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2009 Cavs Qs

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NCHeels2008
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2009 Cavs Qs 

Post#1 » by NCHeels2008 » Thu Jul 2, 2020 6:50 am

I'm re-watching the 09 ECFs and Cleveland had been a freight train until then. I'm watching the '09 ECFs and Orlando looks like the slightly better or even decently better team despite how close the games are and the difference in SRS. Was Orlando just the worst possible matchup? Did Lebrons supporting cast play out of their depth all year just to return to Earth in the ECF? Did Orlando just gel late in the season even though they had to play their second-string PG due to Nelson being out?

I'm just having a hard time seeing how this team won 66 games because they look like they have so many weaknesses in this series.
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Re: 2009 Cavs Qs 

Post#2 » by JonFromVA » Thu Jul 2, 2020 4:04 pm

NCHeels2008 wrote:I'm re-watching the 09 ECFs and Cleveland had been a freight train until then. I'm watching the '09 ECFs and Orlando looks like the slightly better or even decently better team despite how close the games are and the difference in SRS. Was Orlando just the worst possible matchup? Did Lebrons supporting cast play out of their depth all year just to return to Earth in the ECF? Did Orlando just gel late in the season even though they had to play their second-string PG due to Nelson being out?

I'm just having a hard time seeing how this team won 66 games because they look like they have so many weaknesses in this series.


We had matchup problems with Orlando in the regular season that raised concerns, but Ben Wallace breaking his leg, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas breaking down and unable to physically stand his ground in the paint were major issues that popped up in the playoffs.

LeISO was also too programmed in to the team, and the Magic (SVG) exploited it by positioning his defenders so they could guard multiple players at once free'ing Dwight to help at the rim. If the Cavs shooters were used to moving to open spots as LeBron drove, and LeBron was used to them moving; they could have easily countered this.

Many will point to the decision to have LeBron guard Rafer Alston and cheat way off him as a "free safety" and while Alston took advantage at times, overall he was not much of a factor. Still, it's fair to criticize the Cavs' rigidity. In the playoffs, it's always best to mix up your approaches to keep the opponent off-balance.
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Re: 2009 Cavs Qs 

Post#3 » by NCHeels2008 » Thu Jul 2, 2020 4:36 pm

JonFromVA wrote:
NCHeels2008 wrote:I'm re-watching the 09 ECFs and Cleveland had been a freight train until then. I'm watching the '09 ECFs and Orlando looks like the slightly better or even decently better team despite how close the games are and the difference in SRS. Was Orlando just the worst possible matchup? Did Lebrons supporting cast play out of their depth all year just to return to Earth in the ECF? Did Orlando just gel late in the season even though they had to play their second-string PG due to Nelson being out?

I'm just having a hard time seeing how this team won 66 games because they look like they have so many weaknesses in this series.


We had matchup problems with Orlando in the regular season that raised concerns, but Ben Wallace breaking his leg, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas breaking down and unable to physically stand his ground in the paint were major issues that popped up in the playoffs.

LeISO was also too programmed in to the team, and the Magic (SVG) exploited it by positioning his defenders so they could guard multiple players at once free'ing Dwight to help at the rim. If the Cavs shooters were used to moving to open spots as LeBron drove, and LeBron was used to them moving; they could have easily countered this.

Many will point to the decision to have LeBron guard Rafer Alston and cheat way off him as a "free safety" and while Alston took advantage at times, overall he was not much of a factor. Still, it's fair to criticize the Cavs' rigidity. In the playoffs, it's always best to mix up your approaches to keep the opponent off-balance.


People hate on that supporting cast now but they won 66 games so it seems like they had to be a good bit better than the 07 version. I was watching back then but never paid super close attention to the Cavs. It's weird because neither team seems to have a good defender for the other teams best player and Lebron at least outscored Dwight, but the Cavs system seems extremely uncreative as you said.
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Re: 2009 Cavs Qs 

Post#4 » by JonFromVA » Thu Jul 2, 2020 6:31 pm

NCHeels2008 wrote:
JonFromVA wrote:
NCHeels2008 wrote:I'm re-watching the 09 ECFs and Cleveland had been a freight train until then. I'm watching the '09 ECFs and Orlando looks like the slightly better or even decently better team despite how close the games are and the difference in SRS. Was Orlando just the worst possible matchup? Did Lebrons supporting cast play out of their depth all year just to return to Earth in the ECF? Did Orlando just gel late in the season even though they had to play their second-string PG due to Nelson being out?

I'm just having a hard time seeing how this team won 66 games because they look like they have so many weaknesses in this series.


We had matchup problems with Orlando in the regular season that raised concerns, but Ben Wallace breaking his leg, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas breaking down and unable to physically stand his ground in the paint were major issues that popped up in the playoffs.

LeISO was also too programmed in to the team, and the Magic (SVG) exploited it by positioning his defenders so they could guard multiple players at once free'ing Dwight to help at the rim. If the Cavs shooters were used to moving to open spots as LeBron drove, and LeBron was used to them moving; they could have easily countered this.

Many will point to the decision to have LeBron guard Rafer Alston and cheat way off him as a "free safety" and while Alston took advantage at times, overall he was not much of a factor. Still, it's fair to criticize the Cavs' rigidity. In the playoffs, it's always best to mix up your approaches to keep the opponent off-balance.


People hate on that supporting cast now but they won 66 games so it seems like they had to be a good bit better than the 07 version. I was watching back then but never paid super close attention to the Cavs. It's weird because neither team seems to have a good defender for the other teams best player and Lebron at least outscored Dwight, but the Cavs system seems extremely uncreative as you said.


That was one of the best teams ever built AROUND LeBron, and I emphasize that word because they were -7.3 when James sat inspite of having two other competent ball handlers in Williams and West.

Some of that is because the Cavs would build up a big lead, and then the bench would come in to close out and start to burn down that lead .vs. whatever minutes remained. But it's telling, that every other player on the team was at least +3 when off the floor.

So, the Cavs lost 4 games to the Magic, but James had a positive +/- in two of them. If a game was close, the Cavs simply couldn't afford to let him sit, and that came at a cost in terms of his fatigue in the game and the series.

Having a teammate (or teammates) who can step-up, keep the team afloat when he's out of the game, or even win some games is a huge advantage and clearly James realized he needed to find a way to make that happen if the Cavs couldn't.
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Re: 2009 Cavs Qs 

Post#5 » by LivingLegend » Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:26 pm

The only 2 things I remember about that series is 1) Mo Williams who was supposed to be LeBrons' robin' never showed up in any games and 2) The Magic were absolutely unconscious from three point range. Every and anything they threw up went in for an entire series.
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Re: 2009 Cavs Qs 

Post#6 » by JonFromVA » Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:19 pm

LivingLegend wrote:The only 2 things I remember about that series is 1) Mo Williams who was supposed to be LeBrons' robin' never showed up in any games and 2) The Magic were absolutely unconscious from three point range. Every and anything they threw up went in for an entire series.


Mo was alright (had a big game 5 for instance), but if you actually expected Mo or Delonte or any of the other guys to be "Robin", I can understand your disappointment. Orlando was a very good defensive team (#1 in the league that season).

Even Kyrie who was a far better player and far better at getting his own shot, ran hot & cold in the playoffs.

SVG had a very good defensive strategy against the Cavs that the Cavs simply weren't ready to counter, and our defense just wasn't up to it's usual snuff due to injuries to Ben Wallace and Z.

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