Cavaliers

While We’re Waiting… What Others Are Saying About Game 1

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

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“History is the propaganda of the victors, and the fact the Cavs came up one measly point short means this is a game that should be forgotten. Anderson Varejao bites on a rocker-step fake from Rashard Lewis and gives up a three-pointer on a man he was in position to run off of the three, and Delonte West misses an open look from the short-corner, and all of a sudden we’re forced to somehow find fault, to look at those three free throws LeBron missed in the fourth, to say that he maybe should’ve pulled up for the jumper instead of letting the double-team come and letting the ball get forced from his hands. It’s not fair. But that’s basketball, and life. This is one of the best games I’ve ever seen played by an individual. But for all history cares, he might’ve well gone 0-30. Part of me wishes he had.” [Cavs The Blog]

“”Mike Brown’s got to make an adjustment, because Ilgauskas can’t play those guys off the pick and roll. He can’t guard Dwight Howard. And he can’t guard Turkoglu or Rashard Lewis off the pick and roll. Mike Brown is going to have to go small. Ilgauskas is not going to get younger by Friday. I’m going to make a prediction: I think Mike Brown puts LeBron on Turkoglu or Lewis. ” [Charles Barkley/TNT via Cleveland.com]

“Brilliant as LeBron was, the series opener was a reminder that the cast around him is imperfect. The Cavs, benefiting from nine days of rest, started as if prepared to blow up the Magic. With James distributing the ball and getting the entire group involved, the place was rocking, prompting an ESPN columnist to ask me, “Can the Lakers even touch these guys?” […] Problem was, after Mo Williams hit a magical 75-foot shot to end the first half, the Cavs seemed to believe the same hype. While they were shutting themselves down, the maligned and mouthy Stan Van Gundy was employing motivational tactics in the Orlando locker room” [Jay Mariotti/AOL FanHouse]

“Dare I say that Mo Williams’ half court shot was the worst possible thing that could’ve happened heading into halftime? I view it as entirely possible that the dunk by that Polish guy who’s name is absolutely not worth remembering could’ve ignited the Cavs’ defense in the second half, but instead everyone spent recess falling over from slapping eachother on the back after Mo drained the heave. Just throwing it out there.

The Cavs offense in the second half, though, was dreadful; absolutely without redeeming value. Players badly missing wide-open looks, heaving up god-awful jump shots with over 16 seconds left on the shot clock, infinite LeBron/ball-watching. I’ll say it again: it looked like 2006 all over again out there.” [Sons of Nev]

“Hedo Turkoglu played James’ role better than James for a crucial stretch, being the heart of the Magic offense and creating everything for his teammates. That included seven of his 14 assists and nine of his 15 points.” [Brian Windhorst/Plain Dealer]

  • Ew. I indirectly agreed with Jay Mariotti. *kills self*

  • Boomhauer

    Z played like he was 800 years old last night. And Wallace is giving us nothing. Play D-Block instead, at least he can hit an open 15 footer.

  • I like LeBron’s fro in that picture.

  • DP

    I thought Joe Beast was underused, as well. He made a couple of jumpers, and had a sweet block on Lewis. Picked up a couple of fouls, and was largely never heard from again.

  • Boomhauer

    Here’s a stat that supports half of my statement and disproves half of it:

    “that big Z was a game-best plus +12 in 32:03 of a one-point loss, and I see that Ben Wallace(notes) was minus -14 in 9:47.”

  • Windy City Wahoo

    I thought the perimeter defense in the second half was awful. The guards kept cheating towards the middle and when the ball was swung to the corners, our guys were out of position and late on contesting those shots. Isn’t the key to beating the Magic locking down their shooters and let the inside guys take care of business?

    That said, Lewis had a monster game and had two HUGE shots down the stretch. If he can do that consistently, we’re in trouble.

  • One thing that was driving me positively bonkers was that every last scouting report I read stated that Rafer Alston *always* kicks when he drives and borderline hates to finish at the rim. And yet every drive we doubled him, every drive he kicked out, and every time found the open man. STOP DOUBLING ALSTON ON THE DRIVE. MAKE HIM FINISH AT THE RIM.

  • The Other Tim

    Don’t double anyone. These guys don’t miss.

  • Z was +12 for the game. Can we officially call that statistic meaningless?

    Seaward, true, but one thing you have to watch out for is that if you over-close out on the three, their guards will get inside and throw the lob to Howard. But I agree mostly.

    Alston also attacked LeBron in the first half, beat him off the bounce four or or times, I know people don’t want to hear it here, but that’s a tough assignment for LeBron.

