Cleveland failed to advance to the NBA Finals, losing to Orlando, 4-2. The Magic, on paper, have a stronger team. If you lined up all the players for The Cavs and Magic up at a playground and had Van Gundy and Brown pick teams for a game, the results would prove which team had superior talent. Obviously Mike Brown would pick Lebron first. Van Gundy would probably take Dwight Howard second. The next three picks would all be Magic players too.
Lebron James tried to be a one man gang when he had to. Unfortunately for Cavs fans, Delonte West couldn’t hit an outside shot the whole series. Mo Williams wasn’t the guy Cavs fans fell in love with this year. Zydrunas Ilgauskas looked tired and old. Anderson Varajeo and Ben Wallace should never be looked at as offensive threats.
All during the regular season, teams would do their best to take the lane away from Lebron forcing him to kick the ball out to a wide open Williams or West who made teams pay. The single biggest malfunction in the Orlando series was that nobody was able to shoot from the outside with wide open, or at least, great looks. These are shots your perimeter players have to make, and no one stepped up. Not Wally, not Sasha, not Delonte and not Mo.
With that being said, the Cavs could only take away the three-pointer to leave Dwight Howard open, or doubleteam Howard and get their eyes knocked out from three. Let Rafer Alston shoot the threes. Rafer Alston owned us and outplayed anyone in Cleveland’s backcourt every game.
People are pointing fingers at Mike Brown, the 2009 NBA Coach of The Year. I don’t see how he can blamed for riding the horse that got him there. The mismatches and lack of a second scorer killed the Cavs, and what could Brown do? Too many weapons, too many ways, and not enough responses.
Was Lebron a bad sport? Go through life winning everything everytime you play. Have a season like Cleveland did, losing only 20 games all year, but six to Orlando. The competitor in him hasn’t had much practice at losing when he was supposed to win, so he was ultra-frustrated and disappointed with the results. He made good yesterday by talking to the media, congratulating Orlando, and wearing a Yankees hat, bringing me to the next item.
Is Lebron leaving? No. The Cavs are going to offer him an extension this summer which he will sign. Before he signs, look for changes. Remember, Lebron kind of handpicked Mike Brown, most of his teammates, and the city is in love with the guy. The Cavs can also offer him an extra year that no one else can because he is currently plaing for them.
What needs to happen? Nice knowing you Zydrunas and Ben, time to move on. Ilgauskas drives me nuts. When you are over 7′, hit the boards on offense instead of waiting outside the arc to shoot a three. Ben Wallace was the scrappiest rebounder in the league a few years ago and was never a threat to score anywhere he played. However, he is not the same as he was when he played for Detroit. He would get 20 rebounds in a big game, no questions asked. Having both he and Anderson Varajeo on the court makes the Cavs better defensively, but cripples the offense.
The Cavs need to get that #2 guy, whoever he is. Someone who can light it up on offense to take the burden away from Delonte and Mo. Lebron’s gonna get his, no matter what. I did a story about why the Cavs would do better against Boston than they would against Orlando, I feel vindicated for writing it, but wish I could tell you how wrong I was.