Cleveland vs. Boston: Preview

It is that time of year again Cavalier fans. The Eastern Conference Semi-finals are here and guess who they are playing? The despised Boston Celtics and the “Big Three” will be in town. Below are some major headlines and things we need to know before the series tips off in about 48 hours from now.

History: Let’s just say there is not much love between these two franchises. In 2008 the favored Boston Celtics were pushed to seven games against Cleveland. The battle began a rivalry that still stands to this day. The seventh game of the 2008 series saw a true one-on-one battle between LeBron James and Paul Pierce. LeBron scored an epic 45 points trying to will his team to victory, while Pierce also scored a remarkable 41 points that led Boston past the Cavaliers and eventually won the NBA Championship. Cleveland has not forgotten that series and to this day every game has been a hard-fought physical battle between the two.

LeBron remebers 2008 and wants pay back

LeBron’s Elbow: In the winning moments in a game 5 victory over the Chicago Bulls LeBron shot a dreadful looking left-handed free throw. He did have an MRI and X-rays taken which showed no damage to the elbow. Also he got treatment on Wednesday and is expected to undergo more testing before Saturday’s game. “I’m not concerned,” James told reporters after the game. “I’m healthy, I’m ready, and we are looking forward to the second round.” LeBron also added, “Cleveland fans have nothing to be worried about. They don’t have any reason to panic.” Let’s hope so, if the elbow does not bother LeBron, then his 36.5 points, 8.3 assists and 6.5 rebounds thus far against the Celtics this season will not see a decline.

Boston’s Big Three: How much are they going to be able to carry the load like they did in 2008? How much slower are they? Can they stay healthy? So many questions are yet to be answered about the “Big Three”. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce must remain healthy and play like how they did in 2008 to have a chance against the revamped Cavaliers. Speaking of which:

Cavaliers Depth Vs Boston Depth: The 2010 Cavaliers are not the same as the 2008 Cavaliers. The starting line-up for them featured, James, Ben Wallace, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West. The only remaining starter is LeBron. The rest of the starters now include, Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Antwan Jamison and Shaq. More talented and better players are now on the side of the Cavaliers. That does not even include the bench, in which the Cavaliers have Anderson Varejao, Jamario Moon, Delonte West, Ilgauskas, and if they need to go deeper they have J.J. Hickson, Boobie and Jawad Willams. Boston has a very slim picking on the bench. Their back-up point guard is Tony Allen, Rasheed looks like his best days are behind him and Nate Robinson looks lost. The Depth between the two is really not even a contest.

Match-Up Problem: Antwan Jamison vs. Kevin Garnett or Kendrick Perkins. With Jamison’s ability to shoot outside and score inside, he will make it tough for either of the Celtic’s forwards to guard him. Kevin Garnett looks like he is at least 5 steps slower than in 2008 and Perkins is to slow and plays mainly in the paint. This proves how good of a GM Danny Ferry is and preparing this team for the post-season.

Antwan will create match-up problems with these guys

X-Factor: It has to be Mo Williams. He might have the toughest job on the Cavaliers. Taking a backseat to James and Jamison he now is the third option on the offensive side of the ball. Compared to 2009 he was the second option. He is used to shooting three’s and creating offense for himself while LeBron and Jamison are on the bench. He is a shooter which means like all shooters, he is a streaky shooter. He must produce in this series and make his three’s. It showed against Boston earlier in the season when Shaq got hurt, Mo made 4 three’s in the 4th quarter and the Cavaliers ended up blowing out the Celtics. Mo must stay aggressive and make his three’s for the Cavaliers to have a good chance advancing.

If LeBron James elbow stays somewhat healthy and the Cavs play like their capable of they will move on to the next round. Cavs in 6

LeBron Deserves Rest- Stop the Complaining

It baffles me that ESPN columnists can go write such articles that makes LeBron an awful player for sitting out the last four meaningless games. It’s almost like they can’t write-up any articles about how amazing his 30 point, 8 rebound and 8 assist game the night before was. So, instead they write-up horrific articles that pin point him being the bad guy.

