My thoughts over a the weekend in sports.
How bad did the Cavs look? It was like they felt sorry for the Nets and decided that this game didn’t matter. Like it was a game in December rather than Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. They had a chance to deliver a knockout blow and they wasted it by playing like they just didn’t care. They were get beat to lose balls, had careless turnovers (LeBron’s at the beginning of the fourth quarter when he started pointed around and Richard Jefferson poke the ball that was just sitting in LBJ’s other hand off him and out of bounce sums up the careless TOs perfectly) and, for the first time this series, were out rebounded. All signs of lack of focus.
As bad as they played, and especially shot the ball, they weren’t really out of it until the final four minutes. (My brother kept saying the Cavs would pull a head at the four minute mark and then hang on to win. Instead, at the four minute mark, Cleveland fell down by 11 and threw in the white flag two minutes later. Good call Brother.) The good news is it’s hard to imagine the Cavs playing that lackluster again. It hopefully will light a fire under the Cavs, especially LeBron, and get them back on track and get LeBron to dominate down the stretch again. The bad news, it gives the Nets hope for the series. Instead of being down 3-0 and done for, all they have to do is win on their home floor tonight and it puts all the pressure on Cleveland. Everyone knows what the Cavs have to do win. Rebounding and defense are the key with LeBron and Hughes attacking more and not settling for outside jumpers. We’ve heard it before and heard it all year after bad loses. Now it’s up to Cleveland to take care of business.
As painful as it was to watch the Cavs, it was more painful to listen to Bill Walton announce the game. I used to be about the only one who like Walton. I thought he was funny and unique. Now I’ve joined the “We Hate Bill Walton Fan Club” like everyone else. I was close to joining the club during the first round when he said “Shaq has been directly responsible for the past nine NBA Champions, win or lose.” Well, Saturday’s comments have pushed me to join the club. Here’s what he said, not quoted directly but close enough.
“All Anderson Varejao is looking to do is fall on his back and flop. He just abuses the rules of the game. I don’t think Dr. Neismith had flopping in mind when he invented the game.”
This was said during the second quarter. During the third quarter he said something close to this…
“The New Jersey Nets should just be taking it right to the basket. Cleveland has no shot blockers. Zydrunas Illgauskas is 7”3’ but he’s not going to block any shots. Drew Gooden isn’t a shot blocker and all Anderson Varejao is trying to do is fall backwards and flop.”
As Walton finishes the sentence, Varejao was in perfect position to take a charge but ended up blocking someone’s shot and grabbing the loose ball and starting a fast break for the Cavs. All while Walton is still going on about Varejao flopping.
Finally, for a third time, Walton said something along the same theme, again using the phrase “all Varejao wants to do is fall backwards and flop.” This time, Walton’s play-by-play guy (I think Mike Tirico but not sure, sorry) said, “yeah, you’ve mentioned that a few times.”
Come on, Bill. Really? Does it bother you that much that you have to attack Andy three times during the game. He must really hate the Cavs.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Richard Jefferson had a real nice dunk in the third quarter I believe. Walton, showing his hatred for the Cavs again, said it “was the dunk of the playoffs.” Really? He must not have watched Friday night’s Warriors-Jazz game when Baron Davis gave Andrei Kirilenko the facial of all facials. Good try though, Bill. I’m ashamed to say I have your autograph.
Speaking of the Warriors-Jazz series, the only thing more annoying than listening to Walton was seeing the decibel level meter during the Warriors game. I thought that gimmick when out with short shorts. Everytime the Warriors scored you could expect to see the decibel meter reading. It’s sad when you know everytime the meter is coming up. Even sadder that they still use it at all. But it was nice of ESPN to show us just how loud a decibel is. They showed a chart that said 60 dB is normal conversation, 98 dB is front row at an orchestra (good example because all basketball fans now what it’s like to sit front row at an orchestra) and 140 dB of a military jet takeoff. They only thing worse would have been if they would have shown won of those “Applause O’Meters” that they actually show in the arena. We get it ESPN, it’s loud in the Oakland Coliseum. We don’t care if it’s at 95 dB or 110 dB. That mean’s nothing to us.
Since TNT didn’t use the decibel level reader on Sunday night’s telecast, maybe that’s why the Warriors lost their first home game of the playoffs. Fans at home didn’t know how loud it was in there and it indirectly led to the fall of Baron’s Warriors.
I’m going to miss Baron Davis and the Warriors in the playoffs.
The Tribe is maybe the most frustrating team to follow in the majors. They have a good record but they look awful.
I can’t wait until Adam Miller replaces Jeremy Sowers in the Tribe’s rotation.
Phil should have just thanked Tiger for not showing up to play this weekend, since he thanked everyone else. But if Tiger let Butch Harmon go, then got better with a new coach and Phil picked up Butch, can Phil ever really catch Tiger?
Rafael Nadal will never lose on clay courts, or half grass, half clay courts.
Brett Farve, my favorite NFL quarterback, is right to be ticked off but he’ll have a monster year before he retires (of course a monster year for him now will just mean more TDs than INTs).
Cavs win tonight 98-91 and close out the series in Game 5.