I watched game one of the Eastern conference Finals while dealing with the emotions of the Celtics loss to Orlando. I wondered how James and company would handle finally facing a team with a high basketball IQ.
LeBron James was not to happy last night. For the first time in the 2009 playoffs his team has lost home court advantage, heck they lost a game.
They came out like any other game by building a big lead in the first three quarters. I guess the Cavs thought the game was over because they reverted back to LeBron iso's at the top of the key.
The offense became stagnant as the Magic made a run and leBrons' teammates couldn't finish.
After two rounds, Mo Williams finally managed to match his season average by scoring 17 points. Anderson Verajao managed 14 points, but that is not the norm for him. Delonte missed a crucial three in the deep corner and finished with 11 points a full one point below his average.
Mo Williams against Rafer Alston I give the edge to Mo.
Delonte West against Courtney Lee is a wash, the rookie knows how to play physical and is not intimidated by the bright lights of the playoffs.
LeBron against Hedo Turgolu. LeBron has to finally play defense against a taller skilled player. Bron got his 49, but it was Turgolu's ability to look over the defense, score, drive and hand out 14 assists that cancelled out LeBron's big game.
Anderson Verajao against Rashard Lewis. This is where the Magic took full advantage in the second half. It was Lewis' three pointer that gave Orlando the victory in the final seconds.
Verajao is more suited as an energy guy of the bench but with the decline of Ben Wallace he was forced to start. Advantage Lewis.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas against Dwight Howard. Big "Z" has the length but not the strength against Howard. Howard did a tune on the Cavs, he dropped 30 points and 13 rebounds.
Le Bron ended the game with a major cramp in his leg. It took well over 5 minutes before he could even begin to walk. Is the load getting to heavy for the 'King"?
Orlando has the most balanced offense out of the final four. Orlando has length at both the three and four position. Both Turgolu and Lewis can keep their defender guessing with a simple pump-fake. And of course the reigning defensive player of the year Dwight Howard.
I wrote an article ironically on the last day the Cavaliers played before this one: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/172519-kobe-and-lebron-the-mamba-and-the-king. This article basically talks about how LeBron and Kobe face the same problem.
They must score at least 40% of their team points in order for them to win.
The national media and David Stern are salivating, they want to "Witness" the ultimate showdown between Kobe and LeBron. All I can see if the Cav's do manage to make it to the finals is a repeat of 2006.
The Cav's role players unable to come through and LeBron being forced to score at least 40 points a game to have any chance of winning. A very boring finals (even with Bron Bron's amazing act).