May 15, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT
Ours is not a very positive society, in terms of the media, in case you haven’t noticed.
So when the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics, the turn from all over, including from this blog, revolved around the failure of LeBron James and the Cavaliers, and James’ legacy. As a side note, oh, yeah, the Boston Celtics managed to dismantle the team with the best record in the league, get all of their weapons going and win in convincing fashion.
But Stan Van Gundy thinks that to gloss over what the Celtics did to crucify James and the Cavs is a flawed design.
From the New York Times:
“It does a disservice to all of them,” Van Gundy said. “I feel bad for
him only in the sense that you’ve taken a team that basically, because
of one guy, made it inevitable that nobody can possibly beat them,
they’re going to win a championship. Then, instead of just going, ‘Wow,
the Celtics are good and they played great.’ Now, it’s, ‘What’s wrong
with LeBron? Why did he play the way he did in Game 5? The talent around
him is not good enough. Mike Brown can’t coach.’ You go through all the
negatives. You can’t say — I can — but I guess you guys just can’t
say, ‘They lost to a damn good team.”
Well, then, Stan, tell us how you really feel. You’re usually so reserved, after all.
Van Gundy’s point is a strong one. Why do we seek to simplify the Cavaliers’ failures into some sort of spiritual vaccum (“They have no heart.”) or a catastrophic X’s and O’s disaster? We gloss over some pretty important facts, like the Celtics working hard for high percentage shots, out-executing consistently, coming up with every loose ball, and playing a brand of defense easily identifiable as the type that puts rings on fingers.
Van Gundy often has difficulty with how things are portrayed, but this is a particularly sound piece of perspective. The Cavs won more games than any other team in the league. They made the second round. The Celtics were simply better.
However, none of this will stop questions about how the Cavs accepted that fact. There were particular points in the final two games of the series where the Cavs and James simply seemed to accept that they were bested. It didn’t come easy, so they took their ball and come home. But pointing that out shouldn’t overshadow the job the Celtics did just because it’s sexier.
And having equated the word “sexier” with something involving Glen Davis, I will not spend the rest of the day vomiting.
- Lakers GM Kupchak denies he, Howard talked about D’Antoni 1
- Kevin Love and Flip Saunders hitting it off 5
- Three things about Game 2: Tony Parker is that good but Randolph, Grizzlies figuring it out 5
- Spurs need overtime in Game 2 to beat Grizzlies, take a 2-0 series lead 2
- Cavaliers bask in another lottery victory 12
- Report: Dwight Howard will consider multiple teams in free agency, is said to be most intrigued by the Rockets (121)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (88)
- Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen says LeBron would “kick Jordan’s ass” (75)
- Bradley Beal said he’d lose respect for a teammate who acted like Derrick Rose (67)
- Seattle group releases statement; forced to wait, hope for expansion (64)
- Tiger calls Sergio's comments inappropriate, hurtful
- Bears great Urlacher announces retirement
- Posnanski on Golf: Sergio shows disdain for Tiger
- HBT: Soriano calls out Harper after blown save
- PHT: Sharks take Game 4, pull even with Kings
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- PBT: Nick Gilbert again Cavs' good luck charm