Least dominant sweep ever? I thought the Cavs did pretty well, but you know they'll get flak for not blowing out the Wizards, right? The Cavs never looked particularly dominant but it was almost like they were toying with Washington. Sure, you can have Jamison get hot and Jarvis Hayes hit a few 3s, but once the fourth quarter starts, we're just going to calmly put you away.
Lots of contributors, but none went by 'Sasha'. I was hoping Pavlovic's big 3 at the end of game 3 would calm his nerves and set him straight, but it didn't happen. He picked up some cheap, dumb fouls (though this time Drew Gooden fouled Jamison on a 3) and never seemed comfortable on offense (0 points, 1 board, 3 assists).
This meant Daniel Gibson got some playing time (which I always love). 28 minutes in fact. During crunch time I was thinking to myself how great it was that Brown was trusting Gibson out there, but then I realized that it's mostly because Pavlovic was playing like crap. Oh, well. At least he had Gibson out there instead of Snow. Boobie hit two 3s and finished with 8 points (and he only got lost on defense once!).
LeBron struggled from the field but more than made up for it at the line. LBJ shot a Larry Hughes-esque 8-22 but he kept attacking (and attacking and attacking) the Wizards D, netting trips to the line. LeBron shot 17 free throws and made 14 of 'em (at one point he was 10-10). Did he attack all game? No, there was a lull in the third period where the Cavs decided to hoist jumpers (shocking, I know) but for the most part, LeBron kept the pressure on Washington's D. He finished with a quiet 31 points (14 points from the line will do that), 11 boards (not so quiet) and 7 assists.
I was also impressed with LeBron's non-scoring activities. He was flying in for rebounds, playing tough D and passing extremely well. His shot wasn't falling and he didn't try to force anything (well, too often) and he was more than happy to let Z and Larry do the heavy lifting in crunch time.
Z and Hughes had 18 of the Cavs last 20 points. Z had a monster game, scoring 20 points and grabbing 19(!) boards- I was actually bummed that Brown kept subbing him out offense-defense at the end, I would've loved to see the big man notch a 20-20. Hughes shot just 5-13 (anyone really surprised?) but 3 of those 5 came in the last 4 1/2 minutes of the game. He hit some clutch 'no-no-no-yes!' jumpers, drew some fouls and hit his freebies (8-8 for the game and 4-4 in the fourth). Despite the fact that the Cavs haven't looked that good so far, having Z and Larry step up is huge.
Antawn Jamison is awesome. I really have nothing else to add, but he needs to be more than a 3rd option on a team. The man can flat out score.
It was nice to see some bench production. Gibson hit two 3s, Marshall played 5 minutes and hit a trey (he also got a 3 seconds call on a 5 second camp out) and Snow had a decent 16 minutes (which the perfect amount of time for Eric Snow). The only problem is that Andy hasn't been particularly good this series. Maybe he was just a bad matchup for Washington's quick, perimeter big men (most jump shooting guys) but he never seemed to get going. He actually looked slow out there (he also made some dumb decisions on offense- bad jumpers and risky passes). They only scored 13 points as a unit, but it was nice that they came in and stretched the D just a little.
Hey Fox Sports, it's the playoffs, get it together. We missed at least two baskets by the Wizards because they were showing replays that didn't matter. Show the game! We also had a critical late possession entirely shot from the far baseline. I'm not sure which I hate more, ABC's camera on a string thing or FSNOhio's love for the baseline cam. We don't care about new angles, we just want to see the entire play. Is that really too much to ask?
New Jersey or Toronto? I'd much rather face the Raptors, but that is looking less and less likely (they barely showed up in game 4). The Nets aren't a good matchup for the Cavaliers, what with Kidd, Carter and Jefferson (Kidd scares me, the Cavs don't really guard point guards well). The sweep is nice because not only did they not waste any games, but they've bought themselves some time to scout/prepare for both teams (especially if Toronto wins another game).