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Open Thread: Round 1


The Essentials:
#4 Cavaliers (45-37) vs. #5 Wizards (43-39)
Playoff Schedule

This Year:
December 5:
Wizards 105, Cavaliers 86
January 23: Cavaliers 121, Wizards 85
February 22: Cavaliers 90, Wizards 89
March 13: Wizards 101, Cavaliers 99

The Last Two Playoff Meetings:
Cavs 4, Wizards 2
2007: Cavs 4, Wizards 0

Notable Cavaliers numbers this season:
15th in expected winning percentage (.484)
23rd in pace factor (88.8 possessions per game)
19th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (107.5)
11th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (108.0)

Key Links (add any others in the comments)
Cavs Blogs:
And One
Cavalier Attitude
Le Cavs
Waiting for Next Year, Cavs section
Brian Windhorst

Cavs-Wiz Previews/Predictions:
Scouts Inc.
DC Optimist
Ball Don't Lie

SLAM Online
Michael Wilbon
David Dupree Series Blog

Starting Lineups
Delonte West
SG: Devin Brown
SF: Jay-Z
PF: Ben Wallace
C: Zydrunas Ilgauskas

"The Dumbest Team in the History of Civilization
PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: Soulja Boy
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Brendan Haywood

And here we go.  Just to avoid confusion, I want to make it clear that this is the open thread for the series as a whole.  There's still going to be a game thread for each game in the series, although they'll be a little different since you probably don't need to see this info repeated for every game in the series.  You've already heard from Prada and I on how the first round is going to go down, now you have a spot to throw in your predictions as well.  But first, let's get a little more analysis in.

Talk is cheap, but important:  Just in case you haven't been keeping up with the back and forth smack talk that's been going on for about a month now, TruthAboutIt catches you up on everything that's transpired.  I think I'm pretty much in line with Stet Sports Blog's thoughts on the whole thing,  Generally, I'm against smack talk (mainly because of this) but here I'm more OK with it, mainly because DeShawn was only responding to something that LeBron said earlier.  Check out this question from the latest Wizards Insider chat:

Burke, Va.: Hey Ivan,

in your Wiz Insider column, you said that you thought Deshawn was going to say more trash after the Indiana game. Did you ever find out what he was planning on saying? Also, do you know, what did LeBron say about DeShawn to Drew Gooden?

Ivan Carter: DeShawn was gone after the game so we didn't get a chance to talk to him. Not sure what he had in mind but he told us to be ready for something "good" before the game. I hear that [what] was said by LeBron involved a female. That's all I know. Whatever it was, it ticked DeShawn off big time. He wants some LeBron.

Everyone's been talking about how DeShawn shouldn't have messed with LeBron, and how he's going to regret it and all that.   No one seems to be considering that maybe it was bad idea to tick off DeShawn.  If you consider that he was already coming into the playoffs motivated to redeem himself from last year's performance, disprove Charles Barkley, and you add this in, who's to say that Stevenson isn't the one to be messed with here?  I'm not saying, he's going to match LeBron's output or do anything epic like that, but if he can limit LeBron and have a better than average series offensively, maybe America will learn that the Lock Smith isn't to be messed around with either.

Scuff his shoes!  It can't hurt right?

Protect the glass, protect the world: In the last game between these two, the Cavs had a 15 rebound advantage.  We were lucky that it didn't bite us there, but if Washington doesn't win the rebound battle there's going to be big problems in this series.  With a team that struggles on offense like the Cavs, the absolute worst thing you can do is give them extra opportunities to score.

Finally, a YouTube to get you fired up:

This is an open thread, so leave your predictions for the series here.  While I'm not a gambling man, I must say that I'm tempted to put down $259 on a speedy series.