Friday, May 22, 2009

Fear LeBron!

So the Magic beat the Cavaliers in Game 1 in Cleveland, LeBron James' city. Did anybody see this one coming? Put your hand down Van Gundy! Not even you could've predicted this one.

It's a great win for Orlando. No doubt about that. But now they must face a hungrier, meaner LeBron James in Game 2.

An example for emphasis:

Everybody knows that guy from the company softball league that, when another player shows him up or his team is losing, comes to play the next inning with the will and fervor of an angry bull among apathetic lambs (see Budweiser's Real Men of Genius- Mr. Overly Competitive Touch Football Game Player).

Well, imagine that, but on a scale as large as the NBA Eastern Conference Championship Series. And imagine that guy is 6-8, 250 lbs and plays regular season games against the league's worst teams with an unparalleled passion already. *Gulp*

Good luck Orlando.

After losing Game 1 you can bet that LeBron won't get stuck in the comfort zone, or whatever that was, that comes from sweeping the playoff field so far. I mean, it's not like he wasn't trying in Game 1. Nobody scores 49 points, grabs 6 rebounds and has 8 assists without some effort. Not even the great LeBron James. So what happened once Cleveland went up by 14 in the first quarter and went into the half leading by 15? Did they lose their edginess? Did they lose that ice ball in the stomach that keeps you wanting more and more?

Probably a little bit to begin the third. And consequently, Orlando was allowed to catch up. And once they did, it was anybody's ballgame. Don't get me wrong, LeBron never gave up and neither did the Cavs as a team. But when you have a 16 point lead and haven't lost in the playoffs yet, you tend to get a little content.

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Trading clutch shot for clutch shot down the stretch, the Cavs and Magic both deserved to win Wednesday's game. Rashard Lewis hit a key threes and Dwight Howard added 30 points and 13 rebounds to help Orlando pull out the win, so there was certainly no lack of effort on Orlando's part.

Once the Magic put themselves back in it- or in it to begin with- Game 1 was some of the best basketball you will ever see. It was what playoff basketball is chalked up to be. Fearless shots were taken on both sides of the court. Leaders played their roles. And it was good. Last man standing takes it.


Any basketball fan that missed the 4th quarter of Game 1 for whatever reason- outside of turning away to get the digits from Megan Fox- should be ashamed of themselves. Find a tape, scour the Internet, take a ride with Doc Brown, do something!

When the game comes down to a jump ball with 1 second left in the fourth quarter and Mo Williams catches and shoots the tipped ball in mid air missing by an inch you know you've seen something special. It seemed that whoever had the ball last in that game was going to win. Cleveland actually had the ball last, ironically, but couldn't get it done. Maybe LeBron shouldn't have passed away that last real opportunity. But then, you've got to trust that Mo Williams or Delonte West would hit that last shot if given another chance.

Needless to say, LeBron James will come out on Friday night with redemption on his mind and passion in his heart. I would be surprised to see Cleveland squander another big lead in these playoffs. Not after their lesson Wednesday and not with LeBron James on the floor.

Game 2 Pick: Cleveland 98, Orlando 93

Written by Danny Hobrock

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