Links To The Present: May 13, 2010

May 13th, 2010 by Tom Pestak

“The Cavs players were very loose and laughing and joking before shootaround. No one more than James, who isn’t exactly starting the day off with a tone of focus. When he played very well in Game 3, James put headphones on and said nothing before shootaround as he got ready to work. Not sure what is so funny. There is a detached mentality with the team that is remarkable over the last week. We’ll see if they are laughing later tonight.” [Brian Windhorst’s Beat Blog]

ESPN Roundtable on Game 6

Two-Thirds of Magic Fans want LeBron to stay in Cleveland

“This is supposed to be the best time of the NBA season, when the best face the best and bring out the best in each other, and it isn’t happening. Not close. Too many injuries to good players. Too many lopsided games (the average margin is 12 points, and more have been decided by double digits than single digits). Too few games – the last time the semifinal rounds went this quickly was 1999, and that was the year of the ghastly Spurs-Knicks finals that nearly returned hockey to national prominence.” [Ray Ratto]

“Anybody who gives two cents about this game and is very, very competitive, anything like me, then they’re going to go home and watch this tape, probably not eat, probably not sleep much, and be ready for Game 6,” Garnett said. “So we have to be ready for that. We can’t put the onus on a Game 7 back here in this building [in Cleveland].” [Kevin Garnett from ESPNBoston Article]

“When the Cavs’ season ends, James’ contract will be up and he will be an unrestricted free agent. While James has never implied he was considering leaving, unexpectedly getting knocked out in the second round and failing to return to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year may influence his feelings about the long term.” [Brian Windhorst]

“Mike Brown played Boston to get ready for the next series, and now his team might not return to The Quit for another game this season.  Brown felt he had to have Shaquille O’Neal ready for Dwight Howard of Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals. By refusing to consider a smaller, quicker, more athletic lineup — such as the one the Atlanta Hawks used to sweep the regular-season series with Boston, such as the one the Cavs also used with great success against the Celtics this season — Brown negated much of his roster flexibility.” [Bill Livingston]

“That leaves one other option: Playing small with LeBron at the 4. While the Cavs prefer to take advantage of their size, they can also match up small with LeBron and Jamario Moon at the forward spots, or with Anthony Parker sliding up to play small forward. The advantage is that it opens up the floor and counteracts Boston’s particularly strong knack for shrinking it, potentially allowing James to wreak havoc in the process.  The Cavs have used this lineup only once in the series, and it was in garbage time: A six-minute stretch of the fourth quarter in Game 3 when they already had a 28-point lead. It seems now would be a good time to use this bullet rather than keeping it in their holster all summer.” [John Hollinger on Cavs Adjustments]

There’s at least one Celtics Fan who’s NOT happy right now…