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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

GO CAVS!!!

8:48 UPDATE:
Timeout Cavs after the Pistons cut the Cavs' 10-point lead to 5. Lebron hit a huge 3, only to have the Pistons score 5 straight. The Pistons' fans didn't make noise almost the entire game until Billups, who has scored 9 straight for the Pistons, hit the shot after Lebron's three. Still much quieter than the Q was, though they're starting to get loud again.
HALFTIME:
Wow. Cavs up 50-45, as Lebron quietly puts in 22 points. Z has 9 & 7 to go with 4 blocks, and Donyell Marshall has 7 points, 8 boards. The Cavs have only turned the ball over twice to the Pistons' six, and have 27 rebounds including 11 offensive boards to the Pistons' 20.
7:41 UPDATE:
Cavs are up 32-31 early in the 2nd quarter. The big stories so far: Lebron has 12 points, 4 boards, and 2 assists, a steal, and a block. More importantly, Z - who'd been struggling all series - had 5 points, 6 boards, and 4 blocks in the first quarter. Anderson Varaejo continues to do as he pleases, scoring 5 and grabbing 3 boards in just 5 minutes. Cavs are playing decent defense and have just one turnover, but are shooting just 36% from the field.
I'll probably periodically update this post during the Cavs-Pistons game, considering I can't watch the game. I'm stuck listening to it via the Web, though at least I get to hear Joe Tait announce it.

For some reason, I have a very good feeling about this game. The Cavs obviously did the right thing by going to the funeral of team member Larry Hughes' brother, Justin, who died of a lifelong heart condition he had. Interestingly, it may have given them just a bit extra looseness to play tonight. I was talking with my brother OD earlier, and we both thought of the same factor:
The Cavs have absolutely no pressure to win, which will make it that much more possible for them to do so.
Not only are they the heavy underdogs in the series, but they just won two games at home. They were blown out in the first game in Detroit, and for the first half of Game 2 they were blown out again. Even in the two games they won, the games came down to the final seconds - not exactly dominating performances. Rasheed Wallace is the one who guaranteed a win for his team, and then - after being wrong - laughed off the idea that the Cavs could possibly win the series. Everything is in the Pistons' favor, and they are expected to win. The Cavs? They've already exceeded expectations.

Then yesterday, to top it all off, they - rather than taking the day to rest and practice - fly from Cleveland to St. Louis to attend the funeral of Justin Hughes. After that, they finally flew from St. Louis to Detroit to get ready for tonight's game. They didn't spend two days preparing like Detroit has, and they're still missing one of the best players on the team, if not the best, besides Lebron James.

The Cavs are playing without any pressure, but with growing confidence. The Pistons have just been beaten at their own game twice, and all the pressure is on their backs. This could be very interesting. GO CAVS!!!

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