Witnessing The End of Cleveland Basketball?

Nike calls us LeBron’s witnesses, right? Well, after losing the series against the Celtics, do we even bother to watch Cavalier games now? I for one, say ‘we still should’. The only reason why – Lebron James. Watching the King is like amazing. He’s fun to watch. Great basketball player. He can shoot, pass and rebound. But there are also negatives about him. I mean, he’s a complete player and all. But, come playoff time? It’s like the team doesn’t get the leadership from him. Also, Lebron has heard of criticism from the media and the fans. 2 rumors that is. 1 – Talks about him wearing the leaving the Cavs. And 2 – His mother Gloria sleeps with Delonte West, a fellow Cavalier. It may have affected the King during the Boston series, which they lost. It would be a totally different ‘Bron without those. Hence, those two horrid setbacks at home may have been avoided. Being regarded as one of the best players in the game today, it’s like his the only one who makes the team what it is today. It’s not like Mo Williams or even Shaq takes over once his cold. Even if his cold, he passes the ball well.

As i’ve said Lebron is a complete player, per se. With that said, a lot of teams out there are interested in his service. Particularly, the Knicks, the Nets, the Bulls, the Heat. And maybe, even the Clippers. If you’re a die-hard fan of the Cavs, you’re gonna feel more light-headed now. LeBron has cited in his interview with Larry King, that he’s given the Cavs the edge in Free Agency. He’s still weighing his options, though. We’ll talk more about this later.

Now, the Cavs have fired head coach Mike Brown. Can we say he’s responsible for the two horrid years? Yes. Fact: He doesn’t distribute minutes well to his players. That was the case with Shaq after losing in the Boston series. Shaq would complain and later they would exchange words in the locker room. Even LBJ can’t keep his mouth shut, the players are blaming him. For me, it’s a good thing he’s gone. It’s always a ‘No LeBron, No Cavs’ situation without the King. The Lakers are the complete opposite. I can’t believe i’m saying this but when Kobe was hobbled with injuries earlier the season, every Laker was contributing and everyone seems to step-up. Gosh, i’ll confess this sin right away. Anyway, let’s go back to the topic.

This team has been in NBA Finals talks since 2009. Instead, confidence took over. 2009 was just unacceptable for the Cavaliers. A surprising Orlando Magic team clinched an appearance on the NBA Finals after winning the series against the Cavs. And, it would all start from there. 3 weeks ago, the Celtics got the Cavaliers on a wreck. How would next season look like if Shaq and Z (retirement talks) aren’t in the roster? What about LeBron? Rest assured this is a long, long offseason. And most of the top-tier players are most likely to put pen into paper during August. From Cleveland celebrities singing “We Are Lebron” to L.A. Clipper fans parading for him, nothing gets more exciting than seeing him pick one team this offseason.

I’ve got one last thing to say. The Cleveland Cavaliers have two phases in a season -play great and choke. 2008 and 2009 had a lot of connections. Done.

I am so waiting for Anderson Varejao being an All-Star next year. Oops! Went out of my mouth. 😀

Check this out!

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 11th, 2010

4th-seed Boston Celtics vs. 1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers (120-88)

(Boston leads 3-2)

The Cavs went into this game seeking a 3-2 lead in the series. And, so were the Celtics. Many eyebrows were raised during Game 4 due to issues concerning the Cavs‘ play, with headlines striking the Internet like “LeBron James should guard Rajon Rondo.” and “Shaq should play more minutes.” Ironically, the Cavs didn’t manage to give answers for the news during Game 5. Shaq played 26 minutes, but ended with 21 points as the Cavs leading scorer. If he could’ve played more minutes the game would’ve been close. LeBron James was able to defend Rondo for some part in the game, but it was Mo Williams defending him mostly in the game.

Early on, the Cavs looked for Shaq down the post, where he scored 7 early points. His presence down low took him to the free throw line too, converting 3/3 free throws. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who has received a couple of DNP-CD‘s, played back-up for Shaq.

