|Cavs look overmatched, in over their heads, in first half|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 10 June 2007 17:57|
The Cleveland Cavaliers were so overmatched in the first half by the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night, there was nothing they could have done in the last two quarters to make matters any worse.
San Antonio rolled to a 25-point lead after one of the most lopsided first halves in NBA finals history and beat the Cavaliers 103-92, taking a 2-0 lead as they try for a fourth championship.
The Cavs are playing for their first - and they're not doing it well.
Up in Cleveland, fans packed in Quicken Loans Arena and donned special glasses for a 3-D HD viewing of the game.
Maybe they would have preferred blinders instead. Because this one wasn't worth witnessing for a Cavs fan, no matter how it was viewed.
LeBron James was on the bench with two fouls less than 3 minutes into the game, and Cleveland's hopes of evening the series were gone not long after that.
The Cavs trailed by as many as 28 points in the first 24 minutes, barely avoiding the largest halftime deficit in a finals game. Boston had a 30-point bulge in its romp over the Lakers in 1985.
Cleveland shot 27 percent in the half and allowed San Antonio to hit 55 percent. The Cavs were outrebounded 30-19, missed seven of eight 3-point attempts and were only 10-of-18 at the free throw line. By the time it was over, San Antonio had a 58-33 lead.
That's not the way Cleveland had been doing things for most of the postseason. The Cavs had been struggling mightily in the third quarters, getting outscored 24-14 in Game 1 after they trailed by only five points at halftime.
``We're just not coming out ready to play,'' coach Mike Brown said before the game, ``and I've got to continue trying to do a better job of getting our guys focused into the third quarter and getting our guys to play with a sense of urgency instead of coming out and kind of floating.''
The Cavs were outscored only 31-29 in the third quarter Sunday, but that left them with an 89-62 deficit heading to the fourth.
With James on the bench, Brown was unable to find a combination that could provide much scoring early in the game. But offense has never been Cleveland's strength, anyway.
What has to disappoint Brown is the rebounding and defense, because the Cavs were among the league's best in both categories during the regular season. But the Spurs have been superior in both during this series.
And James has been unable to get started until it's too late. He was 0-of-7 in the first half Thursday, then shot just 4-of-11 in 15 minutes during the first half of Game 2.
Just as they did in the opener, the Cavs had a strong fourth quarter, but that did little more than make the score closer than the game really was. They got as close as eight points in the final minutes.
Cleveland did erase a 2-0 deficit against Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals, and Miami did the same against Dallas last year in the NBA finals. So there is still reason for the Cavs to think they can come back.
First, they need to show they can get started.