Quantcast 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers: 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers have won 8 straight playoff games

 

Ending The Misery

 

That's exactly what the Cleveland Cavaliers did, defeating the Atlanta Hawks, 84-74 in Game 4 of the Eastern Semi-Finals.  It would seem as though the Hawks were closing the gap with the Cavs, only losing by 10 points.  The Cavs averaged a near 18 pt. margin of victory against the very talented, yet under-achieving Hawks.  While not solely relating the Hawks' short-comings to a lack of effort, injuries seemed to plague the Atlanta team.  The Hawks saw 3 of their key components, Joe Johnson, Al Horford, and Marvin Williams, all fall victim to some sort of injury.  Horford and Williams actually missed a couple games, or were limited in them, throughout the series.  In all fairness, the Cavs are far from a slouch of a team, and have played on an extremely high level this entire season.  This year's playoffs, the Cavs have been on a record setting pace, and don't show any signs of slowing down.  LeBron James paced Cleveland with 27 points, and got a huge contribution from Delonte West, who not just scored 21 points, but had an unbelievable, and unexpected reverse dunk that brought the entire arena to its feet!  The Cavs have been virtually unbeatable at home, and with plays like the dunk by West, it's almost a sure bet that momentum won't sway from Cleveland thereafter.  With the Cavs playing cohesively in this close out game, the Hawks continued inconsistent play throughout the lineup, only tallying 3 players in double figures.  If the Hawks are to realize the potential that everyone can see they have, they'll have to make major strides in maturity during the offseason.  They can't have one of their star players welcoming a fight with an opponent, or attempting an in between the legs dunk, AND MISS, during playoff games.  The Playoffs are a serious matter, and until that approach is applied to Atlanta's team, they'll always be a team of low ambitions.



 

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The Cavs came into the playoffs with an NBA Championship Berth in mind, and hasn't wavered from that goal.  Another team who seems to share in that goal in this year's tournament, has to be the Denver Nuggets.  While their point margin has been as great as Cleveland, their dominance has been just as great.  The Nuggets have fell victim to two defeats in the playoffs, but both have been close games, and doesn't take away from the statement that they've made thus far.  Denver has become the team many are now picking to emerge victorious in both the Western Conference Finals, and NBA Finals.  The Nuggets have developed that confidence of a championship team, and the muscle, and defensive force, a champion needs to exemplify.  If the Finals were picked between teams' playoff performances, then the Nuggets and Cavs would be a definite title participants.  Unfortunately, the West will go through L.A., which poses a major problem for the Nuggets, as do the remaining teams out East.  With that said, I'm sure all the remaining teams will play very hard, but I'll stick to my prediction of a Cavs-Lakers, Finals.  However, I envision the Western Conference Finals, to be a series that goes the distance of 7 games, while the Cavs close out their next opponent in 5!  But, with the passion exemplified by the Cavs as a team this year, going 5 games is considered a stretch!

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By: Steve Rivers
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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