I wrote rather extensively 10 days ago about the fall of the Dallas Wizericks -- the former Washington Wizards who went to the Dallas Mavericks in search of playoff glory and found just another first round exit from the playoffs despite their team's #2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Hopes were high for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Deshawn Stevenson saw their hopes dashed in 6 games as if they were just another hobbled Wizards team facing the Lebron James behemoth.
Of course, there was one other prominent Wizard who was traded at midseason to a playoff team expected to do great things in the postseason. I mean, of course, Antawn Jamison, who went to two All Star games as a Wizard, but was traded away for future cap space and a very late first round draft pick later this summer. James went to the Cleveland Cavaliers to play with that self-same Lebron James behemoth and the team steam-rolled its way to another #1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
After being run off the court in their own gym -- losing 120-88 to the Boston Celtics in game 5 -- the Cavaliers are down 3-2 in the series and staring elimination in the face. Not just elimination, though, but possible oblivion, as speculation circulates that another playoff disappointment will lead Lebron James to conclude his best hopes for an NBA championship and basketball immortality are in another city, playing for a different team.
Am I not supposed to enjoy this? I understand the Wizards and the Cavaliers are not rivals. One of them is one of the best teams in the NBA and has been for several years, despite its inability to succeed in the playoffs. The other team has been eliminated by the first team 3 times and will spend its second straight season in the NBA Draft lottery, a victim, not of injuries this time, but of colossal stupidity, selfishness and over-confidence.
Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the pain of the Cleveland Cavaliers and I hope their season ends in game 6 in Boston. As much as I like Antawn Jamison -- and I like him a lot -- I can't root for the Cavaliers to win. I don't like James and his colossal arrogance and sense of entitlement on the court. I don't like the way the team plays. I don't like them for destroying my Wizards again and again. I don't like them for a number of reasons, all of them valid to me. So I hope they lose.
Compounding my disgust with the Cavs is the idiotic way they have used Jamison in this series. He's just a jump-shooter to the Cavs. I don't understand this. Sure, Jamison can shoot outside jumpers, but it isn't really what he is best at doing. He's a good 3-point shooter for a power forward, but there are any number of players on Cleveland's roster who are better 3-point shooters than Jamison. Where Jamison truly excels is in his mid-range and post game. Despite being out-sized almost all the time, Jamison scores down low with a baffling array of flip shots after a twisting, turning, spinning move that has happened many times before, but is somehow still not seen coming. Why the Cavs are using Jamison as if he's the second coming of Reggie Miller is a mystery to me. Get Shaquille O'Neal out of the post, where he takes up all the space, and let Jamison do his thing down low.
Also, Jamison -- not exactly a great defensive player -- is getting his ass handed to him by Kevin Garnett, who is using his huge size advantage in the paint. This might have been expected, but it is the poor use of Jamison on the offensive end that is making the matchup such a...mismatch. Right now the Cavs are seeing the worst part of Jamison's game -- defense -- without utilizing the best part of his game -- his effective low post scoring.
If the Cavaliers are eliminated by Boston -- not even reaching the conference finals as they did last year -- it will be further evidence that the Wizards are not cursed and that getting away from them is no cure for the postseason blues.