Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NBA Finals 2007, Game 3:

As previously mentioned, for the Cavaliers' inaugural appearance in the NBA Finals, our buddy Steve D will be contributing to the cause by offering his thoughts on each game. A gentleman and a scholar, Steve teaches middle school kids in New Jersey, showed "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" to his junior high history class, and has spent a decent amount of his life surrounded by cats. Most importantly, he is a tried and true Cleveland fan who calls it like it is.

this is the picture put on their front page.

Game 3, Tuesday June 12th, 2007, in Cleveland

Let’s review my to-do list for Game 3 that I wrote on Monday:

-Cavs get foul calls
-Key Spurs get into foul trouble
-Someone hits open shots
-Z wakes up
-Brown benches Hughes
-Brown starts Gibson

The Cavs got to the line early, but went back to settling for jumpers as the game wore on. The positive is that Duncan was in foul trouble most of the game.
The negative is that NO ONE could hit open shots. The Cavs shot 15%!!! from the 3 point line. Conversely, the Spurs shot 56%.

Z had a monster game. He got 18 rebounds as the Cavs finally won back the battle of the boards.

Gibson had a lousy game offensively (1 for 10), but his defense and the threat of his offense made him more valuable than Hughes. Despite the hype, Gibson was not going to be a cure-all for the Cavs. It was simply illogical for Hughes to be playing hurt; Gibson was the better option.

The reality is, the gods were favoring the Cavs last night, but three factors sealed their fate:

-No one could hit an open shot. Even LeBron. The Cavs offense is based on one guy drawing double/triple teams and passing to the open man on the perimeter. If no one makes those shots, they can’t win. Simple as that.

-Too many mental mistakes: Lazy Drew got two straight over-the-back fouls and a hack on Duncan. He was out of position each time. Varejo fumbled a perfect pass from LeBron in transition during the 4th quarter. And the final play…

-No, the final play was not when Bruce Bowen intentionally fouled LeBron while shooting a 3. The final play of the game was when the Cavs got a great stop on defense and brought the ball up, down 2, with 30 seconds to play. The crowd is going crazy. This is it, they’ve been chipping at the Spurs all quarter and this is their chance to win or tie the game. You have the greatest player of his generation with the ball in his hands. Who takes the shot to save the season?

Anderson Varejo!
And its not even Andy in the post for an easy deuce. No, its Andy at the elbow trying to shake ‘n’ bake Tim Duncan, the best power forward in the league. I practically bit a hole through my shirt after that play.

I don’t care if LeBron was fouled on that last shot, the Cavs blew the game 20 seconds earlier. THAT was their best chance to win and they absolutely blew it.

You can blame Brown for not preparing the Cavs with a play. You can blame LeBron for not calling the time out (I don’t, he should’ve attacked before the defense was set) or for passing to Andy. You can blame Andy for taking that shot instead of passing back to LeBron (I can only assume that’s what LeBron expected)….

It doesn’t matter. This was the biggest game of the season for the Cavs and they couldn’t get it done. It makes me sick. After last night, I didn’t even want there to be a Game 4. Just end this humiliation.

But I think Game 4 and Game 5 can show a lot about the Cavs. More importantly, they can show a lot about LeBron. In the words of Bill Simmons, I need him to have at least one “there’s no f’ing way we’re losing this game” games.

They’ve lost the chance to win this series, but maybe they can get their dignity back. For cripes sake, Reggie Miller was on Dan Patrick’s show yesterday saying that the DENVER NUGGETS would smoke the Cavs in a series.

Game 4 will say a lot about this team and where it’s going. I sure hope its good.

Buu says:
Apparently Mike Brown was trying to call a time out during the now fabled "Anderson Layup" (or maybe we can just call it "The Layup") but the noise was too loud that nobody heard him. I am seriously considering not watching game 4, and I am seriously hoping that this is all a part of David Stern's plans to boost ratings by having the Cavs win the championship with the BIGGEST COMEBACK IN FINALS HISTORY.
A boy can dream can't he?


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