Cavs/Bulls Game 5 Live Blog
Are the Cavaliers on to the next one?
by Rodger Bohn / @rodgerbohn
Game 5. Closeout time, or stayin’ alive? Can the Cavs find an answer to Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah? Can the Bulls keep LBJ from not dropping 40? All questions that will be answered tonight in a win or go home game for the Bulls.
In other NBA notes, what are your guys’ thoughts on Reke winning ROY? I personally love it. Guy put up amazing numbers and the team was getting W’s until they were hit with the injury bug. I definitely have to give mad love to Young Money for what he’s doing in Milwaukee, but I truly think too much credit is being given to him and not enough to John Salmons. Dude did the same exact thing in Chicago during the second half of the season last year.
Ok, the players have taken the court and we’re 15 minutes to tip, so let’s goooo!
-Atmosphere definitely isn’t quite as intense as it was for game 2. Perhaps it was the Noah comments that got everyone so fired up, but it truly doesn’t seem like this is even a playoff game right now, to tell you the truth.
-Now for Bulls fans out there, if D-Wade doesn’t come home to Chicago, who do you guys want as your big free agent signing? I’d love to see Joe Johnson in a Bulls jersey. Two guards who can both run the pick and roll. He could play PG, SG, and SF and would give the Bulls the outside shooter they so desperately need.
-Game’s getting ready to tip. Really nothing in terms of dunks or trick shots in warm-ups, although LeBron hit a couple of crazy fade-aways.
-Game tipped and the Bulls go right to Noah in the post. Clearly looking to establish him on the blocks and not just as a drop-off guy.
-D-Rose drills his first jumper of the night. Could be a long night for Cleveland if that’s any indication of how the rest of the night will be, although he did FINALLY miss one of his newly patented floaters.
-Maybe it’s just me, but I kind of like Deng more as a faceup power forward as opposed to a full-time wing. I think he can do so much more if you let him take guys down to the blocks a little more often.
-Still stand by what I said last game about the Cavs failing to utilize Anthony Parker properly. Check out this mix of him when he was the best player in Europe playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
-What are the Cavs going to do at the center spot next year? I personally thought that they should have drafted a young center to develop behind Z for the last few years, and now they’re stuck in a situation where they’re going to have to look at guys like Jerome Jordan if they trade into the draft, or perhaps signing a young, raw center like DeAndre Jordan this summer in free agency.
-Mission accomplished by the Bulls for holding LeBron to 2 points 10 minutes into the game? He’s got 4 assists and about 4 other assist opportunities, but I’d rather take my chances giving others open looks than letting him have single coverage.
-Ok, after that crazy Derrick Rose take in traffic, I must post this insane mix of him again from when he was in high school.
-27 to 26 Cavs at the end of 1. Gotta consider it a success for Vinny Del Negro and Co. Held LeBron to 2 points and made everyone else beat them.
- Honestly not sure if Jamario Moon has a single play in the offense for him. One would think with how athletic he is that you’d at least have some sort of back screen lob play set up for him, but if there is one, I’ve yet to see it this season.
-I understand how strong and dominant Shaq has been over his career, but can you imagine how nasty he would have been if he even cared about developing a left hand for one off-season throughout his career? Just sayin’.
- Flip giving it to his old team again. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about that guy’s swag that I can’t get enough of.
-Hakim Warrick made the mistake of gtting a little too close to Shaq when he was trying to hold him up. We don’t want to see another haymaker out of the Diesel again…
-If Cleveland can build upon or maintain the lead that they have with LBJ out of the game, it might be sianara to the Bulls. It’s looking like that might be the case, with Jamario Moon drilling threes and the lone rider Delonte West dropping floaters in traffic. Moon with the oop to add on to it.
-Speaking of Moon, pretty insane video of some dunks that he was practicing for the dunk contest a few years back.
-Just as things looked like they were going to start to get really ugly, Rose comes through with a floater. The guy is always so calm and has had such good court demeanor, dating back to his high school days.
-Shaq has always been a vastly underrated passer in my eyes, especially the years that he was commanding a double team every time down the floor. He had so many “hockey assists” that went unnoticed.
-LeBron just tried to hit Joakim Noah with his best imitation of Michael Jordan crossing Larry Bird back in the day…except he missed the jumper.
-Really like the nucleus there in Chicago. They’re a shooter and a post player with moves away from being right up there with Cleveland and Orlando in the East, in my eyes at least.
-Cavs up 55 to 48 at the half. Going to hit the media room and grab a couple of Diet Pepsi’s and then I’ll be back. Definitely love Chicago holding LeBron to 3 points, since there’s no way that this Antawn Jamison will give you another 20 point half. Maybe this Antawn Jamison, but not the one playing for the Cavs tonight.
