Here’s the funny thing about the guarantee in sports…If what you guarantee turns out to be true, you hear little about it afterward. However, if your guarantee does not come to fruition, well then you likely never hear the end of it.
You know Mo, had you made the guarantee when you were playing the Pistons or the Hawks, you would have looked good. Or should I say, you wouldn’t have looked bad. I know some of you are thinking Patrick Ewing and Game 7 of the Magic and Celtics series, but whatever, this is my post. Like I said…when your guarantee turns out to be true, you hear little about it.
Moving on to something that some people (especially Cavs fans) have seem to forgotten. I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about how the Cavs are going to come out firing tonight in Game 5. Their backs are against the wall facing elimination and they’re on their home court. While I do agree with all that, lets take a look at it from the Magic point of view.
The Magic come into this game riding two home court wins to the team with the best regular season record. Up 3-1 in a series where most had them only winning a game or two. Now the teams are in Cleveland preparing for an elimination game. Who’da thunk it? The Magic have got to be saying to themselves “We have the chance to knock out the best regular season team in 5 games and on their home court where they lost 3 games all year including the playoffs.” Not to mention the Cavs were 8-0 coming into this series and picked by many to win the Championship.
Think about all that for a second. If you were on the Magic roster, what would be going through your head? What would you be your goal for the night? So lets not pretend that the Cavs have all the momentum or that they are the only ones playing for something tonight. It’s do or die for the Cavs. They certainly have the most pressure.
Sad thing about this post is…you’ll hear little about it because my guarantee will come to fruition.
I find it sad that I get excited about the possibility that my french fries from McDonalds could be fresh and hot right out of the fryer. Today, they were. I was stoked. Unfortunately, as I got about 5 deep into my package of fries I realized that they put more salt on them than my Grandmother did on the slugs in her driveway. What a letdown…I didn’t watch Game 5 of the Lakers/Nuggets last night. But I have a logical excuse. I was up all night Tuesday night watching the post game conferences and such. I didn’t go to bed until roughly 1am and had to get up at 530am. My sleep deprevation of the Magic/Cavs series was caught up at the expense of the Lakers and Nuggets. Rested and ready for tonight though.
Have you seen the home page of the Magic/Cavs series on ESPN.com? Check it out. See anything that immediately catches your eye? I did back when I first looked at it after the Magic did what they all claimed was impossible and took Game 7 away from Boston, in Boston. What I’m talking about is who the experts picked to win the series…all of them! I really have no problem with people predicting that the Cavs win the series but is there really not one “expert” with a hint of well…expertise?
Of the 10 experts that picked the Cavs to win (just on this ESPN page, I’m sure there were plenty more), only one had the series going as far as 7 games. The rest had the Cavs winning in 5 or 6. I hate to be Captain Obvious here but, only one still has a remote chance of being right.
So what do you think they’re saying now? Not in their columns but, behind closed doors. To their friends? Close colleagues? We all know what most are saying in their columns. Most thought the Cavs would win in about 5 and by most I mean most people, including fans. In fact, I won a free round of golf by taking that bet. A bet that was made halfway through Game 2 of that series. (I know, dude is a moron right? Nah…he just let his emotions, or homerism, get the best of him.) My ADD is kicking in…
Not many are just admitting that the Magic are a better team. Are the Magic a better team? Let me shake my “Eastern Conference Finals 8 Ball”. “My series says yes!”. Man up folks. Numbers don’t lie. Is LeBron James the best player in the NBA? I think so but, it’s debatable. As we all know though, teams win Championships. LeBron has a decent supporting cast. It’s not like they’re terrible…or great. Good enough to own the best record in the regular season.
I’ll explain what happened in this series, so far. Coming in, the Cavs had swept their first two opponents convincingly, winning each of the 8 games by 10+ points. Now when you enter the Conference Finals, you should expect much tougher competition. Maybe they did, but they certainly didn’t show it. They came in riding that high that the media so predictably hyped up. Maybe it hyped the players up too..too much. They underestimated the Magic. All of the sudden the Cavs are in a Game 1 of the 2009 Playoffs that isn’t so easy. The Magic aren’t falling down as easily as the Pistons and Hawks did. The Magic forced them into a situation they had yet to be in, in this year’s Playoffs. Competition. The Cavs weren’t sure how to handle it. The Magic were though. Coming off a 6 game opening round to the 6ers and a 7 game thriller against the C’s, the Magic were prepared for the competition. The Cavs…just weren’t. That’s all there is to it. The magic have outplayed the Cavs! Pointblank, period! Give them the credit they’ve earned, “experts”.