    By the way, I really thought four of Ho’s six fouls were simply not fouls. Officiating was terrible throughout. Very pro-Cavs in the first half (I counted three LeBron fouls in the first quarter, he was only whistled once), but very pro Orlando with the off the ball stuff late.

  • Lyon

    Agreed Tim. Make them make a difficult shot, not a wide open shot.

    And can we please not play Z if he’s not hitting shots? He’s not out there for his D. So sit him down and we don’t have to help on evey single pick and roll.

    Mike Brown looked like he’d never coached a game last night. No adjustments. Stuck with players too long (Wally &Z gave us nothing & played too much) & didn’t get any movement in the 2nd half.

    If we are worth anything, we will come out like gangbusters & FINISH that way Friday

  • Lyon

    The refs were fairly decent last night, at least by their standards. They didn’t swing the game any one way I don’t think. But I think they do need to watch the Howard moving picks. We’re already at a disadvantage by having Z out there, then allowing D HO to take Mo out of the play while rolling to the hoop is just unfair.

    But alas, everyone sets moving picks in the NBA & they won’t call it. Just like jumping into the defender is always a foul.

  • @ Lyon – You can’t say that Z gave us nothing out there. Where did the memory of our great first quarter go? The big man in the middle had six points and seven boards in the first quarter alone as we zoomed out to the big lead. He was a huge reason why that happened, and whatever happened in the final three quarters was not his fault, nor was it Coach Brown’s for sticking with him.

  • I thought 2 of Howard’s fouls were iffy. They sure didn’t take advantage of him being out of the game so long.

  • mgbode

    I have something radical that we will never try, but would probably work.

    We should start Darnell Jackson.

    Darnell is very strong, especially in his legs. He can play the type of defense that Kendrick Perkins played on Dwight and is quick enough to get in front to box him out of the boards.

    Z can then come off the bench and play when Gortat plays and give our bench a huge scoring boost. Not to mention clean up on the offensive glass without Dwight around.

  • phil

    I look at Game One this way: Orlando played above their own level. Their shooting was otherworldly at times. The chance of that happening in the series again, even once, is pretty slim.
    That said, the Cavs only have themselves to blame for their own poor shooting and poor execution on offense.
    What I’ll remember from the game is LeBron pouring in shot after shot and that crazy final play. It was amazing that the Cavs even got a shot off, and Mo almost put it in for the victory. This just wasn’t meant to be the Cavs’ night, it seems.

    p.s. Szczerbiak did show some hustle, as when he wrested a loose ball away from Orlando and kept a Cavs’ possession alive at a crucial moment in the game. He had no points scored in 13 minutes of play, but he grabbed three rebounds and had two assists. Not exactly Wally World, but I wouldn’t say he did nothing.

  • Lyon, agree about the moving screens, but they let them go on both sides. Three of the Cavs opening threes were all off clear moving screens.

  • MacNip

    Alston may have beat Lebron off the dribble but Lebron is going to block any sort of lay up attempt Alston can get off. You almost can’t rotate against this team. They have too many shooters

  • @ phil – I think their shooting was about par for the course – the games they’ve won, they’ve absolutely bombed like last night. There’s a pretty good chance they’ll be on again.

  • phil

    @ Denny, if that’s so, then I don’t see any way around the obvious: Molante need to hit more shots… far more.

  • the boogie

    @ mgbode – not sure that I agree with starting d-block, but between him and BW the Cavs had 11 fouls to give on Howard – out of his 30 points, 2 of them came from the free throw line – and the rest looked way too easy against Z

  • Still puzzled that Windy said this: “”LeBron James totally flustered Rafer Alston guarding him”.

    I didn’t see that at all? Rafer and four different blow-bys in the first half. LeBron was roaming away from him on most other possessions. How is that considered “flustering?”

  • JK

    Somebody please tell me we’re gonna be ok…

  • DP

    #21, is it possible that he meant that LBJ fluster Alston when Alston was trying to play defense on LBJ? I don’t remember how often that happened, but that would at least make sense.

  • mgbode

    @22….we’ll win in 6 instead of 5 now.

    we needed a game to get our legs and wind back. I think we’ll be fine and Orlando will force us to a higher level.

  • DP

    #24 – Orlando has home-court now. If this series doesn’t go seven, I’ll be surprised.

  • I would agree with you DP. I can see us winning game 2, but I would be surprised to see us take both in Orlando. We will then enter game 5 tied back up at two, and I just don’t see us winning again in Orlando. Too difficult to win consistently against this team, and thus I think no way it goes less than six, and seven will probably happen.

  • Lyon

    Cursed… I think I mentioned that it goes both ways. It’s just a bit more noticeable when Howard does a moving screen b/c he’s so big. Just about every pick set in the NBA is a moving pick.