In watching the Eastern Conference Finals matchup yesterday between the Cavs and the Magic, I thought the Cavs began the game by playing great defense -- there was a sequence at the end of the first quarter where the Cavs defensive stops led to some great fast breaks. But then they slacked off and allowed the Magic to get back into the game. Once it got close, I thought that both teams got into a tit-for-tat contest trying to one-up each other shot for shot instead of playing defense. In the end, the Magic made more open shots than the Cavs. The disappointing part for the Cavs was that their talent and specifically shot-making was supposed to have been much improved this season, but instead they were the missing link for a Cavs win. The amazing part for the Cavs was that despite their poor shooting (other than Lebron), the Cavs still lost by only 1 point. Here is the post-game press conference with Cavs head coach Mike Brown,


I don't expect too many adjustments by either team -- it appears that both teams are content strategically to leave the other team's superstar (Lebron and Howard) on 1v1 coverage. Which means this series will either be decided by the team that can best close-out and contest shooters, and/or the team that can shoot the best percentage outside of their superstars. The Magic's supporting cast of Turkoglu and Lewis stepped up, will Williams, West, and Ilgauskas follow-up? We shall see...

Most of y'all are probably thinking about offseason workouts, one video to check out is Kevin Sutton's DVD on 2 Ball Basketball Workouts. In my opinion, one of the fastest and most effective ways to improve overall ball-handling is to incorporate 2 balls into every drill you do. Coach Sutton is a NIKE Skill Academy instructor. Be sure to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk about your favorite basketball topics.