I’ve seen this movie before

I’m trying not to panic. I really am trying. It’s just not working. No matter how many people tell me the Cavaliers will be fine, despite their 107-106 loss to Orlando in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals, I’m not buying it.
Maybe it’s because I was in Municipal Stadium for The Drive in 1987.
Maybe it’s because I took a seven-mile walk to get over The Fumble, or because I searched my apartment for something to throw through my TV screen when Jose Mesa blew a one-run lead against the Marlins in the World Series.
Or maybe it’s because, as I watched the Magic score easy basket after easy basket in the second quarter Wednesday night, I knew right then that the Cavs were in deep, deep trouble in this serious.
Yes, I knew a loss was inevitable even when the Cavaliers held a 15-point halftime lead and LeBron James was having perhaps his greatest game as a Cavalier.
Only a life-long Cleveland sports fan can be that certain of impending doom even in the aftermath of Mo Willaims hitting a 66-foot three-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
So you can tell me not to panic, but that’s a little like the time my dad told me not to look down on the double-ferris wheel at Cedar Point. “Don’t think about it and you won’t be scared,” he said.
Didn’t work then, and it ain’t working now.
If I thought the Cavs could do something, anything, to keep Orlando from scoring in triple figures, I’d calm down.
But while Cleveland has ample bodies inside – Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Ben Wallace, Anderson Varajeo and Joe Smith – none of them are equipped to prevent Dwight Howard from getting any shot he wants, whenever he wants it.
It would be of considerable comfort if the Cavaliers, a great help-and-recover defensive team – could double-team Howard, but they cannot.
Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu , Rafer Alston and Mickael Pietrus shoot far too well to allow that, as evidenced by the Magic’s 55% shooting success.
Just that quickly, it’s all changed for the Cavaliers. They go from the best team in the NBA, one with homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs, one on an incredible roll (winning eight playoff games by double figures), with the best player in the world….and one game later they are in a backs-to-the-wall, must-win-or-forget-it dilemma.
And you wonder why I panic?

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One Response to “I’ve seen this movie before”

  1. Steve Croyle Says:

    I’m not going to panic. I’ve simply resigned myself to Cleveland reality. The Cavs will loose in 5. It doesn’t help that Mo Williams, who has played like a chump in this series, went out and gave the Magic bulletin board material. Nobody is better at playing the disrespect card than Stan VanGundy. He managed to turn LeBron’s heroic shot in game two into a slap in the face for his team.

    The biggest problem the Cavs have is Z, who turns into Steve Kerr the moment somebody gets rough with him. You’re 7-3, Z, get in there and give Dwight Howard the business. I just don’t see the rest of the Cavs growing chest hair and manning up in time to pull it out. Dominant big men win titles. When the Cavs collapse to help Z, the Magic drill those open 3s. It’s so simple, but yet the Cavs don’t have an answer. Maybe LBJ needs to head for the low post and go mano a mano with Howard.

    Aside from LBJ the Cavs are soft. The Magic are too physical for them and the Cavs don’t have an answer. Even if they manage to get by Orlando they don’t have enough depth to outlast the Lakers in a best of 7 and if Denver wins that series they won’t have the brutes to cope with Martin in the middle. So it’s just as well.

    The Cavs are done. I don’t want to believe it but I have to. I have to watch the rest of this series almost cocky in the knowledge that the team I want to win simply can’t win. The 66 win season was a fluke. The Cavs just don’t have the extra oomph to hoist a title this year.

    I hope they prove me wrong, but pessism is my security blanket.

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