Listening to Mo Williams’ post game press conference, I got the sense that the Cavs’ point guard is in store for a big Game 4 on Tuesday.
Following his 5-for-16 shooting performance that resulted in only 15 points with three assists against five turnovers and four fouls, Williams bit the bullet and laid it all on the line.
“We’re giving these guys too much respect,” Williams said candidly. “They’re a good basketball team but so are we.”
Williams then pointed out the pink elephant that sits only in Cleveland’s dressing room, acknowledging the Cavs just can’t match up with Orlando’s Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis. He even called versatile swingman Mickael Pietrus the Magic’s “wild card” off the bench.
“They create so many matchup problems for us,” Williams said. “It’s evident. It’s no secret. We know it. Everybody knows it.”
When asked whether he had any bad history with Anthony Johnson or if Orlando’s backup point guard’s controversial elbow to his face would be remembered, Williams stayed focused on the task at hand. (Sort of.)
“I’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Williams said as three band-aids stretched across his stitched-up face, one above and two below his left eye. “I’ve got to figure out how I can make some shots. How I can get open looks. I couldn’t care less about Anthony Johnson. He plays 12 minutes a game.”
If any of the Cavs step up and give James something in Game 4 look for it to be Williams. As he sat on the podium it was as if he was saying, ‘Yeah we have matchup problems. Yeah we’re not making shots. Yeah we’re down 2-1. So what. Let’s play ball!’
It was the definition of manning up.
I’m sick and tired of LeBron James getting every call. It’s embarrassing. I want to see a LeBron v. Kobe Finals more than anyone. But don’t cheat to make it happen.
Whatever happened to “playoff basketball?” Eighty-six free throws? Unbelievable! Everything is not a foul, and not all contact deserves a trip to the free throw line. I literally dosed off with just less than six minutes remaining and thankfully awoke at the three-minute mark. I quickly rewound my DVR to the last play I remember before hitting REM sleep and, lo and behold, I hit the play button only to see Dwight Howard strolling to the free throw line following a commercial break.
How this song and dance helped Howard make 14 of 19 free throws is anyone’s guess.
Mo Williams sounds like he will make a great college coach someday.
Hedo Turkoglu is baiting some team into seriously overpaying him this summer. Good for him.
Courtney Lee has now posterized James twice in this series. I can guarantee you that was a big talking point in the Magic’s locker room following the game.
During James’ press conference, NBATV showed a graphic that listed the scoring leaders in the past four years of the playoffs. A forgotten name was near the top of the list. Gilbert Arenas sits in third place at 28 points per game (minimum 15 games) and trails only Bryant and James. Here’s hoping Agent Zero gets back soon but most importantly fully healed and ready to reclaim his seat alongside the game’s best in 2009-10.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
“We were able to overcome the dagger of the other night. How would we respond to LeBron’s shot? Everything is so psychological with you guys. It is a basketball game. Our guys were ready to play.” – Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy.