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Exiled_Devil
05-31-2007, 11:00 PM
I rarely watch NBA ball, except when Duke players in the playoffs, but as I was looking for a distraction from writing at 11 tonight, I noticed the Piston-Cavs game was going into OT.

Lebron James has officially arrived. He put his team on his back, scoring the last 28(?) points for the team, and making insane shots when he was double and tripled team. To finish in double OT, he dropped in the game-winning layup during which I counted at least 3 fouls that were not called.

This guy is good. He deserves the superstar label, and detractors should just sit down and watch the show.

Exiled

VaDukie
05-31-2007, 11:23 PM
I just watched the end of the game with my Dad. What Lebron did tonight was stunning.

ehdg
05-31-2007, 11:27 PM
The man was just on fire tonight!! He absolutely wouldn't let his team lose and took the bull by the horns tonight. I think his coach, Brown did a good thing resting him for like 3 minn at the start of the 4th quarter. It gave him fresher legs for down the stretch and into 2 OT's.

Detroit took the Cavs very lightly I think and are lucky to still be playing. If James & the Cavs make some better choices in the last seconds of Games 1 & 2 in Detroit they could & should have swept this series.

phaedrus
05-31-2007, 11:42 PM
the scary part is if he develops a consistent jump shot (not even a great one) he can do that every night.

jma4life
06-01-2007, 12:34 AM
This was truly an awe-inspiring performance by Lebron tonight. His performance today was really one of those games where words really don't come close to doing it justice.

dukeENG2003
06-01-2007, 07:25 AM
If James & the Cavs make some better choices in the last seconds of Games 1 & 2 in Detroit they could & should have swept this series.


Do you mean if Donyell Marshall makes the correct "choice" and HITS the wide open 3 pointer he was given, or Larry Hughes "chooses" to hit the wide open 15 footer that he had?

Decision making was hardly the problem, they just needed to hit the open shots that they had, each game they were faced with a wide open shot to win the game, and didn't hit it. And don't give me this "Lebron needs to always take the last shot" stuff, I couldn't believe the criticism James got after game 1, people seem to forget that TWO of Michael Jordan's championships were won on IDENTICAL plays to game 1, once to John Paxson for 3 and the other to Steve Kerr.

Dukerati
06-01-2007, 07:37 AM
Anyone else think Flip Saunders blew it at the end by single-covering Lebron at the top of the key? I, for one, was screaming at the TV. The man has not missed a shot in about an hour and you are going to leave him isolated at the top of the key? The Pistons should've thrown two men at him AND had a weakside defender in the paint. Lebron put on a virtuoso performance last night but I thought the coaching decision by Flip Saunders was even more stunning...

JasonEvans
06-01-2007, 08:03 AM
Is it premature to say I am really, really looking forward to seeing Bruce Bowen, probably the finest one-on-one perimeter defender in the NBA, take on Lebron?

--Jason "Spurs in 5 or maybe 6, I say" Evans

kydevil
06-01-2007, 08:13 AM
I dont think Flip intended to guard Lebron one on one, I think that the other defenders didn't come over and help out in time. Billups should have had help as soon as Lebron beat him. Personally though I don't think it would have mattered how many were on LeBron last night you just knew he was gonna hit that shot.
I would love to see Bruce Bowen attempt to guard LeBron, I just worry for LeBron's health :D. I don't see how the Cavs could stop the Spurs though.

dukelifer
06-01-2007, 08:14 AM
Lebron was amazing last night. If they made a movie of it- people would not have believed that could ever happen- a player scoring every point in the last 20 minutes, 1 against 5. But I am thinking- he is so much better after a little coaching by K last summer and some metoring by GM Ferry. I don't know fore sure- but perhaps a little one-on-one time with Wojo made all the difference. Look what it did for Boozer! ;)

jaimedun34
06-01-2007, 08:35 AM
I dont think Flip intended to guard Lebron one on one, I think that the other defenders didn't come over and help out in time. Billups should have had help as soon as Lebron beat him. Personally though I don't think it would have mattered how many were on LeBron last night you just knew he was gonna hit that shot.
I would love to see Bruce Bowen attempt to guard LeBron, I just worry for LeBron's health :D. I don't see how the Cavs could stop the Spurs though.