-2nd half going now and the Bulls still apparently looking to make everyone else besides LeBron beat them. Deng is doing an outstanding job on him, as is the entire Bulls team in terms of rotating on D.
-Derrick Rose with back to back jumpers. This guy is downright silly. I currently have him as my 4th best PG in the league (behind Nash, CP-3, and Deron Williams), but his playoff performances have been legendary early in his career.
-Did Dwyane Wade just play his last game in a Heat jersey now that they’re out? My guess, yes.
-Not sure of I’d call Luol Deng a viable second option at this point in his career, but he’s definitely one of the best third options in the league in my eyes.
-Ask a fan: “True or False: A Chicago style hot dog features chili?” and it took the guy about 10 seconds to answer. Are you kidding me? Obviously that guy has never been to Hot Doug’s, my personal favorite spot to grab a dog in the Windy City. Step your game up, son.
-I’ve got tons of people hitting me up saying that they love the way LBJ is deferring to his teammates. Really? Why’s that? I personally think he needs to take over every night in order for the Cavs to win. 10, 4, and 6 with 4 minutes to go in the third quarter isn’t going to cut it against any of the heavy hitters in the league, and may not even cut it against the Bulls tonight.
-Hate to say “I told ya’ so”, but we’re nearing the end of the 3rd and Jamison still isn’t on the board yet and getting all of the same looks that he had in the first half. If this continues and Joakim Noah gets involved offensively, we might have Bryan Crawford live blogging on Thursday night from Chicago…
-Joakim strips LBJ, and then a Flip Murray tip dunk? I didn’t think I’d see either of those two things in a row. Ever.
-Cavs up 73-71 at the end of 3. Even though I’m from C-town, I’m predicting that we’re going back to Chicago for game 6. LBJ with 11, 7, and 7 going into the 4th.
-They’re trying to kill Brad Miller right now. Back to back fouls for his arms in the back. Now Noah’s back in with 3 fouls. The league really must want this Cleveland vs Boston series to start Saturday!
-I can’t believe how hyped the Cavs fans are getting during this timeout when they’re down 1 after winning the majority of the game. Perhaps they’re just that hyped to hear Gaga/Beyonce “Telephone”?
-Man, these refs are pretty brutal tonight towards Cleveland’s side. Shaq is straight getting away with whatever he wants to on both ends of the court and the Bulls can’t buy a call.
-Love that the refs are going to the monitor to see if the foul happened before the shot clock went off. Could care less which way the call goes, but glad to see them swallow their pride and actually make the right call.
-LeBron gets an and-1 going to the cup and Noah picks up his 5th foul. The takeover may have just started for the king…
-Pretty weak call for #6 on Brad Miller, and it happened right in front of me. Then not to make a call on half of the team getting dragged down on the free throw? C’mon.
-Bulls bigs all with 5 fouls or out. Jamison gets on the board for his first points of the second half with those free throws. Almost ready to stick a fork in it…..Jamison just hit the 3. Looking mighty gloomy in Chicago now. Perhaps I spoke too soon?
-Man, Hinrich was one second too late for Deng on that cut. Luckily for Kirk, Luol still converted on a super tough shot in the lane.
-Rose with a filthy cross to get in the lane and converts on the pair of free throws. It just doesn’t seem like you can rattle this cat.
-Correct me if I”m wrong, but don’t you have to let the guy catch the ball and then have room to make a move or put a dribble down? If I am correct, that was definitely a legit block call on Delonte West.
-Now if any of those rumors about Vinny Del Negro being fired at the end of the season happen to substantialize, I’m faxing every team in the league with an opening and telling them to hire this guy. He gets his guys to play hard, buy into his system, and truly play team basketball.
-With 37 seconds left, down 3, and a full shot clock…Do you play it out? Or go for steal and commit a quick foul? I honestly think you have to foul Varejao the second he touches the ball, if he gets it.
-Looked like they were going for the foul on Varejao there, but popped the ball out when going for it. I’m guessing Chicago goes for the quick 2 and then a foul, given their lack of three point shooting and the fact that they still have a timeout left.
-FINAL: 96-92 Cavs. Game 1 of the Cleveland/Boston series looking like it’s going to be on Saturday.
-Derrick Rose with a left handed floater? Couldn’t you get a better shot than that, Chicago?
Player of the game for Cavs: Antawn Jamison. Without his scoring in the first half, Cleveland would have surely been trailing at the half. The stroke that he showed in the first half kept defenders honest in the second half and stopped them from sagging off of him to help on LBJ for the majority of the second half.
Player of the game for Bulls: Derrick Rose. He took over the game from the second it tipped, keeping the D honest with his outside jumper and converting on a number of tough takes to the rim. Unfortunately, he couldn’t drop that lefty floater at the end. Still continues the playoff legacy that D-Rose is building for himself.
I’m out guys! See ya’ for round 2 against the Celtics!