Quite a different feeling from the last game the Cavs played in Detroit. The last time on the same court, LeBron James scored 48 points including the Cavs last 25 and they left the court in celebration, a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals and LeBron being thrust into one of the greatest playoff performances of all time.
Last night, the Cavs left the same court dejected, 25 point losers and with LeBron in an expensive suit and ugly brace on his left hand. Quite the difference from last May.
This morning all Cavs fans are holding their breath until more is known on LBJ’s sprained index finger. Let’s hope it is just a sprain and only out a couple games. Anything worse and we saw what will happen. The Cavs were only down 5 at halftime. The game quickly turned into a blowout and a laugher without LeBron.
The Cavs are 9-3 all time without LBJ but this is different. LeBron has never missed more than three games in a row but this injury looked scary enough that that he could miss more. If you wanted a case for MVP, and his nearly triple-double average wasn’t enough, watch what happens to this team without him. Look at what happened without him last night. They looked more confused than someone trying to explain why the WNBA is still around. They looked more lost than a six-year old who can’t find his mom at the mall.
LeBron is without a doubt the most important player on any team in the league. With him, the Cavs are a legitimate Eastern Conference title contender. Without him, the Knicks have a better shot being called a well run organization than the Cavs do of winning more than half their games. If he is out for a long period of time, just another reason to hate the ugliest team of all time. Nazr Mohammed just became the most hated man in Cleveland. And that’s a tough list to crack considering we already went over it.
Hand injuries are a scary thing. They seem minor but can really affect a basketball player. Not that LBJ is Larry Hughes, but look at how long Larry was affected by his broken finger. Saying LeBron is stronger than Larry is like saying water is wet, but if serious enough, a finger injury can linger. LBJ seems to have a magic curability about him so hopefully he can find a way to comeback sooner and stronger than ever. If he doesn’t, Charles Barkley and Bill Simmons will be right about the Cavs not making the playoffs. In the mean time, whatever games he misses, be ready for some ugly basketball.
Speaking of ugly basketball, Team River City dropped their second game of the year last night. It was by for the worst display of basketball. Not necessarily because the way the game was played (although that was bad too) but the way the game was officiated. Just to say how bad it was, both ways, one guy on the other team fouled out with still 8 minutes left… IN THE FIRST HALF. We only play 19 minute halves. It’s darn near impossible to do that. In the second half, the other team was in the bonus about 5 minutes into the half. We spent more time standing around shoot free throws than we did actually playing. I don’t think I even broke a sweat. No doubt we had our chances to win, regardless of how the refs called the game but only one person on our team could score. So we’ll have to settle for an 0-2 start and look to rebound. Last year we started 0-3 before we made a run to the playoffs. We’ll have to hope for that again.
On the upside, at the bar after the game, I did win a game of “behind the back darts.” If you are a dart player, try going behind the back. It makes for a long but every interesting game.
Now let’s all go back to our sanctuaries and light some candles and pray to whoever it is you pray to that LeBron’s finger is magically heeled by Sunday (when the Cavs are in Boston).