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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cavs/Wizards Preview: King James Approximately

Posted by Tariq al Haydar


by Tariq al Hayder


The LeBron James (4) vs. The Washington Wizards (5)


In the month of April in the year 2012, when the Olympics will have drawn near, and the media start to ask about Team USA's chances of getting the gold, LeBron James will answer questions from the podium. He will say that beating the world's best will be a top priority in the summer, but that at that particular point in time, he cannot afford to think about London; he is singularly focused on the upcoming Playoffs, and on the franchise that pays his salary: the New York Knickerbockers.

Fifteen years pass.

Bron gives a clich├ęd speech, during which he praises the many teammates who helped him during his career, and without whom he could not be what he is on this day: a Hall of Fame inductee. He will thank many of them by name. He will fail to mention Ben Wallace, Wally Szacroeedo@k and Ira Newble. Nobody will notice.

As for the present, it's no secret that these two teams are merely playing for the right to get blown out by the Celtics. The question of whether or not Gilbert Arenas will remain with the Wiz is infinitely more compelling and relevant than who will win this series. Going into the season, two of the prize jewels of the 2008 Free Agent market were injured, and it seems that Gil's value has plummeted, simply because his team has stayed aloft without him thanks to Antawn and Tuff Juice. This series will probably determine where Gil will play next season. That is the extent of its significance.


Match-ups:
Point Guard:
Delonte West/ Daniel Gibson
Vs.
Antonio Daniels/Gilbert Arenas

So Boobie didn't follow up his Playoff heroics with a breakout season. We now know that he's a decent shooter who could be a spark off the bench on a contender. That's pretty much his ceiling. Delonte hasn't played badly at all since slotting into the starting line-up, but he's another cat who should be coming off the bench. Daniels is grittier and more experienced than the Cavs' PGs, but has no three-point shot whatsoever. In the end, though, a gimpy ace beats three jokers. A hobbled Gilbert won't carry the Wiz, but he'll certainly be a factor. Now we just need to agree that Hibachi is in fact a point guard.

Advantage: Wizards

Shooting Guard:
Devin Brown
Vs.
Deshawn Stevenson and Beard

This isn't even close. DeShawn is a good defender and three-point shooter, while any attempt at a beard by Devin would almost certainly be patchy at best.

Advantage: Wizards

Small Forward:
LeBron James
Vs.
Caron Butler

Tuff Juice has been so good that at times you may be tempted to describe him as "LeBronesque". No one has ever called Bron "Butleresque".

Advantage: Um…Cleveland

Power Forward:
Ben Wallace
Vs.
Antawn Jamison

Ben Wallace has become a shell of his former, glorious self. He is clearly mailing it in. Jamison, on the other hand, is an all-star who averages 21 and 10. He also has a misspelled first name.

Advantage: Washington

Center:
Zydrunas Ilgauskus
Vs.
Brendan Haywood

This may seem absurd in retrospect, but back when Jordan was emasculating Kwame, I thought Brendan Haywood could conceivably develop into an all-star. Why did I think that? My habit of smoking large quantities of controlled substances offers a thread to pursue. Big Z is a crafty post player with a body that should collapse any day now.

Advantage: Cleveland

Prediction:
I really struggled with this. At first I thought "Cavs in six." Then I kept telling myself that the Cavs were too reliant on Bron, so "Wiz in seven." Finally, the good folks at nerditry.com settled it for me with this masterful opening sentence:

"First off, I fully believe that an actual Cavalier would kick the ass of an actual Wizard, so we’ll be calling Washington the Bullets from now on, I don’t know why they didn’t call themselves that in the first place."

Word.

Cavs in seven.

10 comments:

DP said...

damn, this site is off the roof, Riq. you guys are bringing some major heat and i'm not mad. I do believe the series will be quicker than one might believe. I know for a fact though that before James ends his tenure with the Cavs, a game will have the stat line of something like this: LeBron James 87 points, the Clevand Cavs: 2 points. Hey you guys need to add me to this project yall got going on. Holla at me man! play wit it. DP 4000 out.

Tariq al Hayder said...

Hey DP,

Your boy and mine BET thinks we created this site to avoid him, which is crazy, because BET is like the peanut butter in a Reese's: he's damn tasty, even if he is a little nutty.

As far as adding you to this project, yeah, if you write something you want to post here, just send it to TAD or Eboy. And the same goes for BET. In fact, BET said he was going to write a music piece, but never did. Anyway, if you talk to him, tell him Tariq wants to know what's up with Queen Mab.

BETCATS said...

You guys post way to much. Get jobs or girl friends, or do both by becoming NY's govenor. And tariq, i say what i mean and mean what i say.

Young Bear said...

This was the first time that I have been able to give the site some time. (only able to read today)
Good lookin' fellas.
I'll be checking back soon.

Tariq al Hayder said...

BET:

I wouldn't have it any other way. And kudos on (unintentionally?) quoting Cat Stevens.

BETCATS said...

Tariq it was intentional. I do it cause i can

Tariq al Hayder said...

BET:

Then that makes it even more awesome. Incidentally, Cat Stevens is gangsta. If you didn't know, now you know.

BETCATS said...

Tariq, i run the litterary device game!

Ryan Jones said...

Least you could've done was use the second-edition cover. They actually used two-color fonts for that one.

BETCATS said...

Joooooooooooooooooooooooooonez