Cavs/Pistons Game 4 Recap
Cavs end an era in Detroit Pistons and easily advance to the second round.
Like most of the viewing public, I’m missing most of the first half because the Boston/Chicago game’s going into double overtime. I wish I was covering this series instead…The three that Ben Gordon knocks down to force the game into the second overtime is crazy the way he takes an giant hop step to create space away from Pierce before launching on the fade. The way he grabs his nutz afterward is even crazier. Loved it. Love Ben Gordon, he’s playing bigger than he is. And that shot comes after he nearly gets knocked out of the game from an awkward tumble. He and Ray Allen are on fire at the end of regulation and into the first overtime but they eventually cool down forcing others to step it up.
A lot of what-if with this game. Like what if Tyrus Thomas had passed the ball to Derrick Rose to the left after he got the rebound toward the end of the regulation when he knew the Celtics would try to foul him to stop the clock. He missed the front end of two when he could’ve put his team up four, which allowed Boston to tie it with a three and force it into overtime.
Big Baby is really rising to the occasion like Rondo with Garnett sidelined. Watching KG on the sideline is unsightly but the Celts are still exciting to watch execute.
Like Stuart Scott, Jon Berry, and Magic Johnson who still give the Celtics the edge, I figure they’ll eventually take this series. The Bulls could closed it out early in the second OT but some of their shot selection doesn’t inspire confidence. Derrick Rose is a non-factor in OT because he’s less assertive and deferring to Gordon who’s gone cold.
I’m switched to Cavs/Pistons with under a minute to go in the first and it’s the usual with Detroit getting outplayed and embarrassed at every turn even though the Pistons have their thoroughbreds (Bynum, Afflalo, Maxiell etc) in the game. Sheed’s still not contributing. Neither is Prince or Rip. They look so obsolete it’s not even funny.
The music the networks use for all the games suck. Hardly any rap and the rock is weaker than water. The game in Chicago was like that. It’s Motown and yet the music isn’t even reflective of the city’s musical heritage. I find it ironic that most of the talent are of the hip-hop generation and probably listen to it around the clock but audience demographics ensures that the music is tighty whitey enough not to ruffle any feathers. Just one of those things that make ya go “hmmmmm.”
Something else to make ya go “hmmmm” is the Piston’s habit of starting out strong and then losing steam. They look like the Pistons of old through most of third but quickly start to fall backs.
First time I’ve seen a chink in Brawn’s armor when Sheed whacks him on the nose and his eyes start to water and his nose starts to bleed. Brawn’s is so diesel you can just make out the stretch marks under the black matte of tats across his shoulders where he’s grown so fast.
Even though the Pistons are keeping it close Cavs still look in complete control spreading the floor and making extra passes and getting to the free throw line and forcing the Pistons into bad half-court execution.
Varejao gets the cram off a double team on Brawn who brings it with a vengeance after getting whacked in the nose. He barrels through Rip and Dice like they’re paper. Say what you want about Varejao but he’s holding his own especially with Ben Wallace on the sideline a lot. Both of them in together give the Cavs a great advantage on the boards but with Wallace injured Varejao is getting his. He’s more of an offensive asset than Ben scoring nine a game and he’s hard to contain on the glass but he’s still a clown. He’s an icon with the hairdo. The headband and irascible style kind of reminds me of Bill Walton when he was with the Blazers in the seventies. He’s killing the Pistons off the double team like they’re not confident he can find his way to the basket. The way he spins off one pick and runs right in front of Rip who doesn’t even pick him up demonstrates the Pistons lack of awareness and hustle. I gotta give Varejao dap for coming to play this season after starting last season in a contractual dispute and eventually returning to the team out of shape. I like the way he’s made himself an integral component to the Cavs success. He’s come a long way.
What’s up with the Dos Equis commercials with the jai alai?!? The grainy you tube-like commercial of the Cavs going crazy over the new shoes is hysterical. Who’s the guy with his nosed jammed in the fresh pair of new kicks.
Is Delonte West a blood or a crip? His tats and braids look prison-issue straight up and down. He’s one hard-core looking dude and looking not-to-shabby today.
Jason Maxiell may’ve had a sorry season and not lived up to expectations but he’s four for four from the charity stripe in the third.
Some of the moves Brawn’s added to his repertoire are really impressive. Like how he walks the defender down to the top of the key and pulls up for the jumper. He’s hit a few of those in the third because the Pistons keep giving it to him. Defenders can’t depend on him being inconsistent from the perimeter anymore. His perimeter shooting is no where near suspect but I guess it’s the easiest way to keep him outside and just a little bit less dangerous but what kind of strategy is that, if it even is one?
At the end of the third I still wish the Bulls and Celtics were still balling.
Some of the statistics for this series are astounding. Like Brawn outscoring the entire frontcourt and his trips to the charity stripe. His free throw shooting is a huge step up from last year. He’s only missed two times the entire series and he’s been to the stripe nearly fifty times. There’s no way he’s leaving Cleveland in 2010. Any hopes of him going to New York or anywhere else is a pipe dream.
The fourth quarter is relatively painless and devoid of highlight reel material. Like Jim Morrison said, this is the end. The Pistons are history. The Cavs made sure of that by finishing them off decisively. It was so one-sided I’m relieved that it’s finally over.
I like the Cavs’ chances in the second round no matter what match up they pull. I also suspect it’s gonna be a lot more physical and contentious. Somewhere down the line a new rivalry is gonna get stoked or an older one is gonna be revived. The Cavs were hardly challenged in this series but by killing it quick in four they’ll we well rested for whoever’s next. Almost all the other series look like they’re going to go down the wire. The Bulls and Celtics looked exhausted by the end of the second overtime. Joakim Noah could hardly stand toward the end. The physical factor and the fact that the Cavs are nearly unbeatable at home still makes them the favorites in the east for me but it definitely isn’t gonna be as easy as this tune-up was.
They’re the team to beat.