IT’S OVER! IT’S FINALLY OVER!
And I know nothing about NBA basketball… or yesterday’s entry was the greatest revers jinx in the history of reverse jinxes.
The Cavs finally got off the shnide last night, beating the Los Angeles Clippers in overtime, 126-119. Bedlam ensued afterwards as confetti rained from the rafters, the Cavs celebrated with one another, and fans danced in the aisles. It was a fantastic scene.
It was an awesome game all around. Not the cleanest or most well-played game, but a fun game to watch none the less. J.J. Hickson had the game of his life scoring 27 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking 4 shots. It was the type pf game that makes you wonder just how much high his ceiling really is. Antawn Jamison also had a great game scoring a game high 35 and nailing the game clinching three. Last night’s game also saw the return of Mo Williams after missing 13 games and he didn’t disappoint at all. He chipped in with 17 points and dished out 14 assists.
(I feel like the above picture says it all. Boobie and Mo, two Cavs that have been through all the battles together, finally overcoming the toughest stretch of their careers.)
The star of the show though was the Clippers Blake Griffin. Griffin scored 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. He also did what he does best. He dunked at least a half-dozen times throughout the course of the game, if not more. He was came just as billed in his first trip to Cleveland.
The key to the game was the level of intensity by the Cavaliers. They played with an edge like a team who had finally said enough is enough. They hustled for every loose ball, they fought for every rebound, and when the Clippers looked like they were going to take the game they took it right back. During the course of the streak this is the type of game the Cavs would have found a way to lose. They didn’t let runs by the Clippers or minor set backs sabotage the game as a whole. A lot of that probably has to do with the fact that when it was crunch time, Byron Scott was able to put in a lineup of Jamison, Parker, Hickson, Gibson, and Williams. All five a proven winners, and all five gained valuable experience in battles like this during the glory years. There were no rookies or d-league players on the floor ready to buckle under the pressure.
The play of the game, at least in my opinion, had to be towards the end of the 4th quarter. Blake Griffin got the ball and spun into the lane looking to do what he does best. As he went up for the dunk J.J. Hickson met him at the rim and did what no one has been able to do so far this season. He blocked Griffin’s dunk. He didn’t just block it either. Hickson made Griffin eat leather and sent him flying back. The Cavs gathered the loose ball and Mo hit a three in transition. The place went nuts. I was watching on my computer and went nuts. It was incredible. J.J. needs to learn to bring this type of intensity to every game. The way he played last night makes you think eventually he could be an all-star.
But now with the streak over the Cavs can look forward to being a normal basketball team again. No more media attention or scrutiny. No more leading Sportscenter every night. In fact, the Cavs could very well find themselves on a winning streak should they beat the Wizards tomorrow. Funny how things can change so quickly.
The fact of the matter, however is that this was only the 9th win of the season. So while yes, it was exciting and fun, the bigger picture has to be seen. The Cavs are still a terrible team, a terrible team that had an amazing night, but a terrible team none the less. They need to enjoy the win, but also need to put it behind them, refocus, and get ready for tomorrow’s game. If not they risk leading Sportscenter as the team that ended Washington’s road losing streak.