I think one of the toughest plays to make is when a player is driving hard to the basket, thinking there is a clear lane and then seeing a defender make the quick rotation over to help. It looked like that is what the Pistons were trying to do on one of LeBron's dunks. If you watch the replay for one of the last dunks, you can see either Hunter or Maxiel in the background right by the basket, and Tahyshaun Prince throws up his arms like, "where's the help?" I think that one of Hunter or Maxiel was assigned to rotate over when LeBron started going to the bucket, but they were late or just screwed up.

tombrady
06-01-2007, 08:43 AM
Is it premature to say I am really, really looking forward to seeing Bruce Bowen, probably the finest one-on-one perimeter defender in the NBA, take on Lebron?

--Jason "Spurs in 5 or maybe 6, I say" Evans

This was accurate perhaps 3 years ago -- no longer, however. Lebron. Would absolutely devour bruce bowen.

(bb does not belong in the same sentance as. Lebron.)

kydevil
06-01-2007, 09:06 AM
Agreed I don't think Bowen could stop Lebron. He is to strong,quick,athletic, etc... The spurs would need team defense to stop him.

wiscodevil
06-01-2007, 09:09 AM
Agreed I don't think Bowen could stop Lebron. He is to strong,quick,athletic, etc... The spurs would need team defense to stop him.


or double teaming him. i can't believe these coaches get paid the money they do and can't think of this.

Dukerati
06-01-2007, 09:16 AM
I dont think Flip intended to guard Lebron one on one, I think that the other defenders didn't come over and help out in time. Billups should have had help as soon as Lebron beat him. Personally though I don't think it would have mattered how many were on LeBron last night you just knew he was gonna hit that shot.
I would love to see Bruce Bowen attempt to guard LeBron, I just worry for LeBron's health :D. I don't see how the Cavs could stop the Spurs though.

I will have to disagree with you there Ky. Lebron had the ball for a very long time at the top of the key, running down the clock. I think if Flip did not intend to guard Lebron one-on-one, he should have thrown two guys at Lebron from the very beginning to try to get it out of his hands and make someone else beat them...

kydevil
06-01-2007, 09:16 AM
or double teaming him. i can't believe these coaches get paid the money they do and can't think of this.

Well I think Flip tried this some last night, there wasn't any stopping LeBron last night he was on a mission. However there for a little they just totally overloaded on LeBron in one of the overtimes and forced others to shoot, I believe it was Pavlovic took 3 terrible shots and missed all of them. Then LeBron just started pulling up and drilling amazing shots which there was no defense that could stop it.

feldspar
06-01-2007, 10:25 AM
If James & the Cavs make some better choices in the last seconds of Games 1 & 2 in Detroit they could & should have swept this series.

This sounds eeeerily like UVa/Florida State loss arguments from earlier this year.

Olympic Fan
06-01-2007, 10:36 AM
Let me chime in and agree that LeBron's performance was one for the ages.

As for the coaching decisions, let me suggest you check out Bill Simmons' column from yesterday that's up on ESPN. He follows NBA better than I do and going into last night, he rips both coaches for the inept performances.

greybeard
06-01-2007, 10:45 AM
Anyone else think Flip Saunders blew it at the end by single-covering Lebron at the top of the key? I, for one, was screaming at the TV. The man has not missed a shot in about an hour and you are going to leave him isolated at the top of the key? The Pistons should've thrown two men at him AND had a weakside defender in the paint. Lebron put on a virtuoso performance last night but I thought the coaching decision by Flip Saunders was even more stunning...

Dumars booted Brown out the door because he was stealing everybody's thunder, including his, Dumars'. Wanted the credit for himself. Had Flipper waiting in the wings once he could make Brown gone.

Well, be careful what you wish for. Flipper ain't no bench coach, not at playoff time when the real game begins. Brown is, perhaps without peer. You hear Kenny Smith squaking about how Billips and Rip were not making good decisions in the previous games; they didn't have Larry whispering in their ear is why.

Flipper could not get it done in Minn. and is in danger of going down again without making it to the finals with a roster that everyone seems to agree is the best, or at least top three, in the league. Certainly the best in the East.

Wave goodbye Flipper, and do shut off the lights.

BTW, I do not know how anybody faults LeBron for the pass in game one. His coach puts in whatshisname for the Center who can hit the 15 footer all night. He sends whatshisname, his best three point shooter to the corner, outside the line. Everybody in the building knows that when LeBron comes, and he was going to come, whatshisname's man collapses. Whatshisname makes, and Cleveland goes home with a win. LeBron keeps it and scores the ball. We have a tie, in the other guys' gym, with the other guys outplaying us and the game going to OT. If the coach did not tell LeBron that going for the win if it presented itself was THE option, I'd be surprised. If he didn't tell him that it was more than okay to use that option if he knew the guy would have time and space, I'd be shocked. It was the play to make, as in absolutely.

