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Cleveland Cavaliers

Don't take it for granted

By admin Published: May 1, 2007

Washington -- It may have seemed routine and, all things considered, easy for the Cavs to dispatch the Wizards in four games.  There was franchise history made tonight.  The Cavs had never swept a series, they'd never even won back-to-back road playoff games before.  This is just the second time in franchise history the Cavs have won at least one playoff series in back-to-back years.  In other words, Cavs fans, this doesn't happen very often.  Might be a good idea to enjoy it for a minute or two.

Other stuff:

--It will probably be an eternal argument: should LeBron James shoot or pass in crunch time?  He believes he always should make the proper basketball play and pass.  But it will always be a catch-22.  Sometimes he'll be right and sometimes he'll be wrong.  This week he was dead on.  You can read all the stats in the above linked game story, but basically the "other guys" kicked the Wizards around.  Zydrunas Ilgauskas got more open shots in the last four games than he usually gets in a month and Drew Gooden wasn't far behind.  I always write LeBron is unstoppable when he drives to the basket, well the Cavs are unstoppable when the supporting cast plays like they have in this series.
--Late in the games in the series there was almost no standing, the players away from the ball moved and LeBron made the right moves.  It is 50/50 in my mind.  Not only must the players run the play, but LeBron has to put them in a position to be successful.  For example, not dribbling backwards into a corner when faced with a double team.
--Also LeBron did a great job tonight of continuing to attack the basket even though his shot was off.  He got to the line 17 times, which kept the Cavs afloat when they couldn't make a shot in the first half.
--It will be overlooked, but Game 4 was a breakthrough for Daniel Gibson.  He made a handful of shots in the series, but Monday he played at crunch time and played well at both ends.  A couple of times on switches he was actually guarding Antawn Jamison in the fourth and he held his own.  It will give him confidence.
--With all the positives, Sasha Pavlovic was a negative in Game 4 and for much of the series.  He is in a bit of a rut offensively.  Also, as I discussed before the series, he's too prone to get into early foul trouble.  He'll need to step up his game in the next series, especially if it is the Nets and he's got to go opposite Vince Carter.
--No one is perfect, but it should be pointed out how well Mike Brown performed in this series.  Obviously the Wizards were undermanned, but for the most part Brown was effective in his rotations and he made some wise subs throughout the series.  The Cavs also executed a number of times out of timeouts.
--The Cavs allowed 92 points and 41 percent shooting in the series.  Just wanted to point that out.
--Jamison played great and didn't get much national credit.  Man, does he get a lot of junk points.  It's amazing to see it over and over.  But you could totally see him get worn out almost every game and when he gets tired, it makes it very hard for him to create.  He scored just three points in the last 16 minutes of Game 1, just five points in the fourth in Game 3 and five points in the fourth of Game 4.  Him dribbling the ball off his foot late was probably due to fatigue.
--I just saw a graphic on TNT about Z with the tagline "Lethal Lithuanian."  Never thought I'd see that.
--After the game, someone asked LeBron what made the Cavs such good foul shooters all of a sudden (the shot 83 percent from the line in the series) and LeBron said "because the media said we couldn't shoot them."  Excuse me?  The media just looked at the stat sheet, Bron-bron.  But hey, whatever gets you going.
--At shootaround on Monday morning, Gilbert Arenas was in the hall when the Cavs came out for shootaround.  He was running smack at Damon Jones, he said "So DJ, are you going to play in the last game?"  Last game?  Even Gilbert knew it was over.

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