Now that’s what I’m talking about. The Cavs win last night might not have been the prettiest, most well-played basketball game of all time, in fact it was down right ugly, but it was finally exciting. For the first time in the 2007 NBA Playoffs, watching the Cavs, I had the same kind of excitement I felt all of the 2006 playoffs. Where every possession matter, every rebound, every shot, every pass mattered. The boring finally turned to thrilling.
I wasn’t able to watch the game live so I had it DVR’ed. I was at work and a meeting and had to do my best not to hear the score. One guy, at the meeting, kept catching his palm pilot and another guy got a text message with the score. I refused to have them talk to me. I made it out of the meeting without learning of the score and put a CD in on the way home just so no dumb DJ on a rock station would spoil me with the news of the game. I had to ignore a few phone calls because I knew that they were calling about the game. I finally get home at 11:30 and sat down to watch the game. I fast forward through most of the first half and then settled in for the second half.
First of all, I kind of like watching the game on tape. It goes quicker and you don’t have to listen as much to the announcers since you are more worried about when to fast forward and when to play. (If only I would have done that Sunday so I didn’t listen to Bill Walton). I had to sweat it out though because I only taped until 10:00. As the game came down to the final possessions, it didn’t like like I recorded all of the game. Lucky me, no more than two seconds after the final horn, my DVR stopped. That was a close one.
As the games got down to the final minutes, for the first time this postseason I was on the edge of my seat, yelling and talking to the players through the TV. When Vince Carter turned the ball over at the end I actually stood up and gave a few fist pumps. Kind of lame, yes, but I couldn’t help it. I was finally excited.
Thank you Vince for bring the excitement back!
I don’t care how the Cavs win as long as they keep winning. A lot of people are calling this win an ugly win, but you know what, a W is a W. The bottom line is Cleveland is up 3-1 and will close out the series Wednesday at home. If Cleveland loses they would have been in some big Barney (don’t get it, Barney Rubble… Trouble. Sorry, I was thinking of Ocean’s 11 for some reason). But they won and always seem to find a way to win.
What I took away from the game more than anything else besides the Cavs defense has finally gelled, is that I have a profound hatred for Mikki Moore. I find this odd since no one knew who he was until January or later of this year. I don’t even know why I hate him but I look at him and I just feel like punching something. I get the same feeling that I get when I see Rasheed Wallace. Maybe I hate Moore so much because his name is Mikki (if you read the Plain Dealer, he said it’s because of the Life cereal commercial from where he was a kid. How precious). Maybe it’s because he makes Rasheed look like a GQ model. Maybe it’s because he is the worst player to ever lead the NBA in field goal percentage. Maybe it’s because there’s no way he should make 18 foot jumpers. Maybe it’s because of the way he stars down people like he did to Varejao in Game 3 or Sasha last night like he is the toughest bad boy since Bill Laimbeer. Maybe it’s because of faces like this…
Whatever the reason, I look at him and just want to shave his girlie dread locks off and then tie them together as a rope and beat him silly with it.
It was great to see LeBron set up to Moore when he fouled Sasha in the third quarter just like Andy did the game before. Not sure why Sasha got a technical for it but that’s besides the point. If this was last year, no one would have done anything about it. Sasha gets knockdown and LeBron comes over and picks up Sasha. Sasha might say something to Moore but that’s about it. Not this year. This year about the whole team is in Moore’s face and ready to rock. Not only did LeBron stand up for his teammate, but he took over after that. He hit two 3-pointers and a jumper while Larry Hughes hit another three. New Jersey wasn’t out of it score wise since the did tie it up after that incident but Cleveland was not going to lose when they got that fired up.
My other favorite part of the game was when TNT was going to commercial break in the fourth quarter after Carter had turned the ball over. Sasha and Carter were walking down the court together and Carter was jawing at Sasha. Sasha did the greatest thing I’ve seen in a long time. He just grabbed his ear, and said “what?” Then he pointed up at something, I assume the scoreboard since the Cavs were winning at the time. This just made Carter more made and said some more things. Then Sasha turned and walked back to the Cavs bench and Vince was left telling no one but himself off as his teammates grabbed him pulled him to the Nets’ bench. I loved it.
So yeah the game was as ugly as Mikki Moore but there are no pictures in the W-L column. These are the type of games Cleveland has to win, especially in the next round against Detroit. So forget that LeBron missed three free throws in the final two minutes. Forget he gave up taking the ball to the hole and settled for outside jumpers. Forget that the Cavs probably should have won by more than 2 if New Jersey’s “Big Three” shoots 11-of-43. Just remember the final numbers; LeBron 30 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assist; Cavs win 87-85; Cleveland up 3 games to 1.