Saturday , Apr , 25 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Cavs dominate 4th; Pistons on life-support

Cavs dominate 4th; Pistons on life-supportWell at least there were signs of life.

Despite a decent start to game 3, the Detroit Pistons continued to struggle with the NBA’s stingiest defense as the Cleveland Cavaliers roll to a 79-68 win at the Palace of Auburn Hills to take a 3-0 lead in the series.

If the Cavs win Sunday they would advance to the second round of the playoffs for the fourth straight season and the Pistons would be eliminated in the first round for the first time since 2000.

The Cavaliers were once again led by soon-to-be-named MVP Lebron James, with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists; and also got a nice contribution from veteran forward and former Piston Joe Smith with a playoff career high 19 points and 10 rebounds.

The Pistons led by as many as eight points in the first half before the Cavs closed with a 15 point run to take a seven point lead at the break.

The third quarter started with Detroit applying good defensive pressure in stretches, holding Cleveland to 9 points and tying the score at 53 entering the fourth, then Lebron James really took charge. James, who registered only 2 points in the entire third quarter, put pressure on the Piston defense by continuously driving to the basket for lay-ups or finding wide-open teammates for scores.

As has been the custom in the series – and the season for that matter – The Pistons were unable to offensively execute down the stretch due to a lack of cohesion and intensity, which led to turnovers and a jumbled defense.

The only question most Piston fans have now is: How soon until the NBA Draft? This series and season seems to be coming to a frustrating end for a team and fan base that is used to consistency and victories.

The Cavaliers however, look poised to make it to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with a balanced attack, tremendous defensive intensity, an unselfish yet dominating superstar, and A LOT of confidence.