Cleveland Cavaliers Whip Washington Wizards by 30: Series Over
Huge win for the Cavs. It’s easy to make statements like the one above in the face of the sort of domination the Cavs showed over the Wizards, but that’s not why this series is over.
In his post game comments, Mike Brown was asked about the team’s 3rd quarter intensity, a recurring problem for this team, both before and after the trade.
"I didn’t say anything," Brown said. "LeBron James did. LeBron started talking, I just left and the guys just followed his lead."
Then LeBron came out of the locker room and let his game do the talking. With 14 points in the 3rd, LeBron and the Cavs made the statement that the Cavs are not the team that coasted through the regular season, but rather a team ready to play 48 minutes every night until this season is over.
No question Washington will take the cliché long look in the mirror in advance of Thursday’s game 3 in Washington, so this series is, in reality, far from over. The Wizards will come out with intensity they failed to show for more than few minutes in game 2 and the Cavs will need to be ready with that same aggression LeBron showed if they want to turn what is still just home court advantage into a real series lead.
As for the game, let’s start with Brendan Haywood. We’ll start with him because that might have been the last we hear from him this season. There is no question his foul on LeBron was flagrant and nobody would be surprised to see Haywood suspended at least one game. He showed zero intention to make on the ball as LeBron drove to the hoop in the 3rd and was rightfully ejected. It was a downright dirty play. It boggles the mind that anybody can defend it. Maybe that’s what should be expected from a trash talking team unable to back it up.
The Cavs won the game on a snowball of energy. From the tipoff, they played an intense game on both ends. The Wiz jumped out early, but the Cavs kept up the energy and as the Wizards struggled to find their shots, the Cavs kept running their system to perfection.
LeBron was his usual brilliant self, only a rebound short of a triple double despite sitting out most of the 4th quarter. All 12 Cavs played and scored. They owned the boards, pulling in nearly 40% of their own misses. Their 27 assists were solidly above the magic number of 20 that usually indicates a win. The 3s were falling more often than not. Everybody shot well. Everybody passed. Everybody played D and the Wizards just didn’t care to keep up.
Game 3 will be a different story, but I think we’ve seen the real Wizards, and they’re a team of excuses, talk, and shortcomings, not a team that will be playing in 2 weeks.