What good does it do if a crowd is amped to a frothy frenzy and the team their supporting plays softer than tissue in what was their biggest game of the year? Not a damn bit of good, which is also an accurate way to describe the play from the Cleveland Cavaliers, who watched helplessly as LeBron James proceeded their destroy the hearts, minds and will with a devastating performance, especially in the third quarter. And no, the witty signs didn’t help one damn bit.
The Miami Herald referred to the moment as “Homecoming King,” but the way LeBron first toyed his former teammates, and then destroyed them on the court with a cold-as-ice, methodical performance, including a third quarter that broke a number of Miami Heat and Cavaliers single-game records, “The Assassination Agenda” is more appropriate.
One guy thinks tomorrow night’s Miami Heat/Cleveland Cavaliers/The-Night-He-Came-Home game is only “one game,” while his former teammate thinks the most NBA’s most anticipated contest of its early season will be “more than a game.” So who’s right? Considering the absolute orgy of “LeBron goes back to Cleveland” hubbub littering the sports world today — the game’s not until Thursday night, giving us 48 hours of hype — the second player, Mo Williams, clearly has a more accurate pulse reading than LeBron and his desire to downplay his return to the city he so famously spurned on that fateful July evening.
Granted, I’m not expecting to see a repeat of the Malice in the Palace debacle — although, if LeBron does indeed do that silly talcum powder thing for the Cleveland crowd, we just might — but to act like the first Miami/Cleveland game of the season is just another in the long line of 82 is a mistake. That being said, it’s easy to understand James’ desire to downplay the situation, but it seems like he’s just making it worse.
Great showdown between LeBron and Dwyane “No Band-Aids” Wade last night. LeBron went for 42; Wade for 41. LeBron’s team got the win, thanks, in part to nasty dunk over Jermaine O’Neal. It was a showdown of two of the league’s best players and their leading scorers and it did not disappoint. Unless, of course, you are Miami Heat fan. While LeBron did indeed explode, scoring-wise, against the Heat, it was his running mate, Mo Williams, who helped get the Cavaliers to the finish line by scoring 15 of his 30 points in the decisive fourth quarter.
The dunk in the lead video simply punctuated the Cavaliers dominant fourth quarter where they outscored the Heat 31-18. It also left Cleveland coach Mike Brown stuttering and stammering:
“I thought, I didn’t think, I don’t know, I don’t know how he did it,” Brown said.
I’d say that reaction is par for the course when it comes to LeBron, even for the seasoned basketball veterans like Coach Brown.
OK folks in Cleveland, you can retire all those nifty words you came up with to describe the Mo Williams snub. Thanks to a Chris Bosh knee injury, the NBA now thinks more of the Cavaliers team and has decided to bring LeBron’s personal point guard to the All Star Game festivities. Now that the “total smack in the face” has been rectified, do you think LeBron is still miffed at the NBA’s front office?
“I’ll make my boss use a word that don’t mean nothin’, like looptid”
Because of Jameer Nelson’s shoulder injury, an All Star replacement player was needed for the Eastern Conference, and Ray Allen was chosen as Nelson’s substitute. Needless to say, the news of the Allen selection — which I think is based SOLELY on this performance … You know, fresh in the mind of the selectors, and all that — went over in Cleveland about as well as news of Pittsburgh’s sixth Super Bowl ring, especially with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.
Quoth the LeBron beholden:
“Ben Wallace was right when he called Mo originally being passed over for the All-Star game a shamockery,” Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said in a tongue-in-cheek e-mail to The Associated Press. “But not naming him as the natural and obvious replacement for the unfortunately injured Jameer Nelson is stupidiculous, idillogical and preposterageous.”
Speaking of LeBron, this echoes James’ statements, albeit humorously, about Williams’ snub being a smack in the face to the Cavaliers. Apparently, they don’t like that “one-man gang” label very much at all. Consider how well Williams has meshed with LeBron and how well they have been playing this season, it’s easy to understand why.
While you were busy out chasing skirts or exorbitant bar tabs, LeBron James was busy being perhaps the best basketball player in the world. On Friday night, James swatted those pesky Golden State Warriors–no defense, but will score a ton of points–with a last second shot as the Cavaliers were trying to finish off a west coast road trip on a winning note after losing to the Lakers last Monday.
Team LeBron, which is actually starting to be a “not fair” descriptor of Cavaliers, preceded the heroics in Golden State with a win against Portland. After that, it was on to Utah for a Saturday night game, where, once again, James showed why he’s a very real threat to take Kobe’s MVP crown–and a really, really nasty dunk over Kyrylo Fesenko, complete with a forearm to the face: