Cavaliers-Magic: A Running Diary of Game Five

Jay KingCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 28:  Daniel Gibson #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after making a three point basket against the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 28, 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)

First quarter:

  • I want to start off by saying my heart goes out to Rodney Rodgers, his family, and his friends. That was a very touching pre-game segment.
  • Mo Williams came out energized and on fire. When Williams and Delonte West play well, the Cavs are a different team.
  • I hope Mike Brown can decide to stop trying to match up with the Magic and just play his own best lineups. The Cavaliers have left Gibson and Wally on the bench all series when those guys could help spread the floor. When the Cavs surround LeBron with all shooters, they tend to play their best.
  • Turkoglu stepped over the line passing the ball in. Are you serious, Hedo?
  • Zydrunas gets hit by a flailing Dwight Howard, and I have to ask: What was his reaction going to be? Before the ref broke the two apart, it looked like Big Z was just going to tap Dwight on the arm and ask him to stop. Was that really your plan of action, Z? If the Cavs lose this series, it's because Z and Varejao haven't been tough enough to handle Howard.
  • 32-10 Cavs. Looks like this one might be a laugher, but the Magic are a great comeback team.
  • 35-18 Cavs at the end of the first. Somehow, I get the feeling this game isn't over.

Second quarter:

  • Howard has to stop swinging his elbows. It can't be a coincidence when he has throw about five or six elbows this postseason.
  • Mickael Pietrus, aka the biggest surprise of the NBA playoffs, picks up his third foul early in the second. It's weird, but he might be the best LeBron James defender in the entire league. He is quick, tall, and strong, and has done a great job defensively this series to go along with his dead-eye shooting.
  • When the cameras are far away, Gortat and Ilgauskas could be twins. Watching them run side by side is a lot like a mirror image.
  • 39-30. The comeback has started. Don't want to say I told you so, but I told you so.
  • Stan Van Gundy goes wild. He looked more like Lou Piniella right there. Just a great performance by SVG. I was afraid we were going to see an on-court heart attack.
  • C.C. Sabathia's chain is about 30 ft. long. It looked like oversized, glorified rosary beads.
  • Ilgauskas has done such a bad job on Dwight Howard all series. The lefty jump hook one possession and the running layup for the and-one the next possession were both nice, but Zydrunas has to make it tougher. Maybe he should tap him on the shoulder again. I think it scared him last time.
  • Mo Williams, point guard on the self-proclaimed "best team in basketball," had a great first half (17 points, 5-8 shooting, 4-5 threes), but the Cavaliers great start has been pretty much entirely squandered. 56-55 Cavs.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers stadium is completely silent at halftime. It's almost eerie watching them walk off the floor in utter silence.

3rd quarter

  • The Cavs need a good start. If they don't get some cushion here, I don't see them winning this game. Their execution hasn't been sharp enough to win a whole game.
  • Howard opens the second half by doing what he's done all series; going right around Ilgauskas for a bucket.
  • Magic come out hot. LeBron James has been far too careless with the ball these last two games.
  • We're going to really see what LeBron and these Cavs are made of the rest of this game. I'm going to flip-flop here. There is no way LeBron lets them lose this game. I think he's ready to take the next step to becoming maybe the best player of all-time. He is ready to put his team completely on his back if he needs to. I expect a very big fourth quarter out of him.
  • I know I said this before, but Wally Szczerbiack should play some more in this series. He is a good matchup for Rashard Lewis, being the only guy on the Cavs other than LeBron who is strong enough to guard him in the post but (kind of) quick enough to guard him on the perimeter.
  • Wally and Gibson should stay in there for awhile longer. They really do a great job spreading the floor. Listen to me, Mike Brown, and you will win.

Fourth Quarter

  • Wally goes right back to the bench. But Brown kept the theme of LeBron, three shooters, and a big by trotting out Mo Williams, Delonte West, LeBron, Boobie (what a nickname) Gibson, and Ben Wallace.
  • Gortat blocked James for the third time (that I can remember) this series. He has played a great series.
  • Gibson for three. You're welcome, Mike Brown.
  • Cavs lead 86-80 when Dwight comes back into the game. Will he bring the Magic back into the lead?
  • Ben Wallace looks a lot younger this series than he has in years.
  • The most surprising player of the 2009 NBA playoffs for three. 86-85.
  • Five minutes left. Triple double for LeBron already. Will it be enough?
  • Pietrus with a Cavalier draped all over him. Wow. He has been absolutely on fire all series.
  • What a hustle play by Mo to save that ball off Rafer's foot. That could be a huge play for the Cavs. And LeBron ends up getting an and-one on the same possession. Could be an enormous play.
  • I love how LeBron normally stops settling for jumpshots in the fourth. Why doesn't he do that the whole game, though? He can get to the rim whenever he wants to, but doesn't always do it.
  • Mike Brown goes back to the small lineup (including Wally and Boobie) with five minutes left. The very next possession, Gibson cans a three to make it 97-93, Cavs. This bullet is my gloating for saying that lineup was the best lineup the Cavs have.
  • Lebron James dribbles around for 20 seconds before finally getting by Pietrus and finishing over and through Howard at the hoop. Pietrus could not have played better defense. LeBron is just an ox.
  • The most surprising player has an and-one. Every time he makes a play I continue to be shocked. How can I still be so shocked? I refuse to be surprised by him anymore.
  • What a pass by LeBron to Varejao. LeBron was falling backwards, barely balanced, but somehow fired a bullet by Gortat's ear. Amazing.
  • Did anyone else hear that LeBron has had a hand in all 29 Cavs fourth-quarter points up to this point. 17 points and 4 assists. That is an unbelievable stat. I don't want to say I told you so, and I'm not going to this time. Anyone in the world could have predicted a big fourth quarter from the King.
  • This one is all wrapped up. I am convinced that it was the small lineup that did it for the Cavs. That lineup not only opens up the floor offensively, it also allows the Cavs to better match up with Turkoglu and Lewis on the other end. Well, that and that fact that LeBron James decided to take over the game and put the Cavs on his back and not let them lose. Even though LeBron was so good, the small lineup helped even him by giving him more room to operate and allowing him to find open shooters rather than an open Varejao or Ben Wallace. Now it's the Magic's turn to try to change things up and adjust to the Cavs in Game 6. It should be a hell of a game.

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