Thursday, April 29

Because no one else is going to say it

Following a nail-biting 98-96 win over the Chicago Bulls that clinched an opening-round 4-1 series victory, the Cleveland Cavaliers are headed for a second-round date with one of their chief nemeses, the Boston Celtics. The C's earned their spot in the East semis to face Cleveland there for the second time in three years with a 4-1 series triumph over the undermanned Miami Heat, and to read the reports from the national media, you'd think the top-seeded Cavaliers were doomed against Boston in the upcoming matchup. Everything I read on ESPN and SI, and this defiant column by Dan Shaughnessey give the momentum and perhaps the series edge to Boston, based on their perceived superior performance in the opening round of the playoffs.

Guess what? I'm not feeling that. A few points:

1) Shaughnessey's column isn't as bold as it seems on the surface, as picking an underdog never really is. If the Celts win (they won't), he's a genius; if the Cavs win, well, they were a huge favorite anyway, and he was just being provocative. I will, of course, be there to call him out, just in case no one else is.

2) Both teams won their series 4 games to 1. Please, please do not forget this.

3) The Bulls are a tougher team than the Heat. I would definitely rather have had Cleveland play Miami in the first round over Chicago, and I think LeBron and company would have swept the Heat. Past Dwyane Wade, the Heat flat-out have nothing.

4) Nothing to do with the topic at hand, but Dwight Howard sucks. I didn't see the series where he's complaining about having had too many fouls called against him (a series his own team swept - pick your spots, dude), but I've seen Howard enough to know that he has absolutely no grasp of the rules of NBA basketball and is almost certainly wrong in his biased analysis of the situation. You know how teams in sports are sometimes accused of looking past their current opponents to their next foe? I think maybe I'm looking past the Celtics in sports hate and anticipating the Magic. That'll all change when I see Rondo, Wallace, and the rest of those morons in green come Saturday night.

5) Back to the marquee matchup: from where is this concept coming that the Celtics somehow manhandled the Heat and the Cavaliers got all they could handle from the Bulls? As I said, each team lost just one of the five games in their series; Cleveland dropped a two-point decision and Boston suffered a nine-point defeat. Boston posted an average margin of victory of 12.5 ppg (+50); Cleveland defeated the Bulls by an average of 12.0 ppg (+48). Thus, the Cavs posted a better point differential than Boston in their opening-round series against what I feel is a better team, won in the same number of games, and therefore, according to national writers, we're in big trouble while Boston made a big-time statement.

Can we please stop this nonsense?

Go Cavs!

1 comment:

Ernest said...

Well put, Andy. My ultimate dream would be for Belichik + Youkilis, Pedroia, and Papelbon to be sitting courtside at the Garden witnessing the C's losing by 50 in game 4. And then, Shaq belly flops into them while going for a loose ball, thus crushing each of their rib cages. Also, a piano falls on Garnett's throat obliterating his vocal chords and preventing him from ever being able to speak again. Hey, a guy can dream, right?