Monday, June 11, 2007

It's Time to Flip the House that LeBron Built

Tony Parker scored 30 points, Manu Ginobili had 25 and Tim Duncan added 23 as the Spurs showed the Cleveland Cavs how championship basketball is played for 3½ quarters, overpowering the young Cavaliers 103-92 in Game 2 on Sunday night to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

San Antonio clearly illustrated just how superior they are in almost every way conceivable -- building a 29-point lead and then cruising in the fourth quarter -- when the Cavaliers stormed back within eight points before the Spurs finally put them away late in the game.

"That's why sometimes I don't like to have a 20-point lead," Parker said. "I'm not going to complain. I'll take it." The Spurs, playing team offense and stepping up on defense, were up by 28 in the first half and were embarrassing the Cavaliers, who are in their first finals but didn't show up until it was too late.

"I think they just took their foot off the gas pedal," Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas said.
The Spurs' Big 3 of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili combined for 43 points -- 10 more than the Cavs -- in the first half. From that point on, it was academic. Those in the know are now predicting a sweep.

One sign in San Antonio said, “Bring out LeBroom!”

The bottom line is that the Cavaliers are not yet a championship caliber team. They have LeBron James, arguable the best player in the NBA, but the rest of their squad consists of players who are washed-up, slightly injured, completely inexperienced or just plain mediocre.

Drew Gooden is a promising player and will continue to improve for the Cavs. Larry Hughes (who didn’t make one field goal last night) has a foot injury, but even when he’s healthy he’s no solution. After that, it’s a cast of pretenders and wannabes who are either several years away or past their prime. Some of these guys never even had a prime, at least not in the NBA.

Until the powers-that-be get a supporting cast for LeBron, this team will never get closer to an NBA championship than they are right now. The good news is that King James is the best building block any team can have. He’s the foundation, but right now the rest of the House That LeBron built is falling apart.

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