King James Dethroned, Superman Triumphant

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IMay 31, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers sits on the court after being fouled by the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

The ending was wrapped up, shipped, and ready to go upon arrival. Somewhere along the line, the package got lost; maybe in the back of a truck or at the bottom of an airplane. All that matters is it never arrived, and sooner than later those who were waiting for the package will want answers.

Dwight Howard looked more like a king on Saturday night than "King" James.

Howard went off on the Cleveland Cavaliers' porous paint defense for 40 points, while also picking up 14 boards as the Orlando Magic wrecked the Cavs 103-90.

The Magic will make their first trip to the NBA Finals since 14 years ago, the year before Shaquille O’Neal left as a free agent.

LeBron, who played well for the entire series leading up to the closing Game 6, had only 25 points on 40 percent shooting in his worst game of the series.

Michael Wilbon, co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, said it best when he proclaimed, “The Cavaliers were dumped from the playoffs, by a team that violates one of basketball’s 10 Commandments: thou shalt not live by the jump shot.”

If anything, their jump shooting has been their strength throughout the playoffs. When they get on a roll, they are seemingly unstoppable from anywhere with a plethora of jump-shooters in their arsenal: Rafer Alston and Mickael Pietrus specifically, who averaged over 25 points per game combined against the Cavaliers.

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To put it simply, the Cavs just couldn’t find the answers on defense to stop Orlando’s jump shooting prowess, and James was the only individual producing offensively.

Cleveland became too one-dimensional when faced with deficits, instead of sticking to their offensive and defensive strategies that had gained them success all year long.

Things started off shockingly bad when the Cavs, who were nearly perfect at home all season, dropped game one at home after leading by 15 points at half-time.

Cleveland fans were treated to a tease, a mere glimmer of hope, by LeBron’s last-second buzzer-beater to save game two, another game in which the Cavs blew an enormous lead of more than 20 points.

A team that looked so polished, so poised to make a run to the Finals, began to lose their sheen, and became the “masters of panic” themselves.

The questions have already begun to pile up for Cavs fans: Who is to blame for the collapse of the Cavs? How can the management better surround LeBron with talent for next year?

Perhaps the most heart-stopping question of all is, will LeBron jump ship to New York in 2010?

None of these questions can be answered now, but all will be answered in due time.

The only question that can be answered soon is, how much longer will Nike and Vitamin Water continue to air their commercials hyping and foretelling a Kobe-LeBron Finals?

Maybe Howard will get his wish and never have to see those puppets ever again.

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