Boston Makes Improbable Run

The Clock struck at 11:26 P.M. and the Boston Celtics finished off an unlikely run through the Eastern Conference Finals.

After a year removed from their Championship Boston is back in the Finals

Paul Pierce finished with a game high of 31 points and had 13 rebounds while Nate Robinson followed him with an emotional lift off the bench, scoring 13 second-quarter points when Rajon Rondo hit the floor hard. Nate Robinson came off the bench hitting pull-up three’s to open the game up in the second quarter and left the Orlando Magic stunned. The crowd lifted to its feet and the building was rocking as the smallest guy on the court dominated.

Boston was a 4-seed and many wrote them off before the playoffs even started. Many thought the Miami Heat could pull off the upset. Then Boston knocked off the two teams with the best records in the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers (61-21) and the Orlando Magic (59-23). All of this while beating top players in the league in Wade, James and now
Howard.

Now the Boston Celtics move on the 2010 NBA Finals against either Phoenix or Los Angeles where the Celtics can beat yet another top player in Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash. All while being considered the underdog and not being considered a force in the playoffs. Many can bet that neither Los Angeles nor Phoenix wants to play Boston, only time will tell.

“Orlando Cavaliers”

A 66-16 regular season record and going 8-0 in the first two rounds of the playoffs sounds like an NBA championship is coming very soon. Finishing the season 39-2 at home, with an NBA overall number one seed, the Cleveland Cavaliers thought they were in the driver’s seat to win an NBA Championship. That’s until they met the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals and lost 4-2. A series that many considered an upset after the Magic stole game 1 and the Cavaliers never recovered.

Orlando Shocked the Cavaliers in 2009

So here we are in 2010, while the Cavaliers lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference Semis, the Orlando Magic are back in the Eastern Conference Finals. Orlando is back but all looks way to similar for Cavalier fans. Although Orlando did not finish the regular season with the best record they entered the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league, just as Cleveland did in 2009. Orlando finished second in the conference with a 59-23 record. Throughout the 2010 playoffs Orlando swept their first two opponents, Charlotte and Atlanta. Orlando completely conquered both teams with sharp defense and sharp outside shooting, making them look invincible. Cavalier fans know all to well that is not a good look to have come ECF (Eastern Conference Finals) time.

Thanks to Boston on Sunday, I think everyone might have had a flashback to 2009; even Orlando might be having flashbacks. Just like Orlando last year, Boston went in on Sunday and beat Orlando in-game 1 of this series, 92-88 and stole home court advantage. Orlando was the talk of the Eastern Conference; with their stellar play the previous two rounds. However, Boston gave Orlando a beat down. The score does not indicate it, but Boston was up 20 points with 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Just like in 2009, the underdog got the better of the two teams in-game 1 of the Eastern Conference.

Boston is trying to do what Orlando did to Cleveland in 2009

Cavalier fans remember how that series ended in 2009. It ended with Orlando appalling the Cavaliers and advancing to the NBA Finals, after many picking Cleveland to handle Orlando and go on to win the Finals. Orlando stunned the world and it was because of a game 1 beat down of the Cavaliers. Now, Boston is trying to repeat history. After winning game 1 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, the rejuvenated Celtics are trying to do what Orlando did to Cleveland last year, shock the world.

Cleveland might be “Cursed”

Today in Cleveland it feels cloudy, empty, cold, deplorable and worried all at the same time. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost last night to the Boston Celtics 94 to 85. LeBron James had a triple-double and Mo Williams finally decided to show-up for once with 22 points. The sad thing is that even with performances like that the Cavaliers where never even close to winning this game, heck they were never even close to winning this series.

Another disappointing year for Cleveland

The Cavaliers entered the 2010 playoffs with a different type of “swagger”, all LeBron’s teammates kept talking LeBron had a different type of look in his eye that no one has ever seen. However, last night marked another unsatisfactory year for Cleveland fans. A 61-21 record, overall number one seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, the fans thought for sure this might be the year. That all changed after last night. They lost the series against Boston (In the second round) last night 4 games to 2 and left Cleveland astonished, traumatized and disturb.

Boston was the better team out of the two, and they proved it. Boston outplayed Cleveland from the very first tip until the last buzzer sounded. I can only remember game 3 where Cleveland dominated, besides that game; Cleveland got outplayed, outworked, and out hustled by an old aging Boston team. If the Cavaliers gave better effort in games 2, 4 and 5 maybe, just maybe, the series would have been extended. Game 5 will always be remembered as LeBron’s appalling performance. Shooting 3-14 that game and looked like he did not want anything to do with being the leader of a Cavalier team that was playing in-front of his home fans.

Here might be the hardest thing to say. The Cavaliers were closer to winning it all last year when they lost to Orlando, than they were this year losing to the Celtics. If they somehow got past Boston, there was no way the Cavaliers were going to beat Orlando or the Lakers, heck they probably wouldn’t be able to beat the Suns. That is a pretty pathetic thing to say after this season. A season in which Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry could not have given this team a better chance to win it all. Danny went out and got Shaq in the off-season along with Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker for match-up problems. On top of that Ferry traded pretty much nothing to get Antwan Jamison for a reliable scoring threat besides LeBron. The Cavaliers are probably the fifth best team in the league right now, maybe even sixth or seventh, and that is scary.

So scary that it may lead LeBron out of Cleveland. LeBron wants to win and win now. I know that he is happy playing in-front of his hometown and he loves Cleveland. But he will look at other opportunities that are in-front of him. The Cavaliers are no closer to winning a championship this year than they were in 2007 when they actually went to the finals. That 2007 team by the way was not even close to the talent on the 2010 roster. LeBron may think change is good, he is going to look at options such as: Chicago, Miami, New York, and New Jersey.

See you in New York? Maybe, or maybe some where else

Cleveland is “cursed” one way or the other. Feeling so confident entering the 2010 playoffs and then to say the Cavaliers were no closer to winning it this year than four years ago hurts. It feels like a championship is so far away with this team that the Cleveland Browns might get a championship before the Cavaliers.

On July 1st, Cleveland fans might just find out soon enough where their Cavaliers will be in the next couple of years. Fighting for championships or rebuilding for another decade to come. One way or another Cleveland is “Cursed”

SportswithM.com: Cleveland Fans: Enjoy Tonight’s Game