Cavs-Magic Game 2 Running Diary

Jay KingCorrespondent IMay 23, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 22:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks off the court after making the game winning three point basket against the Orlando Magic in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 22, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


  • Cavs need this one badly. I still think they're a much better team than the Magic, but an 0-2 hole heading back to Orlando would still probably mean this series would be pretty much over.
  • I expect another big game out of King James. He is virtually unguardable nowadays, and is by far the most efficient player in the league.
  • I'm eager to see whether the Magic play Howard one-on-one or double him. I would play him one-on-one and concentrate on their shooters. If you guard those guys tight, none of them are likely to hurt you, and Howard isn't a great post player.
  • Can Mickael Pietrus keep it up? He's been an assassin in the playoffs. I've never liked his game, and it seems like he takes all tough shots, but they've sure been going in.
  • Craig Sager just asked Dwight Howard if he dances at Chip & Dale's in the off-season and told him he had a great physique...
  • Pretty sure Lebron used an entire bottle of baby powder during his pregame hand-slapping routine.

First Quarter:

  • Howard is getting easy looks early. He must feel freed this series after Perk did such a great job on him during Round 2. To me, Perk playing Howard more or less to a draw was one of the biggest surprises in that series.
  • Mo Williams just threw the ball at Dwight Howard after getting hit in his head. That's the second time I've seen that this year (James Posey threw it at someone earlier this season). Just as funny this time around.
  • Cavs off to a great start. When they get stops and get out and run, the Cavs are vicious in transition.
  • Timeout taken by Ron Jeremy's stunt double, score 15-5 Cavs.
  • Ilgauskas looks like Voldemort from the Harry Potter movies.
  • Jameer Nelson might play if the Magic advance to the finals? I don't know if that's a good idea. Even though he's an all-star, his return might hurt the chemistry, and he can't possibly be in any type of basketball shape.
  • Good quarter by Zydrunas. Howard is a great help defender, but when it comes to man coverage in the post, he struggles. Perk played well against Howard, and now Ilgauskas is, too.
  • Interesting tidbit about Stan Van Gundy: He started his career coaching at Castleton St. College in Vermont. For those of you who haven't heard of Castleton St. (probably everyone), they are one of the worst college basketball programs in all of division three.
  • Pietrus hits tough shots. He has a high release point and can get his shot off just about any time he wants to.
  • Sasha Pavlovic with a very nice finger roll. He is playing a great first half.
  • J.J. Redick hasn't been shooting well during the playoffs, but he has been doing a great job of setting other guys up. He's a good drive-and-disher.
  • Joe Smith for three!?! He only shot seven threes all season.
  • The Cavs did a great job without LeBron in there. He was able to get a nice rest while the reserves played great.
  • Turkoglu makes his first field goal with seven minutes left in the half. He must have forgotten to eat his pregame pizza tonight.
  • I really like Gortat as a player. He is limited, but athletic, strong and tough.
  • Repeat of the Game 1? Cavs came out on fire again, but Magic once again quelled the storm before halftime, opening the door for another comeback.
  • Did anyone else see the halftime show going on? Wow. Doing back flips about twenty feet in the air and landing on a little bar? Insane. That was far more impressive than anything else that happened in the first half.
  • I like when the Cavs go small and play LeBron at power forward. He does a better job on Rashard Lewis than Varejao, and they are better offensively with that lineup, too. If I'm Mike Brown, my favorite lineup is Zydrunas Ilgauskas at center, LeBron at power forward, either Pavlovic at the three, and West and Williams at the guards. In this series, it's their best offensive and defensive lineup.
  • Cavs offense looking stagnant as Rashard Lewis is heating up; this has the makings of another comeback victory for the Magic.
  • Saying anybody else in the NBA is better than LeBron is like saying Air Bud is better than Hoosiers.
  • Speaking of Hoosiers, I'd rather have Ollie shoot a pair of free throws than Dwight Howard.
  • Dwight Howard gets careless with the ball. How many times today have the Cavs reached in and slapped the ball away from him? That shouldn't happen for a guy as big and strong as Howard. Keep it high and be strong with it, Dwight.
  • Does anyone know what that thing on Delonte's mouth is? I know I'm probably going to feel bad if I make fun of it, so I'm just going to stop at asking what it is. I'm just curious, that's all. I don't think it's ugly. Not at all.
  • Ugly airball by James ends the quarter. We could be in store for another shocking Magic win.
  • Cleveland threatening to get a little breathing room after the two (very) questionable blocking fouls on Marcin Gortat.
  • Guess that breathing room wasn't permanent. I should have known better.
  • Pietrus sits for a long time, then comes back and picks up right where he left off...draining threes. I'll never understand why Stan Van Gundy hasn't given him more minutes. He's also their best matchup for LeBron.
  • Why is Hedo Turkoglu allowed to use his off arm to fend off defenders? Every time he dribbles he stiff-arms defenders, yet he hasn't been called for it once.
  • Pietrus with a driving layup. He has been unbelievable this postseason.
  • It's amazing how much attention the Magic are paying to LeBron James. James, to his credit, has been more than happy to give up the ball to his wide open teammates.
  • The Magic have terrific spacing on offense. With their three-point shooting and spacing, they are extremely difficult to match up with.
  • I can't believe they called LeBron for the travel with 30 seconds left. It was clearly a travel, but rarely does an NBA official have the balls to make that call in crunchtime, in Cleveland, against the league's MVP.
  • Horrible foul by Pavlovic. Instead of getting the ball back for the last shot, the Cavs will now have to hope their defense forces overtime. Dire situation for Cleveland. They might be heading back to Orlando down 0-2.
  • Wow. Hedo Turkoglu. The man makes plays when the Magic need them. Sure, he's goofy, awkward-looking, and pretty slow, but he has a way of getting it done when his team needs him the most.
  • What a game! LeBron for three to end it. The play was designed for either a backdoor lob or LeBron for three at the top of the key, and Hedo did a good job of taking away the lob. It was actually great defense by Turkoglu, but LeBron is the MVP for a reason. I don't see LeBron letting his team lose this series. He is too talented, too hungry, and too competitive to let his team lose. I actually think that, other than LeBron, the Magic are a definitively better team, but LeBron is playing at a level history has rarely seen. He will will his team into the Finals, where they will have an easier time dispatching the Western Conference Champion than they will putting away these Magic.