We've merged 4 quarters into 2 halves this week.
1 - Van Gundy
So, I was talking about the Magic and Cavs on my radio show yesterday, and I posed the question, "What would make you believe at this point, that the Cavs are going to win this series?" The very first response I got, in defense of the Cavs, was that Stan Van Gundy will be the reason the Cavs win the series.
I don't know about you, but as a Heat fan, I absolutely loved Stan Van Gundy as head coach. I'm cool with how things worked out for the Heat, because they won it all and I don't care who has to stay or go for that to happen. Would the Heat have still won if Stan had not resigned? I'd like to think so, but obviously Shaq wasn't in the mood to play for Stan any longer.
My question is: What has to happen for the Stan Van Gundy criticism to stop? The guy has had nothing but success as a head coach. Took a 42 win Heat team to Game 6 of the conference semis in his first year. Went to Game 7 of the East Finals in his second year. Took the Magic to the playoffs in his first year there. And now, is up 2-1 in the East Finals against the team with the best record in the NBA.
Shaq may complain after Game 7 in '05 about not getting the ball enough, but I don't know how you fault Stan for continuing to call plays for Dwyane in the 4th quarter, whether he is hurt or not. I didn't hear much complaining from Shaq when Dwyane carried him in 2006. With 6 minutes to go and down by 13 in Game 3, all Pat Riley did was write "SEASON" on a chalkboard, and then Dwyane turned into Michael Jordan. I suppose writing a word on a chalkboard, rather than calling plays for Dwyane Wade, was a gameplan that was acceptable to Shaq. What a joke.
When does the lazy criticism end?
2 - LeBron/Wade
I think Dave Hyde made a good point in the Sun Sentinel the other day. While Heat fans would usually have a hard time pulling for the Magic in this series, an early exit for LeBron is good news for Heat fans. The more frustrated he gets, the better. Everyone is starting to see that maybe LeBron's supporting cast can work during a mundane 82-game schedule, but it may not cut it in the latter rounds of the playoffs.
The reason this is important, is because it may get to the point that all Cavs fans are fearing. If the Cavs win a championship, making it more likely for him to stay in Cleveland, the number 1 target for the Knicks in 2010 is Dwyane Wade.
So, let's all pull for the Magic for the next few days.