- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2007

CLEVELAND.

It was a lifeless playoff game.

There was nothing to it.

No intensity. No fervor. No late-game hysterics.

You have seen getaway games in late February evoke stronger displays of emotion than Game 1 of the Cavaliers-Wizards series yesterday.

That is no criticism of either team.

The Cavaliers know the Wizards have fallen and can’t get up.

The Cavaliers know the Wizards are playing without Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler, and there is just no compensating for them.

And the Cavaliers know as long as they make a half-hearted attempt, the series will be theirs in four games, five maximum.

And that summed up this desultory affair: Cavaliers 97, Wizards 82.

LeBron James twisted his left ankle with 8:03 left in the third quarter, which, for a moment, appeared to be the most significant element of the exercise.

James stayed down for the longest time, while the Witnesses looked on anxiously and those from the nation’s capital thought: “Maybe this becomes a genuine series if James needs a couple of weeks of recovery time.”

But James, after writhing in pain and contorting his face in all possible manners, eventually rose to his feet and walked off the discomfort.

He went through the motions the rest of the way, and going through the motions was all that was necessary.

James finished with 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, a relatively quiet performance by his standards.

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