The King's Castle Can and Will Fall Apart

Brandon Ribak@reebokforthreeSenior Writer IApril 19, 2009

If all goes according to plan, the Cleveland Cavaliers will matchup with the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.

After battling the Atlanta Hawks for five games, the Cavaliers will look to capture their second Eastern Conference Finals victory with LeBron James by their side.

On the other hand, the Magic will finish the second round of the playoffs in six games against the defending champions, the Boston Celtics.

The Match Up

On the season, the Orlando Magic have a 2-1 record against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The first game they faced the Cavaliers was with a healthy Jameer Nelson.

The second time they faced was in Cleveland, where they suffered a tough four-point loss.

The third game they faced was according to Yahoo, "The worst beat down that LeBron James has EVER encountered in his entire life."

Magic Starting Five                         Cavaliers Starting Five

PG- Rafer Alston                          PG- Mo Williams

SG- Courtney Lee                        SG- Delonte West

SF- Hedo Turkoglu                       SF- LeBron James

PF- Rashard Lewis                       PF- Anderson Varejao

C- Dwight Howard                       C- Zydrunas Ilgauskas

The Big Weakness

LeBron James averaged 30.6 PPG, 9.6 RPG, and 7.0 APG against the Magic in three games this season. Obviously, those are outstanding numbers to average against any team in the league, but one thing to reconsider is James' field-goal shooting during two of those games. The King shot a whopping 10-27 (37 percent) in one and 7-20 (35 percent) in the other.

Clearly, there is only one reason why James had two such horrible shooting nights against Orlando.

The answer is Dwight Howard.

LeBron James is at his absolute best when he can drive the ball to the hoop. If open, he can slam it on practically anyone in the league, including Dwight Howard (although I have never seen that happen as of yet). 

If James is not open for the big slamma-jamma, he distributes the basketball to his teammates that surround themselves around the three-point line.

In any normal drive to the basket, James either scores the easy two, passes the ball for a wide-open three, or gets hacked going up for the dunk (and makes the and-one).

Against the Orlando Magic, and ultimately Dwight Howard, James honestly cannot do what he does best.


Because Howard alters more shots near the basket than anybody in the league today.

He forces the offender to adjust the way they go up with the ball, in order for them to not get blocked. Superman lead the league with just under three blocks per game on the season, and you can guarantee each and every NBA player knows that in the back of their head.

In the Cavaliers vs. Magic blow-out game during the season, only three Cavaliers players scored 10 points or more, while the entire team shot a horrific 36.9 percent from the field to go with it.

In the one victory against the Magic this season, the Cavs only had three players in double-digit scoring figures.

What does this have to say about the Orlando Magic, their defense, and their chances of success against the Cleveland Cavaliers?

For one, it goes to show that head coach Stan Van Gundy really knows what he is doing out there on the court (all 5'4" of him).

Also, it proves that the Magic really have what it takes to stop the dominate LeBron James and his entire Cavaliers team.

Lastly, it brings about that in a seven-game series, the Orlando Magic could take the Cleveland Cavaliers, if they continue to stop the King from having his way on the NBA court and in his castle.

The final question remains...will the King's castle fall apart in the playoffs this season?


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