01 June 2009

NBA Playoffs, How I Hate Thee

If anyone out there is a Cleveland sports fan I am going to ask that you say the following with me. Again, if you are a Cleveland sports fan you know what I am going to say. It's the same thing that we say every year as sports fans in Cleveland. Yup, "Maybe next year."

It's official, by a score of 103-90 the Orlando Magic kicked the Cleveland Cavaliers ass last night to win the Eastern Conference title. From here it's on to Los Angeles to (likely) get steamrolled by the Lakers. There are so many facets to the series, that I cannot even begin to touch on them, but I'm going to try to hit a few.

"The NBA Playoffs are fixed". Yeah, I know absurd, but I actually got this. Along with, "if the Cavs played so well early on, why are they collapsing now?" Apparently there are some people out there who insist that the whole thing is a hoax, and that the NBA decides ahead of time who the winner will be, blah, blah, blah... OK, enough of that. It makes my head hurt to continue with this subject any further.

"Howard just wanted it more." Uh, seriously? You don't think that Lebron James wanted it? You don't think that the NBA team with the single best record in the NBA wanted it? Badly? I would venture to say Lebron wanted it more than anyone else, for reference he scored just fewer than half of the points for the Cavs almost every game. His playing was absolutely sick!

OK, so why did the Cavs lose? Who knows. My guess is that they weren't protecting the parameter as well as they should've. Magic always had one guy outside the three point line, and once the Cavs got preoccupied preventing the shot from the paint they would unload the ball out to the parameter and drain the three. As far as the question of why did they do so well early and seemingly collapse at the end? Simple. They didn't play the Magic earlier in the series. Orlando was a team that gave us trouble all year, so it is not hugely surprising that they gave us a fight in the playoffs.

Bottom line is this, the Cavs gave it their all. The worst game in the series was the thirteen point lead that gave them the series win Saturday. The first game was lost by one, second won by one, third lost by ten, fourth lost by two, fifth won by ten, and finally sixth won by thirteen. There were double digit differences, but no real blow outs. The worst parts of the game were the Cavs blowing some pretty big leads, but that was due to the three point shooting of the Magic.

In the end we have "there's always next year", but the bottom line is the Cavs gave us all a hell of a ride. Thank you Cavs, until this fall.

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