Ed. note: This article was written by Guy, who, in case you couldn't tell, is a Cavs fan. Enjoy.
There has been a lot of talk about how the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans are “just happy to be there.” That is bull shit. The avid fans that root for this team are the same ones that watched their Tribe die in the World Series in both ’95 and ’97. Do you think we look back and weep tears of joy about that? The city is dying for a championship. If a
As for the players, a story has come out about the post-Game 6 celebrations. With the fourth quarter winding down, team employees were letting the players know that champagne was waiting for them in the locker room. LeBron quickly got the champagne removed; telling his team afterwards that they can do all the celebrating they want after they take down the Spurs. LeBron isn’t satisfied with his shitty Eastern Conference Champions t-shirt and hat, he wants a God damn ring. However, no matter how bad the city and team want it, there are still
some many on-the-court issues for the Cavaliers in this series that they must control in order to win the title.
1. Supporting Cast: Hit Your Shots
Sasha Pavlovic, Donyell Marshall, Larry Hughes and Damon Jones have been downright embarrassing shooting the ball throughout the playoffs, save a few games here and there (see: Donyell vs. the Nets game 6). If this team has any chance of putting an end to the Spurs’ dynasty, they will have to shoot lights out to create an open lane for LeBron. As great as Boobie Gibson has been, you have to think he can’t keep this up by himself. Look for Sasha to remove the dick from his ass and start knocking down a few open J’s.
As far as the frontcourt goes, Drew Gooden has to show up and hit that 15 footer that he fell in love with for part of the Pistons series. Another factor will be Z and the pick and pop. Even when it’s not open, it draws a big man out and gives the Cavs a better chance at offensive rebounds after errant Larry Hughes jumpers.
2. Minimize the Coaching Disadvantage
Not something that can exactly have a quick fix. Popovich is going to own Mike Brown—no arguments there. The only hope for the Cavs is that Coach Mike has learned some “fundamentals” along this playoff journey. For one, he should maybe try to save a timeout for the end of the game. Those Anderson Varejao 88 footers at the ends of Games 1 and 2 in the
3. Contain Mr. Longoria
It is no secret that the Cavaliers struggle with quick point guards. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and even Ray Felton have been known to light up the Cavs in recent history. What worries me here is the injury to Hughes. I would like for him to be guarding Parker for most of the minutes that he sees, but we have seen Hughes play until his painkiller wears off, which translates into no second half minutes. The alternative defender? The pride of
I wouldn’t mind seeing the Snowman log 5-10 minutes a game in this series, even if the only good that comes from it is the exposure to
4. Pray for Referees Bias (The Wade factor)
As much as the Spurs have been coddled by the NBA, you have to think that there is some pressure on them to make this series a fair one. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stern and Stu Jackson go overboard (call it wishful thinking), getting the officials worried into calling games in the Cavaliers’ favor. Game Six in the Pistons series served up a little bit of home cookin’ for the Cavaliers and Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry are on short leashes ever since they picked on the league’s poster boy Steve Nash.
As big of a star as Tim Duncan is, LeBron is the player that everyone wants to see. You have to think that LeBron is going to get star treatment with his Bowen matchup. In last years finals, Dwyane Wade got every call against what many thought was the better team in the Mavericks as he lead the embarrassing Heat onto an NBA title. I still cannot believe that Antoine Walker and Gary Payton shamelessly earned rings like that. And neither will you if Damon Jones and Scot Pollard’s clown asses raise that trophy after LeBron’s 20 trips to the line per game this series.
Then again, who is to say that LeBron will even cash in on 75% of those free points?
I don’t have much to add here. The guy is a great player, but he’s shooting 64.8% from the line this postseason. The Cavs have the horses to pile up fouls (Z, Anderson, Gooden, Marshall). Plus, Bill Simmons knows a lot more about basketball than I do, and he says to put him on the line and hope he gets frustrated. Whatever.
That’s about all I’ve got. To take a page out of Log’s playbook, I’ll use the “if you’ve gotten this far into the article, I’m shocked” joke. So there it is—my first article… about one of my favorite teams. I’m excited to go back and read the constant homering, so let’s finish this one off right.
If the Cavs have success with these five keys, I’ve got them in 5. Yep. 5.