I like that Brown let LeBron take the heat for the decision. LeBron is the man and telling the press that LeBron was just following orders would diminish him in the public eye. LeBron's shoulders are broad, and he is the MAN in every sense of the word. For my money, Brown ain't half bad himself.

devilmon
06-01-2007, 12:10 PM
I don't believe in haphazard extrapolation, but Cavs were 2-0 against SA this year. This is in response to those that think SA would walk all over them (similar to what was said about Detroit, btw). I'm not trying to imply that the Cavs would even win the series.... but I don't think SA would beat the Cavs up. IMHO, the Cavs match up well with SA.

dukemsu
06-01-2007, 12:30 PM
Three thoughts on the Lebronathon from last night:

1. James put on the finest performance I've seen him offer thus far. On the road, under pressure, just outstanding. What I'm saying below is not detracting from Lebron's efforts.

2. He got a lot of help from some truly horrible coaching/defensive execution. As said elsewhere on this thread, I think Flip did try to get his players to double, but for some reason, the players didn't execute the switches well. How else does Maxiell get matched up on James top of the key? Yikes. The last shot should never have been allowed. Make the guy beat you from the line.

3. Speaking of the line, James received three complete phantom calls in the fourth quarter that gave him free throws. He has obviously now been granted the Wade Rules-just drive the lane, run into someone or flail your body, and be granted two at the line. That, combined with Wallace clearly being fouled on his shot with the game tied on the Pistons' second to last possession, should justifiably drive Detroit crazy. The Pistons don't help themselves with their compulsive bellyaching to the refs, but that doesn't defend the refs clearly blowing several calls.

That said, the Pistons look like a tired team at the end of their run. That team will likely undergo a mini-overhaul, starting with the coach.

dukemsu

devilmon
06-01-2007, 12:39 PM
Agreed, dukemsu. However, I think there were bad calls both ways, especially in crunch time. LeBron was nailed on the arm with about 2 minutes left in regulation that wasn't called and could have severely impacted the outcome. Detroit (and Cleveland) coaching has been really bad.

phaedrus
06-01-2007, 12:40 PM
The last shot should never have been allowed. Make the guy beat you from the line.


i don't think the last shot was allowed. i saw at least two pistons hack him on that shot. still, they should have doubled before he even started dribbling.

edit: i saw the replay again, and while the help was kind of late, by the time lebron got to the foul line there were 4 pistons in the paint. he just took off from about 13 feet and jumped right through them.

ikiru36
06-01-2007, 12:49 PM
I do not wish to diminish the magnitude of what was certainly an awesome performance last night, but Lebron did benefit from Detroit losing its best interior defender for the final 3 quarters of the game (plus 2 overtimes). Not that McDyess is Ben Wallace, or an especially imposing shot blocker, but their entire inside rotation (both meanings) was altered and, yet again, with a chance to be a difference maker in crunch time, Webber failed to step up (harder to blame young guys like Maxiell).

Despite the Pistons overall record under him, Flip Saunders has contiued to be criticized by Pistons fans for his poor in-game adjustments and he provided ample evidence of that concern last night. Don't get me wrong, Lebron was awesome last night (taking what was available and making the most of it) but whether one criticizes the failure to double/triple team Lebron to simply get the ball out of his hands or the atrocious help defense, someone didn't make good adjustments during the overtimes, at least. Eventually, Cleveland was without Ilgauskas, Hughes, Gooden and Gibson so every card was in the Pistons favor to make other, offensively challenged, players step up.

Lebron was great, but the Pistons helped him out a lot. The big thing in the next game is McDyess return, because even with the horrible interior defense and Lebron catching fire, Cleveland still eaked it out. And as close as Cleveland was in games one and two, the Pistons were right there in Cleveland in three and four. It's gonna be interesting.

I agree that Cleveland is under-rated as they have really solid depth, including some playoff veterans. But, should they meet the Spurs, they will need Pavlovich, Hughes, Ilgauskas or whomever to be a second star alongside Lebron. I'm not a fan of the Spurs dirty play and flopping, but they are without a doubt the not-so-classy class of the league.

Go Duke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Devils!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GTHCGTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Classof06
06-01-2007, 03:30 PM
Can't believe it's taken me so long to respond to this thread, but it is a MARVELOUS Friday in Cleveland!!!! What a performance last night; I still have goosebumps. Lebron James was absolutely phenomenal. What makes this so gratifying is the amount of criticism this kid has taken at such a young age. I stand by the fact that in the age of 24/7 sports coverage (which Michael Jordan didn't really have to go through), Lebron James is arguably the most scrutinized/nitpicked player in the history of the NBA. So for him to lay it on the line last night was truly memorable. This is and always will be "Brownstown," but games like last night are what Cavs fans and all Clevelanders envisioned the night we learned we got the #1 pick for the 2003 draft. It is truly great to see.

