Cavs 90, Magic 103 – So, that happened.

frowny_face_pinkThe 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.

  • Blue

    I wonder if the boys are going to be motivated to do much next year. That’s all I can really think about.

  • DP

    Not going to blame the refs, but if I hear one more Orlando fan or COACH or PLAYER whine about the reffing, I’m going to…

    …well, I don’t know. Empty threats are all I have left.

    Seriously, though, if those people still believe the refs were out to get them, then I’ve got a bridge to sell them in Brooklyn.

  • DP

    I have to say I give props to Reggie Miller for pointing out that he didn’t ever have to leave Indiana to have a prosperous and famous career. Though that won’t matter much to the jackals at ESPN.

  • Adam

    So can we get some help for Lebron who isn’t a choke artist? I won’t blame LBJ when he leaves. He wants rings. As a diehard Cleveland fan I know that rings won’t come to him here.

  • Denny

    Barkley in the postgame analysis is being quite levelheaded – pointed out that Z is old, and is on the downside of his career. Made sure he said he likes Cleveland. Now that he’s no longer the entertainment guy, he’s giving a lot of good commentary of the Cavs. So is Reggie. Hopefully LeBron listens to the former greats of the game more than the talking heads on ESPN.

  • Tom

    Well, there’s always next year.

  • Brian

    Well said piece. This is on the Cavs – it really seemed LeBron had learned his lesson about effort, but he just didn’t seem to be there this game. No attack and no aggression. When he goes that way the team follows – game ovah.

  • creative

    and now, we wait.

    and wait.

  • jermaine

    so upset…

    this site is therapy for the cleveland sports soul, thank you.

    Three things i learned this series.

    1. I hate reggie miller (other than when he said lbj should stay)
    2. I hate stan van gundy
    3. I will never cheer for D. Howard again (not even in the 12′ olympics)

  • AMC

    No defensive adjustment from the Coach of the Year + no Molante in games 1-3 = epic FAIL

    For arguably the best team I’ve ever seen wear Cleveland across their chests, to not even make the finals is a huge disapointment.

  • chrisjake

    I hate to be the turd in the punchbowl, but maybe this saves us from even worse heartbreak in the finals…..

    I am SO tired of losing. Why cant it be us, just once.

  • Stocklone

    Being a life time Cleveland fan, I really thought this was it. This was our year. I’ve been rooting for Cleveland since I knew what sports were and I’ll keep rooting for Cleveland till the day I die.

    Like I said so many heart breaking times before, there’s always next year.

    Howard says he doesn’t play dirty on his blog, but I think he might be in some serious denial.


    Van Gundy AKA Ron Jeremy needs to shave his moustache.

  • niemi

    Those first losses were so close and would have made all the difference
    4 points over 3 games!!!
    We needed more West, Gibson, and Williams those first three and a LOT less of the big doofus Varejao that dribbles off his shoe and gives the other team more poitns in free throws than he produces himself, and slow moving Ilgauskas……

  • eshaw

    it’s great to have best record, MVP, COY, and all that jazz in the regular season.. yes i was proud of the team all year… but the bottom line is they didnt win a ring or even get to the finals… so to me all the other accomplishments went unfullfilled. the teams manta all year was one goal and with the best opp to reach it (easy two rounds and KG out) a Clev team blew it again. Honestly the Magic are a better team. but if ur the Cavs no way in hell you give uo 40, to a player who really isnt that gifted on offense, ans 12 threes!! That just shoes a lack of any type of adjustment by the coaching staff or a lack of execution by the players. it was brutal watchin Howard abuse Z down low.. i love Z but his time is up, if they want to get a ring he cannot start at center next year I dont care how long he’s been with the organization. His value is so dimished when he doesnt make shots because of his defensive liabilities and guess what… he missed shots ALL SERIES so howard got to camp out in the paint. I love this team but they are still a piece away with a couple solid bench players… guess we have wait until next year… when KG and Jameer Nelson are healthy. Go Browns… o yea CC pitched well tonight

  • feel

    this was a magical season, and best by any cavs team by far. however, the failures we saw during this series were preluded by the shortcomings we saw during the year. deep down we knew that we weren’t quite there yet, and im certain that we wouldn’t have fared much better against the lakers. i know that doesn’t make this loss any less painful, but hopefully this will force ferry to go out and get a proven big who can score and defend. we are just once piece away from utter dominance… just wait til next year.

  • TampaBrett

    Least you guys don’t live in Florida.