Celtics again played magnificent defense, they were able to make the Cavs force shots with the shot clock expiring. Their offense was perkulating too. The Big Three lead the way, scoring 64 of their team’s 120. The Celtics ended the 2nd-half with a 50-44 lead.

The 3rd quarter belonged to the Boston Celtics. They outscored the Cavaliers 30-19 in the 3rd quarter alone. It started with Ray Allen threes that lead to Rajon Rondo drives. Speaking of Ray Allen, he finished with 25 points. Rajon Rondo ended with 16 points and 7 assists. Kevin Garnett also hoisted some jumpers too. The 3rd quarter would end in the favor of the Celtics with a 80-63.

The Cavs lost all hope in the 4th Quarter. Again, they were dominated by the Celtics with a 40:25 point ratio. Cavs hope to even the series and avoid elimination while the Celtics look to close them out on Thursday.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images

3) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 9th, 2010

1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics (87-97)

Well, the Cavs had a lot of momentum after taking home-court advantage back in Game 3. But, a point guard from Kentucky would change all of that. More details of that later. The Celtics were a little bit sloppy at first, but energy and some transition plays helped them out. The Cavs had significant help from no other than LeBron James, who finished 22 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Shaq, another factor for the Cavs, had 17 points in the game. The other Cavaliers weren’t really producing at their level, shooting a mere 36%. Rajon Rondo scored 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists to end the 1st half. He would later end with 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists. (I’m not lying on the 18 rebounds. And he’s a featherweight – 170 pounds.)

2nd-half story, the Cavs made up for their 1st-half plays by coming back with a 27-20 point ratio during the 3rd, reducing the lead to two. The Celtics and the Cavs swapped runs during the 4th. Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett both scored 18 points. Paul Pierce still plays cold, shooting 3/8 from the field, ending with 9 points. In the end, the story is still Rondo. Celtics tie the series at 2 games apiece. If Rondo keeps this up, the Celtics should’nt worry about their future. Go Celtics!

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 7th-seed San Antonio Spurs (107-101)

The Spurs find themselves on a not too common “Do or Die” situation with the Phoenix Suns. Tony Parker has finally started for the Spurs in Game 4 and became productive during the 1st half. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were going down low at the paint, combining for a 10/14 during the 2nd quarter. The Suns‘ bench on the other hand, made some key threes and timely buckets to cut the Spurs lead. Channing Frye, Goran Dragic and Jared Dudley to name a few.

Steve Nash rocking the “Cyclopse” look.

And as always, this series is physical. So, the SunsSteve Nash (pictured) receives an elbow from the SpursTim Duncan. He went back to the locker room and acquired 6 stitches before returning to the game. Speaking of Tim Duncan, he finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Manu Ginobili scored 15 points but he made up for it with 5 steals. Despite the injury, Steve Nash would still score on floaters and would pass to Amar’e Stoudemire for some key jumpers. But, the Spurs still never gave up. George Hill gets the hoop plus the harm for a 4-point play that would cut the lead to 2. The Spurs would need to foul now. They find Grant Hill, unfortunately for the Spurs, he would make both free throws. Manu Ginobili misses a three at the other end, and the Suns taste the sweetest revenge against the Spurs.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Elsa/Getty Images

2) Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

3) Ronald Martinez/NBAE/Getty Images

4) D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

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NBA Playoff Recap: May 7th, 2010

1st-seed Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 4th-seed Boston Celtics (95-124)

(Cleveland leads series 2-1)

If you’re a Cavalier fan then this is what you have been hoping for. The Cavs started well, all because of LeBron James. He was draining so many jump shots in the 1st Quarter that the cylinder looked like an ocean. For the C’s? Let’s just say that they looked dead the whole game. They didn’t even manage to grasp a single lead in the contest.

LeBron James might have controlled the game with his 38 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. But, he had help too. Antawn Jamison had a 20-12 performance, which leads me say that this is his “Best Game of the Series”. Other than that, 6 players were in double figures for the Cavs, now that’s a balanced attack, these are the rest of the 3 starters, which is Shaq, Anthony Parker and Mo Williams. Delonte West was the only bench player, who was in double digits. From start to finish, the Cavs controlled each aspect in the game.

