Cavaliers Sent The Pistons Packing For An Early Vacation.
The Cavaliers brought their “A” game and a broom to the Palace at Auburn Hills and the Detroit Pistons provided enough for the Cavs to sweep. The dominance of Lebron James, Mo Williams and Co. proved to be superior to the Pistons for the 7-game series, which ended on Sunday after a 4-game sweep. The Pistons’, who made it to majority of the NBA playoffs over the last seven years, stayed in the game for most of the series, but were clearly out hustled and out played by a young and hungry Cavaliers’ team led by the phenom Lebron James. In one way, I was truly happy for the Cavs and the leadership of the 24-year old James, and on the other hand I was disappointed with the Pistons for their seemingly lack luster efforts. After all they were the ones who played hungry and were expected to come from behind and make it happen; gosh they have done this over and over again. But by game 3 of the series, I knew that the Pistons’ era of winning had come to a crashing halt.
There are just some things about winners, their style of play and confident demeanor, and I did not think that the Pistons exhibited such a posture. Their energy seemed low, yes they hacked James around, but in the end he was far too strong to succumb to such attacks. At one point during the series, I was taken aback after seeing the Pistons players, neglecting to even assist their teammates up from the floor after a tough play. I know, giving the Pistons the benefit of the doubt, that they were on the losing side of the ball, but team work is a team effort with each player lending a hand. No one can point to any one thing for their lost, but I was convinced that the remaining casts of players from their championship run were missing Ben Wallace and Chancy Billups, who moved on with other teams. What was the front office thinking you might have asked? Hmm, losing Wallace and Billups should be not an excuse, as players have to learn to pick up the pieces, gel and move on. Instead I saw a bench who gave into losing; I saw the cast of starting five not certain of how to stop James and the Cavs.
The Cavaliers on the other hand were poised, eager and comfortable with their leadership, both from a coaching and player standpoint. They were relentless on defense and stunning on offense. They created plays after play, feeding the ball to whoever was open. Lebron drove the lane, he slammed, he hit jump shots and was hammered on numerous occasions, but that did not stop him. Anderson Varejao powered his way defensively, and did his best to protest James and company from the angered Pistons at times. At his post-game interview James emphasized the “we” in their efforts and described how they pulled away from the Pistons, who have made the second round of the playoffs in the last 7 years. Cavs’ Joe Smith heroism in game 3 should not be overlooked, likewise the consistent efforts from Delonte West and Mo. Williams over the entire series.
Notable mention should be give to Antonio McDyess who was able to create some offense by hitting jumpers, tying his personal playoff best with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Will Bynum also provided a spark off the bench with 22 points, but the rest of the team shot just 12-of-48. But their efforts in the fourth game were not enough to carry them to a fifth game and sadly we have to watched them ride of into the sunset until next season.
Lebron James scored 128 points, 45 rebounds, 30 assists, 6, steals, 3 blocks over the series, followed up by Mo Williams 59 points, 9 rebounds, 22, assists, 3 steals and 1 block. Delonte West had 46 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals with Ilquaskas and Joe Smith 45 and 43 points respectively. Pistons’ Rodney Stuckey averaged 15 points per game followed by Richard Hamilton with 13.3.