As far as Detroit goes, McDyess certainly didn't deserve to be ejected, and I argued with my brother about that as soon as it happened. I thought an ejection was way over the top. But to say or even suggest Detroit lost because they didn't have McDyess is just short-sighted; Detroit should have never let that game get past regulation. And while McDyess is an important player for them, he's no more than a complimentary player on that team. I also think that Flip Saunders (ironically, a Cleveland native) has absolutely no control over that team. You have Sheed arguing with assistant coaches, Billups and Hamilton fighting over who gets to take the technical shots; this team is falling apart, people. Fast.

I went to Game 4 on Tuesday night and the atmosphere was unbelievable, so Detroit is going to have to play better than they've played all series to win Game 6. That being said, I'll be going crazy tomorrow night. I can't believe the Cleveland Cavaliers are one win away from the NBA finals. Wish us luck, baby!!!

dukeENG2003
06-02-2007, 01:22 PM
As far as Detroit goes, McDyess certainly didn't deserve to be ejected

The standard has been set in the playoffs this year. McDyess's hit was far worse than Robert Horry's hit on Steve Nash. Seemed like a pretty easy decision to me, based on what we've seen so far in these playoffs. Frankly, given what we've seen, he should feel lucky not to be suspended.

calltheobvious
06-02-2007, 05:53 PM
The standard has been set in the playoffs this year. McDyess's hit was far worse than Robert Horry's hit on Steve Nash. Seemed like a pretty easy decision to me, based on what we've seen so far in these playoffs. Frankly, given what we've seen, he should feel lucky not to be suspended.

Agreed. I was a little surprised at how cavalier Steve Kerr was about the foul. Like Kerr, I don't think there was real intent to harm on the play, but I do think that McDyess was guilty of incredibly gross negligence, and given the action (clothesline) and the point of contact (neck/head), I thought flagrant 2 was exactly right.

jaimedun34
06-02-2007, 06:49 PM
I heard an analyst praising Detroit for their "resilience". I find that almost offensive! Honestly, Detroit should be ashamed of the display the have put on since going up 2-0. They have an advantage at almost every position. The only disadvantage, if you want to call it that, is Prince on James, and Tayshaun Prince made his name by shutting down the Kobe's, T-Mac's and Iversons of the world. Detroit did the same thing with this series that they did with the whole season. They just fiddled around because they didn't think the Cavs were a worthy opponent, and now they think that that can just turn it on when they feel like it.

Detroit is getting by on reputation right now, and I don't like it. Analysts still praise them for their defense and it's funny because if anyone on Cleveland could make a wide open shot, the Pistons would have never had a 2-0 lead to begin with.

Go Cavs.

dukemsu
06-02-2007, 10:25 PM
Okay, it's halfway through the 4th quarter of game 6.

Free throws: Cleveland has shot 40. Detroit 17.

NBA Officiating. It's Fan-tastic.

No, Detroit isn't playing well, but this is ludicrous. Saunders should have thrown a chair by now. Popovich will not stand for this nonsense in the Finals. He would've gotten himself ejected by now.

That said, Wallace's behavior was embarassing, and Detroit is getting what it deserves. But the NBA's officiating is bad beyond belief.

dukemsu

devilmon
06-02-2007, 11:01 PM
As a tortured Clevelander, I'm happy to see the Cavs advance.

Many props to our very own Danny Ferry for his stewardship as GM.

Oriole Way
06-02-2007, 11:41 PM
Definite kudos to Danny Ferry, but four grandmothers and LeBron James could make it to the finals out of the East.

phaedrus
06-03-2007, 01:29 AM
Okay, it's halfway through the 4th quarter of game 6.

Free throws: Cleveland has shot 40. Detroit 17.

NBA Officiating. It's Fan-tastic.

No, Detroit isn't playing well, but this is ludicrous. Saunders should have thrown a chair by now. Popovich will not stand for this nonsense in the Finals. He would've gotten himself ejected by now.

That said, Wallace's behavior was embarassing, and Detroit is getting what it deserves. But the NBA's officiating is bad beyond belief.

dukemsu

not to agree or disagree about the officiating, but duke fans of all people should know better than to use free throw statistics to judge referees.

Classof06
06-04-2007, 05:40 PM
not to agree or disagree about the officiating, but duke fans of all people should know better than to use free throw statistics to judge referees.

Great point. EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!