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No Excuses

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
As word spread, shortly before the Cavs took a 3–0 series lead on the Atlanta Hawks, that Kyrie Irving would sit again, the Cavs continued to preach their motto of “next man up”, while the Hawks continued to make excuses.

First, the playoffs have been almost unbearable to watch thanks to the awful announcing trio of Marv “negligee” Albert, Reggie “no rings” Miller, and Chris “one of the best paid college athletes” Webber. Talk about throwing stones in glass houses. These guys have done nothing for the integrity of the game, yet have the nerve to criticize Matthew Dellavedova for getting over-the-backed by Al Horford, pulled down, and when Delly fell into Horford’s leg, Horford responded by dropping an elbow on someone smaller and defenseless. Yet, Delly instigated it and is a dirty player. 

Those may seem like separate thoughts, but they aren’t. Miller actually said that the refs can’t call it a flagrant two because it would devastate the Hawks, who are already minus Kyle Korver due to injury. Horford should not have put his team in that position, it was not the refs fault. An elbow drop is not a basketball play. It’s as simple as that. 

Throughout the broadcast, Miller, Albert, and Webber have praised the Hawks teamwork, until the last few minutes of the game, or when the Cavs win. It has become annoying and predictable and there is no reason to listen to the broadcast anymore. Hello mute button.

As many fans in Ohio know, the Cavs are without Anderson Varejao and Kevin Love due to injuries, and Irving sat out game three of the Eastern Conference Finals as well. The only thing you hear from Miller, Albert, and Webber was how the Hawks were already down Korver and Demarre Carrol was playing injured. Apparently, they didn’t notice the starting lineups, or the fact that the Cavs blew the Hawks out in Atlanta, without Irving. Fact is, despite what Kent Bazemore says, the Cavs are the better team when it counts and that’s in the playoffs, not in the regular season.

How about the fact that not one of the announcers, or any writer, has talked about the how David Blatt has out coached the Coach of the Year, in the Atlanta Hawk’s Mike Budenholzer? It doesn’t seem like Blatt could buy anybody’s respect at this point. Blatt has kept the team afloat and winning in the playoffs, despite having to juggle the lineup due to multiple injuries and JR Smith’s suspension.

The Hawks were the ultimate team, “Spurs East”, and selfless. This was their best season ever. And the Cavs? The Cavs have beat them at their own game. The Cavs have assisted and rebounded, hustled and defended, scratched and clawed their way to wins. Wins with a hobbled Irving, sans Love, and LeBron trying to do too much at times. Yet, the supporting cast, his brothers, do just enough to win. Speaking of…

All The King’s Men

At one point, LeBron had no points on an 0–10 shooting stretch in the 1st quarter, yet the Hawks were only up by three measly points. That’s right. An ineffective James, no Irving, no Love, the Big 3 down to one, and still the Hawks couldn’t put the Cavs away.

Much has been made of Tristan Thompson. The fact is, the Hawks have no answer for him when he decides he’s going to get a rebound. The Cavs had 56 rebounds in a playoff game, 14 more than the Hawks. Thompson only had 7, but he’s been such a pest on the glass, the Hawks had to account for him and it freed up others to collect those rebounds.

Iman Shumpert had another solid game with 15 points and 7 rebounds. JR Smith dropped 17 points while picking up 10 rebounds. There’s no reason to keep listing player stats because the players keep delivering just enough to win.

In another important game, The King, The Chosen One, LeBron James came up big once again. His Greatness delivered a triple-double after starting 0–10. The fact that James started off slow didn’t matter, he was going to score at some point. The fact that he delivered play-after-play when the Cavs needed it down the stretch, while compiling 37 points, 18 rebounds, and 13 assists, tells you all you need to know about the impact he had on the game.

The Hawks can make whatever excuse they want, at the end of the day, the Cavs will keep on saying “next man up” and winning. No excuses necessary.
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About David Burkart

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