Tonight was a perfect example of why sports announcers, especially the color guys, are totally pointless. Because although this was blatantly obvious to anyone with half a brain, neither Mark Jackson or Van Gundy pointed out Mike Brown's pathetic coaching job.
It's one thing to be disorganized on offense. NBA players are used to getting by on athleticism and aren't necessarily known for superior cognitive abilities, so implementing an offensive scheme can be difficult. But the Cavs problem wasn't poor organization. They just kept running the same stupid offense over and over and over again.
Question: does someone set a pick for Lebron James before he gets on the bus? Is he allowed to take a piss without going around a pick first? Brown kept calling some form of a pick and roll despite the fact the Spurs were repeatedly doubling James, leading mostly to missed shots by his teammates along with 6 turnovers from "King" James. I simply can't fathom why Brown didn't iso James at the top of the key, where he could have taken 18 foot pull up jumpers all day.
One of Mike Brown's 43 different hand gestures for the pick and roll. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)
The Spurs are the best help defense team in the league by a wide margin and the Cavs kept playing right into their hands. The only duo that can repeatedly have success running the pick and roll against the Spurs is Nash and Amare. That's it. End of list. Lebron isn't the passer or ball handler that Nash is and Gooden, well, he isn't the shooter, player or personal stylist that Amare is.
Lebron isn't blameless in all this. Why the hell didn't Lebron wave off the pick and roll? This guy is unguardable one on one, right? And Manu, for the 10 or so possessions he was guarding him, was giving him uncontested 20 footers. You think Kobe passes those shots up? Uh. No. He doesn't.
Twenty seconds later Pop yelled at the missing Spur for playing poor help defense. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)
And while James isn't blameless, I'm certainly not blaming him either. Though he played poorly (4-16, 14 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST, 6 TO), he still wasn't as bad as Hughes, Z or Damon Jones. Has a 7'-4" guy ever played smaller than Ilgauskus? I think the man actually shrinks when he touches the ball, like some short circuit of the space time continuum. Hughes is hurt, so we'll cut him slack.
But Damon Jones has to take the cake. What a scrub. I couldn't believe the box score when I saw he played 12 minutes. His statistical summary? 12 mins, 0. Zero everything. No points, no rebounds, no turnovers, no fouls, no technicals; I'm not sure he even touched the ball. Why does he even play? Why not play with Boobie some more? If I had a Boobie I would certainly play with him more than 28 minutes a night.
Cavs fans will no doubt point to the nine point loss as a good sign given Lebron's performance. But, uh, the Spurs really didn't play that well. The defense was solid but the offense was rusty. Ginobili was a train wreck for most of the night (though 16 PTS on 14 shots and 8 REB is quite respectable) and Finley missed every shot he took the last 47 minutes of the game.
LOUD NOISES. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)
Parker had 27 on 12-23 despite bricking 80% of his jumpers. Duncan was Duncan, but you could tell he was holding back on the offensive end. Trust me, this team has at least one more notch.
Eva means nothing to me Timmeh, I swear. (AP Photo / Matt Slocum)
So Spurs fans, sit back and do your best to weather the inevitable bevy of "Lebron's going to make a statement in game 2" stories. Fortunately you can come here for the truth: the statement made Sunday will be that the outcome remains the same whether Lebron scores 16 or 60.
Twice as delightfully smarmy as this post. (AP Photo / Eric Gay)