  • The Other Tim

    This team has given me a great gift.
    My life back.
    The Browns will never win it, so I don’t get my hopes up.
    The Indians will never win it, so I don’t get my hopes up.
    Now, even with the league MVP and home court advantage throughout the entire post season, the Cavs couldn’t get it done.
    What should I get excited about next season? Great home wins? Dancing? Commercials? A great regular season record? Home court advantage? Early playoff wins? Sorry, not gonna do it. I have adult responsibilities to focus on now. Should I fret about LeBron James leaving? Oh no! Six teams have now proven to me that they can win the championship without him.

    I’m 42. I’m done.

  • Anthony

    I’m 24, so I’ve lived through only that much of the heartbreak. And from what I have experienced, it hurts SO MUCH. But I *cannot* imagine what it must be like for those of you who have lived through 45 years of heartbreak. And it almost brings me to tears thinking about just how long it’s been. I so desperately wanted to be celebrating with all of you in the streets of Cleveland. I wanted to finally have that championship parade. Instead, we’ll be waiting for next year. Again.

    This just isn’t fair. I don’t know of any other way to put it.

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  • Denny

    @ # 13 – I’m not really sure what more Delonte could have done. He was solid all series. The only think you can really say to detract from his play was his hesitance at times, passing up open looks.

    More Mo? He was missing wide open shots. When he tried to force things inside like he did last night, he was missing terribly.

    Maybe more Boobie, but honestly his D is suspect and I don’t think he would have made up much ground in those games. He was on in Game 5, that’s about it.

    And you’re essentially calling Andy worthless – he was the only big that did anything offensively this series. When he was in the game, he was pretty much the only one hustling for the ball (unless there was a rare Walter sighting). IMO, Andy was the #3 guy on this team this series, behind LeBron and Delonte.

  • Dan W

    What sucks the most about this is we don’t even have anything else to look forward to. The Browns are going to be a trainwreck in 2009 and the Indians are already 7.5 back in the Central. So yeah. Let’s start the countdown to the 2009-10 Cavs season.

  • Sleepless

    Where on earth was David Stern this series? All that money and hype for LeBron vs. Kobe and what? Every close call going to Orlando? The Magic ran away with Games 3 and 6, but in Games 1 and 4, it seemed like we were always on the short end of the stick. And if it wasn’t for LeBron’s amazing shot in Game 2, there would be far more anger over how badly that game was called.

    This series was a strategic blunder for the NBA. Howard does not have the temperament for the national stage, and outside of Central Florida, no one wears Turkey Glue or Rashard Lewis jerseys. The Lakers will expose the Magic as an overperforming traveling circus of three-ball chuckers.

    Most Cleveland fans probably cringe at the thought of winning with help from the referees, but after 45 years of playing the wrong team at the wrong time, something has to be done. If it’s good enough for the Jordan Bulls, Shaq Lakers, and Toothlessberger Steelers, it’s good enough for us.

  • CJG

    At about the 1:30 mark in the fourth quarter, TNT decided to pull out a pretty tastely move. I well-edited video montage of ever heartbreaking cleveland sports moment.

    Thank you TNT, you are officially the worst at covering sports.

  • CJG


  • Jay

    While I like the article I want to ask what did we accomplish exactly? Anything short of winning it all is a failure. This team didn’t accomplish anything except a good REGULAR SEASON RECORD. If the Cavs with LeBron cannot win then when wll we ever win? Btw I think the Lakers will own Orlando even though no one will be watching.

  • ZachinBoston

    @ #23 I totally agree. But the world really loves to point out misery and defeat-that sells doesnt it? I’m surprised Cleveland’s economy isn’t booming…

    Kudos to the WFNY team on their coverage of the playoffs, it was a wonderful experience. Looking forward to getting my daily tribe feed this summer while the bosox keep on winning right out side my window. You guys really help put a great Cleveland atmosphere on the net.

  • Gregg

    The Cavs were playing against arguably the best young center in the NBA. In order to win, we needed a young, athletic big man. We knew that was a giant weakness all season.

    While I agree Brown got out coached, he can’t just pull players out of thin air!

    We are all frustrated right now, but when you take a step back and look at the contracts we’ll be losing over the summer… we are going to be in pretty good shape. This team has a real chance to be even better next year.

  • RC

    I don’t know, I just had some doubts about being able to get it all. I was optimistic, but thinking back on the “bad” losses this year, they all came to the same type of team, excluding Washington. Houston, Boston, Orlando, LA. All big down low. So in some ways, I wasn’t surprised.

    Give Orlando credit. They were better than the Cavs. We have to find a way to get better.