Who really knows what Billy Donovan is thinking? As odd as that entire story is, it is difficult to get a true frame of reference for any of it because there must have been things going on behind the curtains. If I were to put money on it, I’d say it came down to a disagreement with GM Otis Smith or part of the ownership.
Now back to the basketball that is still being played. I have been unable to get a true grasp of what my feelings are concerning the Cavs for the last couple of days because as Sj said, there is almost no logical reasoning to any of it.
Congratulations are certainly due for the city of Cleveland. So, Congratulations, you now get the pleasure of getting stomped by the Spurs. Yes, on paper, Detroit was a much better team but what Detroit did on the court in that series was an utter disgrace. Like Charles said, the Pistons did not play a single good game, even the two that they won. Nobody can deny that if both teams played at their highest level, Detroit would have surely won that series. But they didn’t. Somewhere along the line this year, Detroit forgot about what makes them good, namely, defense. And you can see their lack of defensive intensity on just about every play before midway through the third quarter of game six, when Flip also decided to start doubling LeBron. By that point it was too late, however, and Booby Gibson went off. Truth is, any team can have one of their minor or unknown players go unconscious for a game or two but the better team wins because they control everything else in the series. Had the Pistons not choked at home in Game 5, they could get past Gibson and wake up for Game 7 back in Motown. Alas, they did not, but I’m not sure it’s time to dismantle that roster quite yet, unless they lose Chauncey for nothing, because I am still not sold on the idea that the Cavs just put a nail in every Eastern team for the next decade. Please. What about Cleveland’s team makes your mind even approach the word dominant? What about Cleveland’s management makes you think they can fill holes year after year.
For the Cavs to beat SA, it’s going to take many more performances of Gibson’s caliber from guys like Drew Gooden, Anderson Varejao (what was up with that 3 he jacked) and *gulp Donyell Marshal. I think anyone outside of Ohio is going to feel better counting on Robert Horry, Michael Finley and Bruce Bowen to hit some big shots.
I’ll do a finals breakdown before Game 1, but I really don’t see any way the Cavs can pull this series out. This feels like a first-round Western Conference matchup.
MJ had some praise for LeBron, but he didn’t sound like he was crowning him just yet.
“Making ‘The Leap’ is where you do it every single night,” Jordan said. “It’s expected of you, and you do it. … Not one game, not two games. It’s consistent. Every defense comes in and they focus on you and you still impact the game. I think he’s shown signs of that.”
It still amazes me how quickly people can create these massive theories or comparisons (like Bron to MJ) after, historically speaking, so little has happened. Just look at the teams Cleveland went through. The Wizards without Caron Butler or Gilbert freaking Arenas. The Nets with no interior defense. And a D-grade Detroit. They didn’t even have to go through the best young team in the East, Chicago.
Oh, and as a side note, all you east-coasters complaining about the top-2 picks being in the Northwest being bad for the league, since when do you care what’s good or bad for the league? You think the league would have a team in a city where that team’s success would be detrimental? Is the league folding because a small-market like San Antonio is winning so much? Go look up the Nielson Domestic Market ratings (no, I’m not doing this for you). Wow, Seattle is a higher rated market that Pheonix. Wow, Portland is just outside the top 20 in the nation, far above cities like New Orleans, San Antonio and Salt Lake City. Time-zone problems you say? Hasn’t been a problem for the Suns or Lakers to get on TV. If you really care this much, then stay up as late as 12:30! to watch the western games on TNT. Please, if you are going to complain and insult the West Coast, at least know what you are talking about beforehand. All the bitter complainers are giving the East Coast a pretty bad name in sports right now.
Ok, rant over. Go enjoy the French Open and laugh at Nadal’s ridiculous dri-fit capris.