James v. Wade: Rivalry??
The Cavaliers take on the Heat tonight at 8pm. While LeBron versus Wade is a great individual match up, this is not a great team match up. Over the last 3 years the Cavs are 8-1 against the Heat. That’s the equivalent of any random army facing the French army. Just complete domination. Wade just does not have enough support on his team. The Heat are currently starting Rafer “Skip to my lou” Alston at PG. Unless you are playing outdoors and on concrete, you don’t want Alston as your starting PG. Wade is basically the facilitator and scoring options 1 through 3 for his team. He is currently averaging 28% of his team’s points. If you contain Wade you have an excellent chance of defeating the Heat. Of course containing one of the greatest players in the game is easier said than done, but if you play discipline team defense, it’s possible. During the Heat-Celtics game yesterday, there was a critical possession late in the 4th quarter with the game still up for grabs. Wade tried to drive to the hole with his patented inside-out dribble and the Celtics collapsed on him. Tony Allen was able to strip him and the game was basically over after that. No matter how good you are, you cannot carry your team night in and night out and expect to compete all the time. The fact that the Heat are on the second day of a back-to-back and the Cavs are 20-3 at home means that this game will not be close. Wade and James get theirs and the Cavs get the win 98-86.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Phil Jackson passed Pat Riley to become the winningest coach in Laker history. He, of course, is also the winningest coach in Chicago Bulls history. Critics always point to the fact that Jackson has benefited by having an immense amount of talent on his teams, but all I care about is that he has a ring for every one of his fingers. As Herm Edwards said “you play to win the game.” Hello! Well Jackson gets his players to play to win the championship and he has done that better than any coach in the history of the NBA. So here’s to Phil Jackson, the Zen master.