Well for those of you who couldn’t tell, I (like Mike Brown) was fired up after the lackluster effort the Cavs handed out in Game 2 on Monday night. So I took a couple mental health days to get back on track because, as LeBron said, now is not the time for panic.
And if the King himself is not panicking, who the heck am I to be panicking?
Well, since I’ve been MIA, a couple Cavaliers have been hit with a few awards. LeBron took all-NBA first team honors as well as first team defensive honors over the past couple days while Anderson Varejao was recognized as a second-team defender. That’s great for those two guys but it’s playoff time now – all-defensive teams and MVPs don’t mean a thing. Now is the time to stick it to the man – who, I’m assuming looks like the guy pictured right.
I would like to address a few things before we move on, though, because I’ve been reading all sorts of hoopla over the last couple days. So I feel the need to weigh in on a few of these issues because, quite frankly, because I can:
I am so tired of hearing about LeBron’s elbow – the most famous elbow, perhaps, ever – because whether it hurts him or not, he will be on the floor for Game 3. Do people honestly think that LeBron went through this entire season stomping on every team he ran across only to be hindered by an elbow in the playoffs? The answer is no. He has been a tad hesitant to go to the rack in the first half of both games thus far but I’m not convinced it’s an elbow problem. I’m more convinced that it’s a LeBron and the Cavaliers aren’t ready to play from the opening tip (which I am not OK with).
Enough with the elbow excuses. Everybody is banged up in the playoffs. And only the strong survive. How strong are you, Bron?
Obviously Mo Williams/Anthony Parker/Delonte West cannot stop Rajon Rondo. He’s just too fast for those guys to stop. But they can contain him if they work together. Keep the guy out of the paint and limit his opportunities to score dish the rock. Who cares if he scores 30 points? Rondo wants to get the ball to his teammates and he is going to need his teammates if Boston has any chance to win. How do you do that? Keep the ball out of his hands as much as possible – deny him the basketball.
By the way, is it just me or does Rajon Rondo bear a striking resemblance to Duckie (pictured right) from the Land Before Time series?
Shaquille O’Neal has not played well throughout most of the playoffs up to this point. I think we can all agree on that. But what I don’t agree with is the notion that JJ Hickson may be the savior to this year’s championship run.
Hickson has one of the lowest +/- efficiency ratings on the Cavaliers for a reason. Same reason why Jawad does. Neither one of these guys play a lick of defense but, oddly enough, their lack of defensive presence is overshadowed by their offensive activity. I say oddly enough because the Cavaliers are a defensive based team. How in the world is JJ Hickson the answer? Someone please explain that to me. Otherwise, let’s stick to the proven front court of Shaq and Jamison to carry us to the Finals.
I haven’t done this in a while but I just can’t wait another minute for Game 3 on Friday night – it can’t come soon enough. So, as any fantastical Cavaliers’ fan would do, I’m busting out the Crystal Ball for this one:
Cleveland has been under a lot of heat over the past few days as fans and nonbelievers alike have taken shots at their awful performance on Monday night. Most people feel that Cleveland should win this series with no problem. Shoot, Charles Barkley said he’d bet everything he owns on the Cavs taking this series. And he’s got them taking this series in five.
That means the Cavs can’t lose another game. And they get off to a good start in Game 3.
LeBron and Mo Williams make a conscious effort to get the Big Fella going early in the game and Shaquille O’Neal answers the call to the throne, notching eight points in eight minutes before heading to the bench to freshen up. The LeBron-Jamison combo takes over from there and push the Cavaliers out to a nine point lead after one quarter of play.
Not to be outdone, Mo Williams splashes home a pair of tres with James on the bench in the second period followed by an enthusiastic GOOSEYE. But Friday night is not Mo’s night to score – he’s the man with the dimes. Mo kicks out nine assists in the first half (four of them to the Big Aristotle) and the Cavs take a 12 point advantage into halftime.
The C’s are going to make a run. They know it; we know it; everybody knows it. But it all comes down to whether or not Cleveland can withstand the Boston blitz. In the midst of a 7-0 run, capped by a long three from Ray Allen, Mike Brown stops the clock with 2:08 left in the third to regroup. Right out of the timeout, LeBron catches the inbound from Jamario Moon who goes streaking down the sideline for an alley-oop flush over Rasheed Wallace – resting his shorts on Sheed’s bald spot – and quieting an obnoxious Boston crowd.
It’s all Cavs from there. And by all Cavs, I mean mostly LeBron. TheBron torches the C’s for 14 fourth quarter points and puts the game out of reach after taking the hoop and the harm from KG. Without Danny Ainge behind the Cavalier basket to distract LeKing with his unsportsmanlike towel throwing, James sinks the three point play and lifts the Cavaliers to a 97-86 victory to give the Cavs a 2-1 lead in the series.
Boom Goith the Dynamite
Join me back here on Friday night (6:45 pm et) for a live in-game chat.
Topics: Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker, Boston, Cavaliers, Cavs, Celtics, Cleveland, Cleveland Cavaliers, Delonte West, Game 3, KJG, Lebron, Lebron James, Mike Brown, Mo Williams, MVP, NBA, Playoffs, Shaq, Shaquille O’Neal, Witness