There Are No Moral Victories
Now it is officially over. The Cavaliers were suffocated right off the basketball court at the Palace in Detroit yesterday.
You could see it coming after the Cavs failed to clinch the series in a two point loss on Friday on their home court. This Pistons team is not the type to be beaten in a game 7 on their home court. And they weren't.
They suffocated the Cavs in the second half holding them to only 23 points in the final two quarters. That, and the Cavs helped by shooting very poorly. But either way, the Pistons won. They were able to ward off what nearly was a huge choke job. The team that clearly dominated the regular season didn't want to be shut down by a conference rival in round two. And they weren't.
The majority of this team will be back next season. Lebron, Larry Hughes, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Anderson Varejao and others. Hopefully Lebron signs the max 5-year $75 million extension to stick with the Cavs until he is 26 years old. The key to the deal is that nobody can offer him more money under the rules of the NBA, and hopefully this year's run showed enough commitment from the organization that they will try everything to win in Cleveland.
While I don't believe in moral victories, this has been about as close to one as I can imagine. It clearly isn't good enough to make it into the playoffs and past the first round only. I want a team that will challenge for titles year in and year out. At the same time, you can't help but feel like this first trip to the playoffs since 1998 was a clear step forward. The Cavs beat the Wizards in a heavily contested game 7. They got smashed two games in a row and then showed some heart in ripping three straight from the team that is arguably the best team left in the entire playoffs. That doesn't mean I will be celebrating or anything, but it does help fuel the hunger for the beginning of the next NBA season.