The NBA Playoffs are hardly ever short on story lines and talking points. It can be dangerous to look too far ahead toward potential story lines, though, and so we tend to stick to focusing on the matter at hand.
I’m tired of first round matchups, though. This is the 5th year in a row the Cavaliers have been in the playoffs, and LeBron has never lost in the first round. Heck, the Cavs have never been pushed to 7 games in the first round with LeBron at the helm, and I would argue that the first round matchup hasn’t felt truly up for grabs since 2006.
This isn’t to say that this year’s matchup is 100% over. I predicted this to be a 6 game series, and I still think it could possibly get there, although I now feel 5 games is much more likely. So you never really want to get ahead of yourself, but you’ll forgive me if for one second I allow myself to look ahead.
During the Live Chat on Cleveland.com during Game 2 of the Cavs series the other night, Dan Labbe brought up an interesting point about how fascinating a Cavaliers vs Mavericks finals would be from the standpoint of Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson all being the NBA Finals. This idea immediately grabbed my interest. When you think about everything that went down with the Washington Wizards, can you imagine the fallout of all those players ending up in the Finals for different teams?
After the game, we were able to catch up with Antawn in the locker room and Dan asked Jamison for his thoughts on this possibility. “We still keep in contact with each other,” Jamison said. “They want to see us in the Finals and it would be a great story. Those guys have been my friends for the last 6 or 7 years. I’m definitely pulling for them, I know their families pretty well. As long as we’re not playing them, I’m pulling for them and hoping for much success for those guys because we were all in the situation where we thought we’d be home right about now, and to be 2 teams that really might have a chance to win a championship is amazing.”
I’m not sure how to look up such things, but is there any chance that wouldn’t be the largest collection of players in the NBA Finals who once played together on a different team to start the season? I’m already reeling from the thought of Stevenson trying to start up with his antics once more, and this time Antawn Jamison being in the position of taking LeBron’s side on the matter. For once in Antawn’s career, he would get to be on the side of the team who just wants to play and win rather than having to be the voice of reason on a team full of characters who want to make the series more about personality than actual basketball.
The Mavericks are still only up 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs. They would still have to get by San Antonio, Phoenix/Portland, and presumably the Lakers, while the Cavaliers will have their own mine field of Boston and Orlando to get through. So this isn’t anything to take too seriously right now, but just more of something fun to ponder.
One final thought on Antawn Jamison, that has nothing to do with this topic but I feel needs to be mentioned none the less. I’ve never claimed to be anything more than a regular guy who has a strong passion for both sports and writing, so I combined the 2 into this hobby we call ‘blogging’. I’m not a reporter (though I certainly do wish I was) and I never will be, but thanks to Dan Labbe and Cleveland.com, I was able to get a Press Credential to help Dan take audio and video from the team for Game 2. It was a crazy experience and something I’ll never forget, but it also taught me something about Antawn Jamison.
Everything you have ever heard or read about what a standup guy and true professional he is has been 1000% true. Whereas most guys will answer a handful of questions and then politely say “thank you” and walk away, Jamison stood there answering every single question until everyone there had a chance to get their quote that they needed. Which isn’t to say everyone else is rude for cutting reporters off. That’s hardly the case. Rather, it just goes to show what a unique kind of personality Jamison is and why the Cavaliers are truly lucky to have him be a part of this team.
|Antawn Jamison Game 2 postgame|