Thursday, May 20, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
It seems Cleveland just quit
The Orlando Magic left little doubt about their readiness to make a run for the last leg of the playoffs.
Actually, they had enough time for a mini-vacation if they were so inclined. They gave the Atlanta Hawks no chance at all in their best of seven. The first three games were all “clock busters.” And the fourth and deciding game missed that distinction by two points.
To say that the Magic is on a playoff roll would be putting it mildly. They had won 14 straight games until Sunday. There was not a blemish on their record against both early series opponents.
Their coach, Stan Van Gundy, made it plain that winning eight straight playoff games didn’t necessarily mean that you get the key to Fort Knox. There are plenty of pro coaches (and non-pro coaches), who practically abhor long breaks in a playoff run. They fear that the euphoria which the team exhibited will have abated before the next contest. Whether or not that was the case with the Magic in Sunday’s game against the Boston Celtics, can be a matter of conjecture or cause for debate. Or it just might be that the Celtics were completely fired up.
And that brings us to a most painful juncture in this week’s offering. The Celtics and the Cavaliers were running neck and neck until Tuesday the 13th took on Friday the 13th connotations. The Celtics went into Cleveland with a lot of cons and very few pros. The Celtics’ Kevin Garnett was adamant about giving LeBron James and his cohorts another chance on their home court. After the Celtics had completed the dismantling of Cleveland in that game five, the worst defeat of their modern playoff history, Garnett had stated that the game in Boston on Thursday would be their “game seven.” “We don’t need to go back to Cleveland against the best team in the league.” Golden praise from an opponent.
I am sure that I don’t have to remind you of my faith in the Cavaliers. This just had to be their moment in time. It has been almost three generations since Cleveland has been the cream of the crop.
Why didn’t they bring it to fruition? If you watched the deciding game, then you know that the Cavaliers pulled a “Forest Gump.” Remember when Gump just stopped running? Inexplicably. With five minutes and seven seconds left, it seemed as if Cleveland just quit. Inexplicably. They didn’t appear overly tired. It was more like a concession.
Since this barb from the Cavaliers is still stinging, it just might be a good idea to concede this one to Kobe and the Lakers.
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