LeBron James promised fans a "different monster" this post season. Since this proclamation, fans have only caught glimpses of said monster.
The 2010 post season has been more of a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde act, with unfortunately more of the easy going Dr. Jekyll showing up at tip-off than the fearsome Mr. Hyde.
The monster, or Mr. Hyde, has shown its face in just three games. Games one and four of the first round, and then Game three of the second round. Each time, there was an extra source of energy coming into the game.
Game one was the first playoff game and the Cavaliers were tired of answering questions about the effect of resting players—so they came out and dominated. The other two games followed losses which aided the Cavalier sense of urgency.
In each of those games, you could see the potential of this Cavaliers team—the "different monster" that LeBron had alluded to earlier. It's just too bad that this "different monster" has a Hulk-like need to be agitated in order to reveal itself. Without any increased pressure before a game, the tame Dr. Jekyll comes to play.
In the Chicago series, the presence of Jekyll only resulted in one loss. The Cavaliers could handle the eighth seed by conserving their energy for one big run in the third or fourth quarter.
So far against Boston, it has already resulted in two losses. And it easily could have been three. In that first game, had it not been for a Mo Williams' outburst in the third quarter, the Cavaliers would be down 3-1 against the East's fourth seed.
The Celtics can handle Jekyll. They can't beat Hyde.
And if Cleveland makes it to Orlando, they will need a focused Hyde for seven games. This Orlando team can beat the monster, just not four games out of seven. The Cavaliers cannot afford a slip up.
For the rest of this post-season, the Cavaliers need to play with more fire. I hope that Mike Brown can provide the Bunsen burner.
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