The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

NBA Finals: Game 3: Doink!

Posted by disappointmentzone on 13 June 2007

Well the Cavs did just about everything I suggested in my preview of Game 3 and they still lost. What a monumentally poor shooting performance. That was historically bad. It’s not as though the Cavs were missing tough shots. The offense wasn’t terrible. They had open looks. They could have had more open looks if someone other than Gooden or Pavolvic decided to shoot a mid-range jumper. It’s just that no shots fell. Even layups were bricked. 3-19 from three is pathetic. After missing, oh, ten three pointers, might it be worth switching to another strategy? It’s not as though the Spurs were ever so far ahead that the Cavs needed to resort to bombing three pointers to get back into the game. If you can’t make baskets you can’t win, no matter how good your defense is.

And the defense was good. Very good.

Daniel Gibson played pretty solid defense on Tony Parker, who was a lot less aggressive with Gibson guarding him than I ever thought he would be. Eventually Parker wised up and started driving, but he certainly did not kill the Cavs in the way he had the first two games.

Of course, Gibson’s defensive contribution was balanced by his offensive slump. The boy did nothing to help the team win. 1-10, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 rebounds — in 36 minutes! Those are Larry Hughes numbers. So through three games the Cavs’ starting point guards are now 2-20. No team can win getting so little from such a crucial position.

If you can over the boxscore you might be surprised that the Spurs won. Duncan had 14. Parker had 17. Ginobili had 3. Bruce Bowen played well, with 13 points. The Cavs? LeBron James had 25. Gooden had 13. Ilgauskas had 12. Pavolvic had 13. So how did the Cavs lose? The remaining players on the roster had NINE points. Let me repeat: The other FIVE players who played for the Cavs had NINE POINTS. Yikes.

Question: How can you lose when you out rebound the other team; when you have more than twice as many offensive rebounds as the other team; when you have more assists and fewer turnovers than the other team; when you have more blocks than the other team; when you attempt 11 more shots than the other team; when you make more free throws than the other team; and when you have as many steals as the other team?

Answer: By only getting NINE POINTS from five guys who combine to play 89 minutes.

That’s the whole of it right there.

At least the Cavaliers fans will be able to watch a basketball team receive the NBA Championship trophy on Cleveland’s home court. Too bad it’ll be the Spurs.

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6 Responses to “NBA Finals: Game 3: Doink!”

  1. Erik said

    I’m going to write the same shpeel here I wrote on Ben Cox’s blog: I almost want the Cavs to get swept tomorrow night.

    The reason being, this team still has some huge holes to fill to get anywhere near a team like the Spurs, and I’m concerned that if the Cavs steal a couple of games and get this series back to San Antonio, it might lull Danny Ferry into a false sense of security that the best thing to do is stand pat.

    Losing the Finals 4-2 makes it seem like the series was somewhat competitive, even if it very obviously wasn’t. Losing 4-0 leaves no doubt of where the Cavs stand in relation to the league’s elite.

    Step one in my mind is the Cavs absolutely, positively must find a veteran PG, preferably an elite veteran PG, to run the offense. They don’t grow on trees, but Ferry had better get his hands on a Mike Bibby, Chauncey Billups or the like this summer. If he doesn’t, I don’t think the Cavs will make any real progress offensively next year.

    The fans love Boobie, but he is far closer to being a Vinnie Johnson instant-offense-off-the-bench kind of guy than he is to being a legit starting point. I hope the majority of fans realize that.

  2. The only way the Cavs can make one of those signings is if Hughes is off the books. I doubt Gilbert wants to go far into the luxury tax. Plus there is an interesting option if the Cavs wait one more season: Gilbert Arenas.

    The team still needs to figure out what to do with Pavlovic and Varejao. I agree that Boobie isn’t there yet, but I’m still hopeful he can develop into a league-average point guard. He’s young and one night of poor shooting–and he wasn’t alone–doesn’t mean he can’t be a productive PG.

  3. Adam said

    I have to SERIOUSLY disagree with rooting for the Cavs to get swept tonight. That is the most ridiculous thing I have seen a Cleveland fan say in a long time. The Cavs are STILL PLAYING. They are STILL ALIVE. 29 other teams would KILL to be down 3-0 to the Spurs right now. I understand the Spurs are a (way) better team. I get that the Cavs have a 99% chance of losing the series. However, we have waited almost 40 years for the Cavs to get this far, and I am yet to see a Cleveland championship in anything since I was born. I have spent too many years anticipating Cavs, Browns, and Indians offseasons to start rooting AGAINST my favorite team in the NBA Finals. As they say in poker, as long as you have a chip and a chair, you are still alive. The Cavs might be down to their last chip, but they are still kicking. Let’s go against Cleveland tradition and start worrying about next year AFTER all of the games are actually over.

  4. LeBron will harness the power of Bryce Maximus and all shall be golden.

  5. Erik said

    Hafner, Westbrook, Sowers and Choo for Alex Gordon and half the Royals roster is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard a Cleveland fan say this year.

    Rah-rah, “Never Say Die” jingoism aside, the Cavs really do need some help on offense if they ever want to trump whoever they might face in the Finals in the event they return. The results of this series wouldn’t have been much different had the opponent been Phoenix or Dallas.

  6. Haze said

    Goddammit. It had to be Genolbi. Dammit.

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