April 17, 2008
After 1,230 regular season games, the NBA Playoffs are finally here. (Praise Jesus Shuttlesworth!) KD and I will chime in with some first round thoughts and predictions tomorrow, but for now we turn to the bloggin' team experts. On deck: Carolyn from And One and Jake the Snake (!) from Bullets Forever breakdown the much anticipated Cleveland-Washington series. Enjoy.
Carolyn, And One: Just a few days before the Playoffs, and 'You Been Blinded' blows the lid off Cleveland's secret: The Key To Stopping LeBron James — Don't Let Him Look Good.
Yes, it's true. A single sneaker smudge puts LBJ in a tailspin. Not the good kind.
As for the Wizards, let's see. Antonio Daniels's left wrist isn't working, DeShawn busted his coccyx, Butler is down on his knees, and Arenas is down on his luck.
Cavs have home court advantage. That could be negated by Mike Brown's gut-based personnel decisions.
Our guys are healthy, with the exception of Eric Snow. This is another secret advantage as Eric is turning out to be a wonderful coach and motivator.
Damon Jones is a wild card. He's been benched for a couple of games. He's not happy about it and neither are many of the fans. This may be like the scene in The Godfather when Mike takes over and tells Tom he can't be consigliere anymore. He is, of course, doing this for Tom's own good and Tom will be back in action as soon as the dirty little deeds are done. But Tom doesn't know this and makes noises eerily similar to sounds emanating from the Cavs bench.
Let's recap. Keep LB clean, listen to Eric, stay healthy and it's Cavs all the way. This is the year of LB.
Meanwhile, this is the Wizard's strategy:
"... we have our own little gimmicks we're brewing. With a team like the Cavaliers and a player like LeBron, all you need is distractions. We got to be Bush. We got to be Bush-league. We're having everybody talking about the war, when we just want to get the oil. We're Bushing it. That's all we're doing. We're trying to distract LeBron over here while we try to get some wins over there."
Cavs in 6.
Jake the Snake, Bullets Forever: When the
Wizards unveiled their "Ready to Rule" slogan this year most people
outside the Wizards fan base laughed it off because Washington isn't
exactly a title contender. I don't think that you'd find a Wizard fan
that would disagree with assessment, but I don't think any of them
really had a problem with the slogan either, despite the outlandish
Allow me to explain: There's this guy that's been giving the Wizards fits for the last few years. You might know him, he's got a royal nickname and like any member of royalty, and he’s got plenty of power. Over the last three years the Wizards have tried their best to dethrone the king but to no avail. Two years ago, the lack of a competent bench was ultimately the deciding factor in an otherwise even series. Then last year we faced off again, but the lack of any healthy All-Stars effectively put an end to any chance of having a competitive series.
Now as the Wizards get ready for another battle with the King, they appear to have fixed the problems that hurt them the last two years. Our two All-Stars, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamsion, are going to be healthy going into the playoffs (barring an unexpected case of food poisoning from Rod Strickland's hot dogs). The bench is as formidable as it's ever been in the post-Jordan era. Players like Roger Mason, Darius Songaila and Andray Blatche have all stepped up their play this year and become solid players in the rotation. Oh, and Gilbert comes off the bench too. I heard he's pretty good.
They might not be ready to rule the NBA yet, but they are ready to overthrow the King. Wizards in 6.
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