Quantcast 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cleveland Cavaliers are eliminated


A Dream, Shattered


It looks like the end of the road has come for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The NBA's best overall team, by record, has been eliminated from Championship Contention.  The Orlando Magic knocked the Cavs out, with a 103-90 Game 6 victory.  The Magic got a very inspired, and dominating performance from Dwight Howard, with 40pts and 14 rebounds.  Howard was already upset with the marketing behind a Cavaliers vs. Lakers, NBA Finals matchup, and felt a bit disrespected.  Howard won't have to worry about anymore marketing behind the Kobe-LeBron matchup, as James has now been ousted from the competition.  James played his worse game of the series, with an 8 for 20 shooting display, but still almost totaling a triple-double (25, 7, 7).  Delonte West and Mo Williams combined for 39pts, but wasn't enough to stop the Magic, who had 5 players in double figures, and out-rebounded the Cavs 47-34.  Those 13 more rebounds can translate into additional shot attempts for the Magic, which can simplify the game.  The more shots a team can take at the basket, the more likely they are to win the game. 

The Cavs seemed deflated very early, as they faced an 18pt deficit by the half, and never seemed to recover.  This series spells an end to Cleveland's dream season, and leaves them to find answers.  The Magic exposed Cleveland's lack of athleticism along the front-line, which will be a point of emphasis this offseason.  While there were many positives for Cleveland this season, one major question was raised by NBA Legend Jerry West.  West called LeBron, "The Best Player in Basketball Today," but rationed his statement with the question, "How many games would Cleveland win, without LeBron James?"  West called the Cavs, "A Lottery Team, Without James," which is very true.  Mo Williams, the Cavs' other all-star, wasn't an All-Star in the beginning.  Williams was merely a player that was pretty much campaigned in, after original all-star voted, Jameer Nelson, separated his shoulder.  Williams is the most talented player James has played with, besides early in his career, teaming with Carlos Boozer, who eventually bolted for Utah. 


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Cleveland will have a lot of holes to address if they are to not only return to regular season and early playoff dominance, but to have a chance at retaining LeBron James.  James will be a free agent in the much heralded, summer of 2010, along with many of today's best players.  Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudamire, Joe Johnson, and Dirk Nowitzki, are a few of many players that will surely attract major attention from the entire league, as well as, LeBron himself.  James has stated that he is mostly concerned with winning a championship, at all costs.  One player that could have been a major help to the Cavs this year, Shawn Marion, will be on the market this coming summer.  I can't imagine the Cavs not expressing interest in acquiring the very versatile Marion.  He could have been the key to a championship for the Cavs, this season, as well as LeBron's future, whether or not that future will come in Cleveland, will remain to be seen.

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By: Steve Rivers
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer

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