For some odd reason, I was expecting the Atlanta Hawks to put up a fight in their series versus the Cleveland Cavaliers but they just seemed content with losing; I do not know what I was thinking. Down 3-0 now in the series, there is no way the Hawks can come back to win this series – even if LeBron James was to get injured and be out for the rest of the playoffs like Yao.
Big props goes out to James for what he is doing right now because it is just ri-di-culous man. The guy is dominating in a way I have not seen in a long time – @ least since the Spurs. He seems to have bought into the idea that Basketball IS a cerebral game that you really just have to plan out perfectly. It takes a group of 5 to win a ball game; and at least 3 out of that 5 to run a successful play. On the playgrounds people forget easily because everyone pretty much plays the same position and no team defense. In actual competition though, Basketball is a team game through and through. You need a 4/5 that is mobile, can help out on the pick n’ rolls, rotate on defense and block shots; another 4/5 who can bang down low and has a mean streak; a 3 who can rebound, play defense and be a slasher on offense; a 2 who can dribble penetrate, come off clean off screens, pass and shoot; and, finally a 1 that knows all the plays, controls the tempo and the pace of the game on offense and defense – a guard that can shoot, dribble, pass and, run sets. Like chess, Basketball has its rules and they have to be respected. LeBron James and the Cavaliers are doing that right now.
As for the Hawks, Joe Johnson seems to be the only player capable of living up to this name and status. Bibby is doing a great job too but guarding James on the switch is not a winning strategy. Josh Smith has been non-effective, same as Horford. Both guys appear to have already thrown in the towel in the series and will be going fishing with the rest of the Hawks’ players after tonight.