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Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Conference Finals’

Taj Gibson Gets the Conference Finals Started With a Bang

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Specifically, Gibson banged all over the face, head and body of Dwyane Wade as Chicago stomped the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals. While the Bulls’ defense told the story of the whipping, it was Gibson’s fantastic smash over Wade that set the tone. Twitter loved it, as did the rest of the Internet — save Heat fans, I’m sure.

Although, considering the bandwagon nature of at least some members of that stable, do their feelings count?

Joking aside, while Game One was indeed a dominate performance from the Bulls, it would be foolhardy to consider the Heat done. Surely the names “LeBron James” and the aforementioned Wade still resonate in the NBA, right? Expect Wade to be looking for some payback come Game Two. If he happens to smash on Gibson, all the better, no doubt.

As for the almighty Taj, his vicious destruction of Wade was not his only notable dunk of the night.

After the jump, Gibson’s second dunk and a nice freeze-frame >>

Courtney Lee Pays LeBron Back

A possession or two before Courtney Lee splashed James on a nice breakaway, LeBron volleyball spiked another one of Dwight Howard’s dunk attempts with an awesome, awesome block (the block in the second half, not the first). I guess this was Courtney Lee’s way of having Dwight’s back, while providing a little payback to LeBron and the Cavs. Of course, the dunk is still only worth two points, but when you look at the differential in the final score — one measly point — Lee’s play stands a little taller.

As an one-time attendee of Western Kentucky, let me be one of the first to say, “Go Courtney!!! Hilltoppers represent!!! What?”

Dwight Howard Isn’t A Weakling

“They call me the Superman dunker… But something’s wrong, something’s wrong with these rims.”

By the time everything was said and done, Dwight Howard dismantled Cleveland’s shot clock, Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu were absolute money in the fourth quarter, and the Cavaliers wasted what was the best playoff performances by a Cleveland player, perhaps ever, and now find themselves in unfamiliar territory: trailing in this year’s playoffs. Is Cleveland in trouble? Hard to say, but I do agree with Charles Barkley, who, when talking about defending Dwight Howard — 30 points, 13 rebounds — said something along the lines of, it’s not like Zydrunas Ilgauskas is going to get any younger by Friday.

And then there are the match ups with Lewis and Turkoglu, something the Cavaliers couldn’t do last night.

Furthermore, I’d be troubled if I was backing Cleveland for this reason — it’s doubtful LeBron will play much better than he did last night. It’s also doubtful he’ll continue to shoot from outside like he did last night. Besides, what did LeBron’s spectacular outing ultimately do for the Cavaliers? Nothing, because they lost. I suppose Cavaliers fans could take solace in Stan Van Jeremy’s comments about not knowing what to do stop him, but it’s also silly to expect LeBron to score 49 every night.

For the first time perhaps all season, the Cavaliers face a must-win on Friday. Should be a ton of fun.