Eastern Conference Champions


Cavaliers Fans, we are going to the NBA finals, yes this one is for real. I am still trying to digest what happened last night. After fighting the Indians and Cavs traffic, we were able to make it to the Q around 7:30pm.

A lot of good things happened yesterday and it started with the free parking spot that we got. We were getting ready to pay the $20 parking fee most places charged around downtown last night. But we were able to find a good spot next to Cleveland States University. There was a $10 parking fee sign but there was no one to collect the money.

When we got to our seats, the Cleveland Mayor, Frank Jackson was sitting right next to me and Bill Russell was three rows behind me. I was actually sitting closer to the court than Mr Russell himself :)

The arena was full and you can feel the energy everywhere. They gave out the red “Beat Detroit” T-shirt and red blinking “Rise UP” lights to fans.

Usher sang the National Anthem. I don’t think he knew he was going to sign and actually he was surprised. He did a great job though!

For the first time in a long time, championship-starved Cleveland has something to feel good about. We are talking about the NBA Finals and we are actually in it.

We will meet the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the finals on Thursday night.

The Cavaliers are only third team to come back from an 0-2 deficit in a conference finals, joining the 1971 Baltimore Bullets and 1993 Chicago Bulls.

As the final seconds ticked away, James threw the ball into the crowd and jumped into the arms of center Zydrunas Ilgauskas as the Q quaked.

The moment was very special for Ilgauskas, “We said we loved each other,” Ilgauskas said. “We’ve gone through so much as a team. For some reason we sought each other out and the emotions took over.”

“This is like a dream,” James said, “This is probably the best feeling that I’ve ever had in my life.”

“If I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me up,” Gibson said who scored a career high 31 points and drained 5 3-point shots.

You can find more game quotes here.
Also, watch video highlights of the game here.

Box ScoreGame Photos

Other News

ESPN Daily Dime

James Gang rides high (Akron Beacon Journal)

Rise Guys (Plain Dealer)

Please feel free to add any other links related to the Eastern Conference in the comment section.

Cavaliers Will Try to Make History Tonight

Tonight could be a special night for the Cavaliers. A win tonight will give the Cavaliers their first trip in team history to the NBA Finals.

A win tonight will make the Cavaliers just the third team in NBA history to win a conference finals series after trailing 2-0 in a seven-game series. The others are 1971 Washington Bullets and the 1993 Chicago Bulls, both against the New York Knicks.
The Cavs now have eight road playoff wins over the last two seasons. In the previous 35 seasons, they only had seven road playoff wins…. James needs 26 more points to become the franchise’s all-time leading postseason scorer. Mark Price holds the record with 818.

 Source: Akron Beacon Journal

The King Ruled The Palace

If you missed this game last night, then you better find someone who TiVo’d it or have it on a video tape, otherwise you will want to wait for EPSN Classic to air this game, and they will for many years.
Lebron James performance last night was just unbelievable. I couldn’t sleep all night, as a Cavaliers fan, my heart was pounding all game especially in the fourth quarter. Then I had to endure more of it for two double overtime.

“LeBron soars to dunk. He drops in unmakeable jumpers. He leaps to the defense of a hacked teammate. Even the hard-to-please Wise LeBron can’t quibble watching this one with a glass of ice-cold lemonade.” Andrew Ayres said on ESPN Daily Dime.

“This performance was one that’ll be talked about for ages, a testament to greatness that’ll rank right up there with Reggie Miller’s 8 points in 8.9 seconds, Michael Jordan’s 63-point coming out party in the Boston Garden, or his “flu game” in Utah, Magic Johnson’s 42-point outburst while playing center in Game 6 of the 1980 finals.” Chris Sheridan, EPSN Insider said.

Paul Forrester of SI describes the game as “Jaw-dropping”, “Heart-pounding”, “Legendary”

Gregg Doyel from CBS Sports Line said, ” On this night James was the best basketball player I’ve ever seen. Best you’ve ever seen, too,”

“This is the single best game I’ve ever seen at this level in this atmosphere, hands down,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said. “I don’t know what he can’t do.”

Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon Journal said in a special to ESPN article:

“When he was 15-years-old and his team was trailing at the half of an early-round state high school tournament game in a tiny gym in Wooster, Ohio, LeBron James needed to take over. He scored the first 15 points of the second half and the rest was history.

When he was 18-years-old and playing his final high school game, in front of a sellout crowd at Ohio State University, his team was in a dogfight to win the state championship game and a mythical national championship. He scored 25 of his team’s 40 points and the rest was history.

When he played his first professional game in a boisterous environment far away from home in Sacramento, it was in front of millions of skeptic eyes. He scored 25 points, the most ever for a preps-to-pros debut, and the rest was history. So many gyms, layers of challenges and moments of failure led James to the mindset he took into the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night. Each had its own significance, one building upon another, that led a 22-year-old freakish body to become matched with a hyper-developed basketball soul that may be just starting to bloom.

