Wow. I was in shock. I was working late last night and after a meeting, around 8:15, I turned the Cavs game on in my car. I heard the familiar, friendly voice of Joe Tait saying how good his ice cream treat at halftime was and then said the Cavs were down three to the Orlando Magic. I got back to my office just as the third quarter started. First thing I did was pull up CBS SportsLine’s live play-by-play of the game. What happened next is something I never thought I’d see. I have my work on one part of the screen and the game on the other. As I’m working away, I kept seeing these strange things pop up in the play-by-play box. It kept saying things like “Larry Hughes makes driving lay-up” or “Larry Hughes makes 18-foot jump shot” or “Larry Hughes makes 25-foot three-pointer” instead of things like “Larry Hughes misses wide open lay-up” or “Larry Hughes tries to dunk but doesn’t quite make it there and falls back on his back like that old Sprite commercial” or “Larry Hughes legs shatter as he jumps falling for a pump fake from mid-court.”
I was in shock. Was Larry Hughes really doing this? Or was some sick individual playing a practical joke on everyone watching the Internet typing of the game figuring all of about 6 people were probably paying attention? I had to figure this out. I ran out to my car to see what Joe Tait was saying about the game. It was the same. “Larry Hughes foooorrrrrr thaaaareeeeeee.” Oh no, I thought, the jokers got to Joe Tait too. There’s no way this could be happening. I made a quick phone call to once die hard commenter turned casual reader, Rosie, to see if he was watching the game and if this was really happening. Alas, Rosie didn’t answer his phone. The mystery continued.
I went back to work with the mindset to just accept what the Internet was telling you. I figured maybe if I fly through my work, I can get home in time to see the ending of the game and finally figure out what was a reality and what was a fake. But I didn’t make it. The game ended with me still at work. I was talking to a co-worker, telling him about what my computer was telling me and he too couldn’t believe it. He thought I was making it up. I had to show him my screen for him to half-heartedly believe it.
By the time I got home I was too tired to further attack my investigation. I decided to catch some much needed beauty sleep and see what unfolded in the morning. I awoke and immedently turned the TV on to SportsCenter hoping for a conclusion to the “Who Was That Man In Larry Hughes’s Jersey?” investigation. When the Cavs-Magic highlight came on it started with LeBron making some shots, getting hit in the face and then D-Good dunking from an LBJ pass. It moved to LBJ’s two driving buckets in the fourth quarter which pushed the lead to nine. I thought, this is more like it. I knew there was no way Larry Hughes really did what I thought he did. But the SC through me for a loop. They said but the night belonged to Larry Hughes. Oh no. It can’t be. They said he scored 40 points including 23 in the third quarter. Even after they said this I kept waiting for both anchors to break out laughing and say “naw, man. Just messing with you about Larry Hughes,” but they never did. It must be real.
That was confirmed by both the Akron Beacon Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Larry Hughes really did score 40 points, his most ever as a Cavalier. Wow. So now my investigation brings me to this, was that really Larry Hughes? If so, how come he shot so well last night? When did he learn to make shots? If it wasn’t him, who ever kidnapped him, please keep him away for the rest of the season.
It is nice to know that Larry still has these type of games in him. He doesn’t need to score 40 points a night but if can just shoot around 50% it would be huge. Look how much better the Cavs are when someone other than LeBron is able to score. LeBron is triple-double waiting to happen every night and that’s without anyone else making shots (I really wonder how he can average 7, 8 assists a game with those guys around him). We can’t expect this from Larry Hughes, or whoever that was last night, but it showed that if LBJ gets just a little bit of help, the Cavs can be a great team.
One hypothesis I have on why Larry shot so well last night is this: The Cavs plane was delayed and they didn’t get into Orlando until about four hours before game time. They didn’t get their morning shootaround in and they didn’t get to go over their scouting report. I think this was a good thing for Larry. Maybe Larry doesn’t shoot good in games is because he wastes all his good shots in the shootaround. No shootaround means no wasted shots means good shooting game. Note to Mike Brown: Keep Larry away from shootarounds.
>>> One more NBA note that I found funny and I know my reader(s) will also. Remember ‘Ole Strangler’ himself, Latrell Sprewell? Remember how he turned down a three-year, $21 million deal because he said, “I need to feed my family.” Well, it turns out he was right. He really did need a bigger contract. Spree’s home is up for foreclosure and his yacht was sold at auction to help pay off the $1.3 million he still owes on it. I kind of feel bad, and all of us should, for making fun of Spree when he knew what he was talking about feeding his family. Shame on us.