Um, Washington? You may want to rethink your playoff strategy…
The most dominating playoff performance by a Cavalier team? Check. LeBron gets his, and sets up teammates? Check. Cavalier big men box out and take away second chance opportunities? Check. A shooter other than LeBron knocks down some long range shots? Check. Cavs don’t allow easy baskets? Check. Cavs up 2 games to none, and on an 8-game playoff winning streak against the Wizzies? Check and double check.
It’s hard to write a recap of this game. The Cavaliers simply played the best this roster has ever played together. LeBron’s stat line was filthy, with 30 points, 12 dimes, 9 rebounds and 2 downright nasty blocks. He drove the lane even when he knew he was going to get hammered, which he did. And let’s head off the argument before it starts. The Cavaliers were whistled for 25 fouls to Washington’s 28. It’s not like the refs weren’t playing the whistle. The ‘hard foul’ by Haywood? Some will no doubt argue that the call shouldn’t have been a flagrant 2. If you go by the definition of the rule, it most certainly was. LeBron was in mid-air in a defenseless position. Haywood made no attempt to block the ball, he simply shoved James out of the lane. Of course the Wizard argument will be that Daniels was fouled the same way on the other end. Anyone with any intelligence watching that replay can clearly see that there was a distinct play on the ball, not just the man.
I have a suggestion for the Wizards. Are you ready? It’s what I said would beat the Cavs a long time ago. In fact I said as much for Hardwood Paroxysm last week. If Washington wants to beat the Cavs they need to stop trying to out-muscle the Cavs and try to outrun them. That’s it. The Cavs had had trouble when teams press the tempo against them. Ben Wallace, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Andy Varejao can’t beat Haywood and Jamison down the floor. Do the Wizards have a PG that can push the tempo like that? I don’t know. But I do know that trying to win a physical basketball game isn’t the answer for Washington. Another thing, if they want to get in this series they may want to reconsider their stance on Gilbert Arenas. No I don’t mean let him start. I’m suggesting that they leave him on the bench. When he is in there Caron Butler vanishes. It’s like some sort of Vegas lounge act. Come watch the amazing disappearing all-star!
Or you know what? Don’t. Keep playing exactly the way you are. You might just win game 3 and push this thing back to Cleveland. Better for our economy anyways.