The season’s over for the Cavs, and I am sad. That pretty much goes without saying… but I’m not really as sad as I should be, I think.
I remember many recent crushing defeats: Indians in last year’s ALCS, any of the 3 OSU title game let-downs, the Cavs’ obliteration in the Finals… all of them stung more than yesterday’s loss. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’ll try.
I think the first thing that takes the edge off the season-ending loss is the titanic clash between Paul Pierce and Lebron James in that game seven. Ye gods, it was a beautiful thing. I’d go so far as to say it was even more enjoyable than the Lebron-Dwayne Wade regular season clash in April ’06, and not just because it was in a game seven. Each player traded every kind of shot imaginable, combining to score a mind-boggling 86 points in a game where the other 22 players dressed combined to score just 103. Add to that the fact that their combined points total was only rivaled by how many non-calls each endured… and you start to get the picture.
I think another factor in my lack of bitterness stems from the Cavs’ having to come back from a pretty sizable 2nd quarter deficit to get back into the game. If they had blown another 14 point lead on the road, I’m pretty sure I’d be furious right now. While inconsistency had been an issue in the other 6 games for both teams, it was not the issue last night.
I really, really thought the Cavs did everything right. They defended well — I can’t think of more than 5 or so shots that weren’t contested… they hit their shots — shooting 45% on the road… they didn’t get obliterated in the turnover margin — 14 compared to Boston’s 11… they scored more than 90 on the road… I mean, I really can’t find a lot of fault with what the Cavs did yesterday. I certainly think Mike Brown, for better or for worse, acquitted himself well. It’s just damn near impossible to win on the road when the other team is hitting their shots. That’s the bottom line.
Two bad tastes linger:
- Pierce had more help. When it came down to the last two minutes, Pierce took one shot and missed it. The two biggest shots at the end of the 4th came from Kevin Garnett and P.J. Brown. When it came time to try and score after Brown’s shot made it a 3-point game, nobody else for the Cavs was even a factor to take the shot except #23. Lebron STILL needs more help. Big-name help.
- What the freaking hell, Boston? It took damn near a quarter and a half for all of the smoke to clear out after your asinine introduction sequence was over! If I were a fan in the upper bowl at the Garden, I’d demand 3/8 of my money back. The NBA really needs to look at these smoke-causing pre-game spectacles during the offseason; maybe install a technical foul if visibility is noticeably hampered. I was going crazy about the smoke in the 1st quarter and my roommate asked me, “Hey isn’t there a crazy elaborate intro sequence in Cleveland, too?” Yes, there is… but the Cavs have the good sense to use propane-fueled bursts of flame to highlight their intros, and not sulfur-based incendiaries. As Hank Hill would tell you, the propane burns clean, so there’s no smoke hampering your viewing experience. (Aside: have you ever sat high enough at the Q to see the propane tanks on top of the jumbotron? They’re freaking enormous!)
Better luck next year, I guess… and what I mean by that is: get to work, Danny Ferry.