Friday, May 18

LeBron James Owns The Cleveland Cavaliers

I personally do not like games, and most especially a whole series, decided by the cold spell.

But, a win is a win.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have finally eliminated the New Jersey Nets in Game 6 and will now make their very first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 1992. It will also mark LeBron James' first ever appearance in his career, where he and the Cavs will face the Detroit Pistons, the team that eliminated them in 7 games last year despite the Cavs leading the series 3-2 at one point.

Here are some things that we learned about Cleveland from watching tonight's Game 6:

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers IS LeBron James. Without LeBron James, the Cavs are NOTHING. It has to be one of the gravest issues about a 'one-man-team' in the NBA alongside Kobe Bryant's situation. The only difference between the two is that Kobe Bryant dwells in the West, where the teams are definitely tougher, which could justify James' post-season achievements compared against Bryant's. I think this virus was mostly emphasized in the 3rd quarter, which was almost entirely sat out by LeBron: The Nets outscored the Cavs 22-8 in the quarter. Nobody in the Cavs could find or create any shots of their own or for their other teammates. When LeBron returned in the 4th quarter, he created almost all FGs for himself and for his teammates; the Cavs outscored the Nets 27-12.
  • The Cavs bench were sensational tonight. They were the X-Factor which provided the final push to eliminate the Nets in tonight's game (courtesy of LeBron James assists, obviously). Daniel Gibson scored all 8 of his points in the 4th quarter, alongside Donyell Marshall who hit 6-10 three-point FGs.

Here are some things that we wish the Nets actually knew about so they could improve on it:
  • Vince Carter has yet to realize that Jason Kidd is still the Nets' main man. He still dribbles too much trying to create his own shots, and result in throwing up the ball from weird angles which result in, obviously, missed shots or turnovers (literally, he tosses it up). Someone should remind him that he isn't in Toronto anymore, and he's not a lone superstar anymore. He fails to realize that running the ball through Kidd creates wonders on the offense, an outcome so much more efficient than his isolation plays. The 3rd quarter of tonight's game showed how amazing the Nets can play if they run the offense through Jason Kidd. However, let's all forget the 4th quarter, the whole Nets team played awfully as they tried to stave off elimination in the final quarter of the final game of their season; it was obvious, they WANTED to WIN so BADLY (Not really).
  • Jason Kidd was amazing for the first three quarters of the game. He took over the offense, and dominated in transition. He dove for loose balls and rebounded like crazy. The highlight play of the night: running after an offensive rebound, then threading the needle between two Cavalier players which resulted in a Mikki Moore three-point play.
  • Mikki Moore is a high-energy big man with great offensive awareness, cutting and running through the back-door effectively. Unfortunately, he lacks size (not just height, over-all size) which is a disadvantage for him on rebounding, but is sometimes offset by his scrappy play. He had a breakout performance during the series with the Cavs, so we'll have to wait until next season to see if he continues his mid-age development. Just a thought: he fits well as a back-up big man for the Phoenix Suns.
The Cavs need to ditch Larry Hughes, seriously. He has got to be the worst player in the league under the terms of the contract that he signed with the Cavaliers. He is OVER-PAID. He is not even a decent complement to LeBron James. They will LOSE in the Eastern Conference Finals unless Larry Hughes somehow develops Kobe Bryant-type abilities. My suggestion is: to start Donyell Marshall, at least the guy can drain wide-open long-range shots (most of the time), and is a streak shooter. I think LeBron can regulate Marshall's heat from behind the arc. He is, of course, the 'King'.

Next stop: Detroit.