Thursday night wasn’t just about scoring 48 points in a conference finals game on the road. It wasn’t even about scoring his team’s last 25 points, including every tally in both overtimes. It was about applying the knowledge acquired over years of demanding and high-profile challenges. ”

“He put on an unbelievable display out there,” said Pistons guard Chauncey Billups, whose own mighty clutch plays were swallowed by James’ historic run of dominance. “It’s probably the best I have seen against us ever in the playoffs.”

The Cavaliers still have more work to do on Saturday and Lebron and his teammates will have a chance to take this franchise and all its fans to a place where they’ve never been to “THE NBA FINALS”.

For now, you can watch the highlights of game 5 here.

For post game interview, watch this video:


Larry Hughes Will Try To Play Tonight

Larry Hughes will attempt to play through the pain tonight in Game 5. Hughes said at the morning shootaround that he expects to go through the same pre-game therapy routine, including the cortisone shot, and he will re-evaluate his need for the medication before Saturday’s Game 6.

Mike Brown said he would start Hughes if he is able to play. Hughes said the injury feels best at the beginning of games, and coaches know to sit him when his limping becomes more pronounced.

 Source: Cleveland.com

Bryant Asks Lakers to Trade Him

Kobe Bryant asked to be traded from the Lakers on Wednesday, a day after calling the team’s front office “a mess.”

“I would like to be traded, yeah,” Bryant told ESPN radio. “Tough as it is to come to that conclusion there’s no other alternative, you know?”

Bryant, who helped the team win three consecutive NBA championships, has four years remaining on the seven-year, $136.4 million contract he signed July 15, 2004. That was a day after Shaquille O’Neal was traded to the Miami Heat.

Bryant became infuriated Tuesday when a Los Angeles Times columnist quoted what he called a Lakers insider as saying it was Bryant’s insistence on getting away from O’Neal that prompted the trade to Miami.


No Pistons Fans Outside of Detroit?

Are we about to see the last of Detroit? Are basketball fans around the country ready for a new team to RISE UP in the east?

That’s what Gregg Doyel from CBS SportsLins.com said in his article “Pathetic Pistons show age in Game 4 loss

He writes:

 “Outside of Detroit, has anyone enjoyed watching the Pistons over the past four years? They have no flash, no fury, one ring and no fans beyond their state border. There is no single reason to root for the Pistons, and no reason to believe they can finish off Cleveland.
 It’s almost as if the Pistons know it, too. They finished Game 4 by trying to beat Cleveland with everything but good basketball, because good basketball has been beyond Detroit’s grasp for most of this series. ”
 “That was bad, but Rip Hamilton’s final attempt to influence the game was worse. It came with four seconds left and Cleveland leading 89-87. LeBron James, who had a ho-hum game (for him) and still put up 25 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, was going to the foul line for the two free throws that would clinch it. Hamilton, who needed 21 shots to score 19 inefficient points, tried to get inside James’ head by stepping into his space near the foul line. James shoved him aside and sank the free throws.”
 “Halfway naked before hitting the locker room, Wallace was the first Piston out the door. No shower, no suit, no tie. He left in jeans and a T-shirt, a towel draped over one shoulder and his button-down shirt draped over the other. Then he stood by an arena exit that led to the Pistons team bus, playing with his iPod near a postgame watering hole for Cleveland fans. The fans mocked him, but Wallace seemed to relish it. That’s Wallace. Empty gestures all day long.”


Source: CBS SportsLine

James Draws More Criticism On The Darfur Issue

James was asked to sign an open letter, written by Cleveland Cavaliers teammate Ira Newble, condemning China’s government for contributing to the genocide of people in the Darfur region of Sudan.

“China cannot be a legitimate host to the premier international event in the sporting world – the Summer Olympic Games – while it remains complicit in the terrible suffering and destruction that continues to this day,” Newble wrote.

James didn’t sign and he said he didn’t have enough information about the issue. Damon Jones didn’t sign either and refused comment.

A political activist website, thinkprogress.org, wrote about James’ decision not to sign and that led to varied comments posted on the website.

Then someone who called himself Shane posted this: “Americans can’t be bothered standing up for their country, their soldiers or the constitution. Why would we expect some athlete, no doubt with a neocon agent and manager telling him what to do, to stand up for people with no money who will never buy the shoes he hawks.”

A person calling himself ‘Badmoodman’, wrote: “James has a $90 million deal with Nike, which has huge business interests in China. The Darfur issue passed by LeBron with a big SWOOSH.”

James has a huge contract with Nike, a company that has business interests in China, while Jones is to endorse products from a Chinese shoe and apparel company.

As James is one of the best players in the NBA, and a captain of Team USA who is likely to run onto the court in Beijing when the Americans attempt to regain the Olympic gold medal, it is not surprising his decision has led to a lively debate.

Former United State Senator and New York Knicks star Bill Bradley did not mention LeBron James by name, but also spoke about the issue in a story published on www.bloomberg.com.

“You have to decide what it is you want to use your celebrity for,” Bradley said. “It’s conceivable that some people will choose to never do it, in which case it’s unfortunate. There are bigger lives that can be led.”

 Source: Yahoo News