Posted: 5/23/2009 9:25:16 PM
When LeBron James hit that 25-foot prayer at the end of Game 2, I, as someone who has a healthy futures bet on the Cavs to win the championship, didn't feel relieved.
I sat there in defeat knowing that while my team pulled out a miracle win, there was no way Cleveland would be able to win this series against Orlando.
This league is - pardon the cliché - all about matchups and the Magic just happen matchup extremely well against the Cavs.
Mike Brown is comfortable playing one offensive big man and one defensive rebounder/hustler. The problem with this strategy is that it allows Dwight Howard to man the paint and leave the offensively challenged Cleveland big man - be it Ben Wallace or Anderson Varejao - alone to wonder the perimeter.
That means any time LeBron heads to the basket, the NBA defensive player of the year is there waiting for him.
That's only part of the problem for Brown. His best two-guard is too short (Delonte West) is too short to guard any of Orlando's wing players. James is the only starter who can effectively guard Hedo, Rashard and Pietrus but he can't guard all three at the same time. Plus having him work hard on the defensive end leaves him with less juice in the fourth quarter to create scoring chances for the Cavs.
I'm going to load up on Orlando to win this series hoping to recoup some of the money I foolishly put on Cleveland a couple months back.
BetJamaica.com has Orlando as 1.5-point favorites for Game 3 on Sunday night.