The season is over. The Cavs lost to the Orlando Magic in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. For a day or so, we won’t have to hear about reffing conspiracies. I hope nobody is allergic to the word Superman – if you are, stay away from ESPN because I’m guessing that he’s now the biggest star in the Association. If you get physically ill because of LeBron to NYC speculation, leave your TV off. But I guess we should discuss basketball, because that’s how we got here.
The second quarter doomed the Cavs. They came back strong to start the third, cutting the halftime lead of 18 to 11 a few times, but could not get the stops they needed as the third progressed. The lack of the ability to pull in boards on both ends of the court really stood out, as Dwight Howard dominated the frontcourt.
A lot of people are going to complain and blame this loss on the refereeing. The referees didn’t put the Cavs down 18 at halftime. The Cavs terrible play put the Cavs down 18 at halftime. Their terrible defense the last 8 minutes of the third quarter put them at a huge disadvantage. Their inability to adjust to the Magic’s offense doomed them. The refs didn’t help, but they are not the reason the Cavs are going home before the Finals. The Cavs are.
Gamewise, LBJ went at Howard in the first half but Howard’s defense was solid, as he kept his arms up and didn’t commit to the foul. Late in the third the Cavs couldn’t get a stop to save their life. With 10 minutes to go the Cavs were down 21 going into a timeout. Mo Williams decided to show up for a little bit, and scored a quick 5 points to get the Cavs within 16. Then the Cavs decided to forget how to rotate, as the Magic put on a show of how to move the ball around and hit the threes (see – not an iso play!!!).
The Cavs horrible foul shooting didn’t help matters any. The inability to cash in on the few times they were on the line really hurt the offense. This team was just beat on all accounts in this game. The only person that showed up to play in my mind was Delonte – he played extremely hard down to the end but it was too little too late.
I don’t know what else to write. This sucks. But, the Cavs got beat. They couldn’t make the changes that needed to be made, and they got beat. They didn’t show up to play and they got beat.
One thing that doesn’t change is being proud of this team. Yes, we’re frustrated. Yes, this is not any fun at all. But they did accomplish a lot. We improved a lot. There are a lot of young guys on this team that can learn a lot from this. Hopefully everyone comes back hungrier than ever next year. Time will only tell.
I’m sure more analysis will be coming from guys that can say things better than I can, but for now – Season over. See you next year.