The city is abuzz thanks to yesterday’s resounding Game 1 triumph by the Cavaliers over the Washington Wizards yesterday afternoon. An 11 point win that really wasn’t close after the middle of the second quarter will cause that excitement. By the way, the playoff atmosphere didn’t seem to bother LeBron, did it?
However, this will be a close series. The wine and gold played very well, and the Washington big three (Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler) did not shoot the ball well. In the playoffs, it is all about adjustments. Wizards’ coach Eddie Jordan will see what made the Cavs’ offense successful in the first game, and will change up his defense. Offensively, Jordan will hope his main players make more shots. For the most part, they had good looks, but the ball didn’t go down.
I expect Washingto to come back with a revenge on Tuesday night. If the Cavs’ can react and win that game, they will have a big leg up on winning this series and advancing to the conference semi-finals. Look for Cavs’ head man Mike Brown to try to get Zydrunas Ilgauskas established early in the game. One thing the Wizards’ have for concern: Is there a defense for LBJ if the rest of the team is making their shots.
Now on to the Tribe. No team looks good if the starting pitching stinks, and in the last four games, that describes the Indians’ starting pitching. Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona, and Paul Byrd have combined to give up 24 runs in 13 innings in their last stop. This has put a tremendous strain on the shaky bullpen.
Eric Wedge has managed like a man with waning confidence in his relief corps. He left Westbrook in at least three hitters too long. Carmona should have been lifted after a leadoff double with a 4-3 lead. When you have inexperienced guys in the pen, you should try to bring them in at the start of an inning.
The key man for the Tribe is Jason Davs. The club needs Davis to provide another set up man with Guillermo Mota to get to Bob Wickman until Rafael Betancourt gets back.
The biggest help would be for the starters to give Wedge six or seven innings every day. When the Tribe made its run last year, it went a long stretch without giving up four runs in a contest. That’s what the Tribe needs starting today.