Cavs – Round One in Review – Cavaliers a little too cavalier

28 04 2010

Last night the Cavs beat the Bulls in Game 5 to win the series 4-1. That’s a good thing.

Then why do I feel so unsettled?

LeBron promised everyone that they would see “a different monster” come playoff time. Or as I like to consider it, he pulled a Liam Neeson and vowed to “Release The Kraken.”

I think we caught a glimpse of the Kraken in Games 1 and 4. But in each of those games, the team had an unusual burst of energy. Game 1 was the first game of the playoffs, so they were obviously going to be amped. In Game 4, I think they were still pissed off from the Game 3 loss that served as a wake-up call.

But in Game 5, the Cavs rolled over and smacked the “snooze” button to that alarm.

They started off strong but failed to close the game out. I was fortunate enough to attend the game last night, and I can’t tell you how many times I thought we had a comfortable-15-point-ish lead when we were really only up by 3 or 5. I made the mistake based off of the overall lack of concern of those on the court and all the smiles and joking around coming from the bench. Yes, the Cavaliers were just a little too cavalier for my taste last night.

This cavalier attitude can probably be simply explained by the fact that the Cavs knew they were superior than the Bulls and knew they didn’t have to play 100% in order to get the victory, especially at home. Obviously, I wouldn’t be happy if this were the case. When all it takes is 16 wins in the post season to get a championship, I want the Cavs to focused for all of them. All it takes is one slip up to turn a series — and all it takes is Game 1 of last year’s conference finals to find a perfect example.

Jesus Shuttlesworth, #20, Boston Celtics

They were able to let it slide in the first round against the lowest overall seed in the playoffs. Maybe they’ll even be able to coast just a little bit in the second round, but I wouldn’t risk it.

Boston can be dangerous, make no mistake about it. This team is built for the playoffs and has a ton of veteran leadership — who won’t let their team take it easy for a playoff game.

And if that doesn’t scare you, they still have Jesus Shuttlesworth.

But if they want to beat Orlando and win an NBA Championship. They have to treat each game like they did in Game 1 or Game 4.

Every game, they need to bring the Kraken.

Quick Thoughts:

  • Mo Williams needs to step it up. Last year, he dominated in the regular season and struggled in the post season, particularly against Orlando. And on a team where he was the number 2 guy, the team couldn’t recover.
  • This year, either Mo, Antawn, or Shaq can be the go-to guy after LeBron. That takes a lot of pressure off of Mo… But the Cavs still need their starting point guard playing better than he did last night.
  • I’m not sure if it looked this way on the telecast, but inside the Q, Mo looked tentative. There were multiple times I remember him getting the ball and never looking to create, instead, he just looked to make the easy pass and not screw up. That needs to change.
  • On the flip side, Antawn Jamison had his coming out party last night. Ever since the trade, I had the feeling that Jamison has been a little nervous. He was “the man” on a team going nowhere with no pressure. Then overnight he was the “final piece” for a championship run in a city hopelessly desperate for a championship. This pressure and nerves resulted in some pretty timid play at first — none more obvious than his horrific 0-12 debut with the Cavs.
  • Don’t get me wrong, after his timid start, Jamison began to come out of his shell and play the type of basketball we had all envisioned. But none of his big statistical games came in any “big” games.
  • Last night, he was the player of the game in a clinching playoff game. He had his patented awkward midrange floater on point and he stepped into 3’s with confidence. He wasn’t afraid to create his own shot when LeBron was on the court. He came into his own.
  • LeBron’s elbow is something that could make me lose my sleep. But LeBron says not too worry about it, Brian Windhorst says not to worry about it, team doctors say not too worry about it, and Lebron’s elbow says not to worry about it. So I’m not going to worry about it. Plus, he shot his one free throw righty and nothing about that shot seemed funky.
  • Personally, I think he just wanted to shoot a free throw lefty for a cool little blip on his career highlight reel and needed an excuse to do it. Sort of like how Michael Jordan has the “eyes closed” foul shot, LeBron would have had a “lefty-free-throw-to-put-the-dagger-in-the-Bulls-in-the-playoffs-when-his-right-arm-was-hurt” foul shot. Classic.
  • Wait. Back track. Did you say LeBron’s Elbow said not too worry about it? Oh yeah. Making an early run at “Tweet Of The Week“, a fan came up with the twitter account @LebronsElbow and has left some pretty funny messages to Cleveland:
    • “Please tell the Cavalier nation I am fine. LeBron is sleeping and I’m playing Call of Duty. I will be ready for Boston.”@LeBronsElbow

      There's no question. The Questions were Sam's favorite basketball shoes in gradeschool.

  • Back to random thoughts.
  • Derrick Rose is filthy. He is going to be dominant in this league if his jumper continuesto improve at the rate it has. I didn’t fully appreciate how quick the guy was until I saw him in person last night. Last time I saw a crossover that quick, I bought Allen Iverson’s shoes for three basketball seasons in a row.
  • There is nobody in the NBA that I’d rather kidney punch than Joakim Noah. That’s all I’ll say about that.

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