While the Cavs were within shouting distance going into intermission Sunday, the 2nd half shutdown engineered by Tayshaun Prince (above), Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace was one for the ages. There’s been a bit of yack radio hollering this morning and afternoon, comparing LeBron’s putrid performance in the 2nd half to Kobe’s disappearing act against the Suns in Game 7, and aside from the most obvious parallels (ie. superduperstars being expected to carry their team), I don’t see it. Aside from the tiny matter of LeBron being 21 years old and playing in his second-ever playoff series, the Pistons did more than maintain their rep as their generation’s least yielding defensive team, they downright enhanced it.
The Akron Beacon-Journal’s Terry Pluto, however, isn’t so fast to say Cleveland were fortunate to get as far.
Just how can a team with LeBron James score only 23 points in the second half? And make only five field goals? And seem to spend minutes that felt like months unable to get off a decent shot?
Some of the fault lies with coach Mike Brown, who never really came up with strong strategy on offense this season.
The players around James struggled as they shot 23 percent, scoring only 34 points. That was the output from eight other Cavs covering 193 minutes of playing time. Brown could never figure out how to shake James loose with the ball. Other than the mandatory timeout, Brown didn’t call one to try to change the flow of the game. It’s a reminder that like most of the Cavs, this was his maiden playoff voyage as a head coach.
Though I’m as psyched to hear Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ solo album on the Eclipse label as the rest of you, I’m pretty sure the Cavs would love to find a way to void his contract.
Responding to published reports that Hollywood Video CEO Mark Wattles is interested in purchasing the Portland Blazers, Blazers Edge’s Lance Uppercut wrote :
While I try to stay away from stereotypes whenever possible, I’ll admit that the fact Wattles (above) is a Mormon makes me tend to believe he’d be a good owner. The LDS’s know how to get shit done, period. And with the large Mormon community in Oregon, I think he’d have a lot of built-in support. That’s not to say that every Mormon is going to support every other Mormon, but it couldn’t hurt to have an owner who’s actually tied into the community.