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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cleveland Cavs: Cavaliers look to show they can hang with the Pistons

When the Cleveland Cavaliers face off with the Detroit Pistons in Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Semifinals tonight they should have more than just winning the game on their minds. After the poor showing on Sunday in the Pistons 113-86, the Cavs should also think about playing a more respectable game. While Detroit isn’t coming out and saying it, there’s no doubt that Game 1 was a statement game for the Pistons. The Cavaliers were on national TV for every game of their 1st-Round series with Washington with Nike commercials sporting the “We are all witnesses” slogan about LeBron James. Meanwhile the Pistons were taking care of business over on NBA TV, waiting for their chance. When the Cavs/Wizards series extended to 6 games the Pistons were resting up after finishing off the Bucks in just 5 games, and the Eastern Conference’s #1 seed was poised and ready for the up-and-coming #4 seed Cavaliers.

So with Game 1’s embarrassment behind them, the Cavs could really use a win. But let’s be realistic here. The Cavs first need to show they can play with the Pistons and compete with them on their home court. As much as I hate to say they need a moral victory since we all know moral victories don’t give you anything in the “W” column, I do believe that the Cavs need a moral victory tonight to boot their confidence. Sending the series to Cleveland with the Cavs feeling strong about their chance of winning some games at home could go a long way towards getting them back into this series.

Cavaliers keys to victory:
• Hold the Pistons to a normal 3-point shooting percentage – under 40% and under 30% preferably
• Flip Murray scoring in double-digits
• Efficient LeBron James scoring – 30 points on say, 22-24 shots would be nice
• Z showing on offense – 15 points, 10 rebounds

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