Rajon Rondo scored 18 and 8 assists. Kevin Garnett had 19 to lead the Celtics while Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 18 points. After this game, the Celtics’ Paul Pierce said it was their Defense that paved the way for their Game 3 loss. Adjustments are expected to be made for Game 4.

3rd-seed Phoenix Suns vs. 7th-seed San Antonio Spurs (110-96)

(Phoenix leads series 3-0)

The Spurs went off to a great start. At one point, they seized an 18-point lead. During the 2nd Quarter, the Suns managed to make a 19:5 run to cut the lead to 6 after the 1st half. And then the 3rd Quarter started. Manu Ginobili and Steve Nash seemed to swapped basket for another. Manu ended with a Spurs‘ team-high of 27 points, and some 6 dimes. Steve Nash, on the other hand, scored 16 points while grabbing 8 rebounds and add 6 assists too.

But then Phoenix Suns‘ Head Coach Alvin Gentry deployed the Goran Dragic experiment, which turn’t out to be a success. He would score 23 points in the 4th Quarter alone, he finished with 26 points in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire had an off-night with 7 points. Jason Richardson scored 21 and Grant Hill added 18. Tim Duncan finished with 15 and Tony Parker with 10. As the game went to a finished, it all would  go down to Dragic‘s excellent play, as the Suns win Game 3.

My Spurs are DEAD. I guess we’re done for the Playoffs now.

PHOTO CREDITS:

1) Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

2) Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

3) D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images

4) Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images

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The Rematch: Boston vs. Cleveland

Another postseason match-up that, Basketball heads, should’nt miss.

Once in a while, I have been thinking about the best rivalry in the NBA today. So, something went into my mind, it was the Celtics and the Cavaliers of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Ever since the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals started, both of the teams have shown deep hatred toward each other.

Let’s start with the Cavaliers.

First off, this team is arguably the best team in the NBA today. After capturing the 1st-seed status in the NBA, they battled with the Bulls (Well, I thought it’s a sweep, but i’ll take a Game 5 conclusion.) Now that they get to meet with the Celtics in the Semifinals again. They will not worry since they have alot.. and I mean alot of acquisitions in the offseason,which gave them length and size for defense yet performs well in offense. The players that they added were key additions, players like Shaq, Anthony Parker, JJ Hickson to name a few. I almost forgot, Antawn Jamison is one of the them (acquired via Trade Deadline). He also has contributed a lot to this Cavalier team, since he has averaged 19.4 against the Bulls in their 1st-round match-up.

But, at the end of the day, Lebron James is still Lebron James. He is the Cavs’ key to win this rematch (R-I-V-A-L-R-Y!). If he puts up numbers similar to his regular season statistics, then the Cavs can just cruise against the Celtics.

Let’s now concentrate with the Celtics.

To be honest, I, myself, am a Celtics fan. The C’s might be playing well this postseason. But they’ve struggled against the Cavs the whole year, winning only 1 game out of 3-4 outings. That’s the problem for them, the only thing I can say is that “They should’nt think about the Cavs’ great play and focus to what is more important, is TO WIN 4 GAMES IN THE SERIES. If everyone plays well and no one misses a beat, then the C’s might see a Conference Finals outing in the East.

The keys for this series are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Why? KG is the one responsible for Shaquille O’Neal’s size in the paint since Kendrick Perkins is a bit undersized. He needs to defend like it was 2008 (where he won his only Defensive Player of the Year), since he has not shown any of that in the season. For Paul Pierce, well, he’ll be like Lebron too. He’s the captain of this team, he has to take more shots in a nightly-basis and make them. If both of these players don’t come up big, then Cavaliers get the date in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Sure, home-court advantage is nice, but it’s not all about the fans or the refs, it’s about the players. If each player makes the most of his minutes and everyone thrives in his role then it’ll be an easy transition to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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