delonte West. That's a serious matchup problem, not a talent problem, to be honest.
Then you have Howard against Z, Joe Smith or Big Ben. Howard is younger and quicker, and that is a matchup problem, not so much a talent problem.
Gotta give Orlando some props here. They won 60 games this year, and certainly aren't a one-man show. No team that wins 60 can do it with one guy.
So, again, that's ju a myth, and a bad one. I've watched the Cavs all year. They aren't a one-man show. They're being outplayed this series, and the credit has to go to Orlando in that regard.
Falcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1551 times:
Quoting IliriBDL (Reply 22): That's why the refs are doing everything in their power to help the Cavs
Say WHAT? Uh, what series are you watching?
Dwight Howard could have been fouled out, but they allow him to knock people right out of the way when he gets low.
The refs, last night, let a clear goaltending count as a basket after Lewis missed a shot, and Howard tipped it above the cylinder.
LeBron James took a late three pointer, got Pietrus in the air, and Pietrus slammed right into LeBron, with no foul called. That 3-point attempt could have put the Cavs down by 1 instead of 2 after Ilgaulskus made a pair. Then Lewis split a pair before LeBron tried that last-second three. Had they only been down 2, you're talking a different play entirely.
I don't think the refs have helped the Cavs at all. I think, to be honest, the reffing has been pretty even on both sides, but there were some clear calls that hurt the Cavs last night.
I thnk it's time to give the Magic a little more credit than saying the refs are helping the Cavs. They aren't. We've had four extremely close games. In all four, both teams have hit-and missed-big shots in the final minutes. Orlando has made a few more.
How close has the series been? Orlando could have had a 4-0 sweep, if LeBron doesn't hit that incredible shot. Yet, turn it around-if Rashard Lewis doesn't hit two absolutely sick three pointers-one in game one, and that turnaround 3 last night, the Cavs could easily be up 3-1, going back to CLE to wrap it up.
As a Cavs fan, that's what is so frustrating-all 4 games have been up for grabs into the final few minutes. Heck, 3 into the final few seconds.
Cba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4530 posts, RR: 3 Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1524 times:
Quoting Fxramper (Reply 21): Stern is probably on the verge of an aneurysm with the upcoming Nuggets vs. Magic finals. rotfl
No kidding... Stern will be in tears if he doesn't get his beloved Kobe vs. LeBron finals.
The Magic have shown that they are for real, now can they finish it? LeBron has been phenominal in all of his games, but can't seem to get any help from anyone else on the team right now. The Magic on the other hand, are a superb team. Double team Howard, fine, they will drain 3's all night long (17 last night... amazing).
The Lakers are good, but they are a bipolar team as they have shown since Game 1 of the Rockets series. The Nuggets are playing great team ball... Carmello had a horrible night on Monday but Chris Anderson and other still showed up to play.
My prediction: Lakers in 7 games, they show up to play when they need to, although it will be a close game 7. Kobe has a great team around him, with Gasol and Odom being great second options, and with Ariza making key plays on both ends of the floor when needed... almost reminds me of Robert Horry for the Rockets/Spurs/Lakers.
There is one important point about NBA champions and dynasties: there was always a superstar, but the superstar had always had great teammates on the winning squads:
1. The Bulls didn't start winning championships until they got Pippen, and then Rodman in the later years. They also had a great bench (read: Tony Kucoc '96-'98).
2. The Rockets: Year 1 was Hakeem and a great supporting cast of guys who would drain 3's when Hakeen was doubled (Kenny Smith, Sam Cassell, Horry, Ellie). Year 2 was Hakeem AND Clyde.
2. The Spurs: they had Duncan AND Robinson, and then Duncan AND Parker/Ginobili. Let's also not forget Robert Horry and Mario Elie during some of those years as well as guys who could always be counted on to nail a game winning 3.
3. The Lakers: Shaq AND Kobe.
4. The Heat: Shaq AND DWade.
Right now, the Lakers have that mix when they show their better side and come out to play.
The Cavs, unfortunately, do not. Mo Williams is good, but the rest of the team clearly has not been able to pick up the pace. When your superstar scores 40+ points a night and you still lose, you have some problems with the other 4.
I, however, am hoping for a Magic/Thuggets series... terrible for ratings but would be great basketball to watch.