For more than a week the Cavaliers have clinched the best record in the NBA and will have home court advantage throughout the playoffs. So why is everyone talking about LeBron sitting out these last four games? Why is everyone saying he is no longer the MVP? All of this is non-sense, just flat-out idiocy. LeBron owes the fans? Please, maybe the fans owe him.

To say LeBron lost his MVP award (by the way he already won the award in December) is just outrageous and offensive. Last time someone checked, his PER (Player Efficiency Rating) was at 31.31. That is third best in history behind Michael Jordan and LeBron himself. That on top of leading a team to a league best 61-20 record, while averaging just over 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and a career best 8.6 assists shows why he deserves to rest for the playoffs. Oh, and stop comparing him to Michael Jordan, his game is more like Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. So stop with all the chitchat about how Jordan played all 82 games no matter the circumstance. LeBron carries more weight on his shoulders than Jordan ever has. But really who cares what Jordan did, we are talking about LeBron, which has no comparison to Jordan what so ever.

Give money back to the fans? Please, keep the $192,437 your making per game and buy yourself something nice. Do not divide it and pay each of the 20 thousand fans for coming out to watch you play. Fans should know that you need the rest after a hard-fought season. It’s not fair to the fans? It’s not fair to LeBron to hear all this after what he has accomplished this season. Even if you pay 100 dollars for a great seat, watch the Cavs play. Do not call yourself a fan if you come only to watch LeBron and not the Cavs.

The playoff’s could not come soon enough, that way ESPN columnists can get back to writing how awesome this guy really is. Fans can get back to realizing how great he has played this season, and for myself, well I will sit back and watch everyone else eat their words.

Prepare for History- Win or Lose

Remember back in 2002-2003 before the Cavaliers drafted LeBron James? They had a starting line-up of Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Carlos Boozer, Darius Miles, Ricky Davis and Milt Palacio and finished 17-65. People may not realize that was only eight years ago, but too many, it may seem like decades. That’s all because of a guy the Cavaliers selected number one overall by the name of LeBron James, who came fresh out of high school. That “guy” has changed the city of Cleveland dramatically by bringing an entirely new attitude.

In LeBron’s first season in a Cavalier uniform, he lead his team to 35 wins, doubling what the team had accomplished before he was drafted. It only took LeBron until his third season to take the Cavaliers to the postseason. Since then, LeBron has always put the Cavaliers in postseason conversations and Cleveland back on the basketball map. After a win earlier this month, the Cavaliers have posted back-to-back 60 plus wins in a season, something only eleven other teams have accomplished in the history on the NBA. This new winning attitude made long-lived Clevelanders believe a championship was coming very soon.

This attitude, however, has changed over the past few seasons. The Cavaliers have been in a position to win the NBA title since 2007, when LeBron lead his Cavaliers to the NBA finals, only to watch the title get swept away by the San Antonio Spurs. Then, in the 2008-2009 season, with the Cavaliers posting a record of 66-16 after trading for Mo Williams, fans started thinking this was the year to win it and finally have a major sports championship, only to watch the Cavaliers fall to the Orlando Magic in a surprising, shocking loss in the conference finals. A year later, the Cavaliers have Shaq, traded for Antawn Jamison, and a record of 61-18, a league-best , and have entered the postseason yet again, however with a different feeling than the last few seasons.

With so much at stake, this just might be the biggest postseason in Cleveland’s history. As everyone knows, LeBron James’ contract will end after this season, and Clevelanders can only assume the worst. Past events such as “The Drive” and “The Shot” have made many believe Cleveland is cursed. Many believe LeBron will leave and go play for New York if the Cavaliers do not win the championship this season, while others believe he will go play elsewhere even if they do win. This makes the Cavalier’s 2010 post-season possibly their last chance to win a championship for a long time.

With so much on the line, Cleveland can only sit back and watch the post-season with the rest of the world and wonder, regardless of the outcome, what will happen to Cleveland in the future, win or lose.