I had some pre-game thoughts at the beginning of this game blog, but they were getting a little lengthy, so I posted them on TruthAboutIt.net . Read if you would like.....
Off we go....
Gil starts and is matched up on Delonte West, he was on Wally last game. Butler is still on James and DeShawn is on Wally.
Hubie Brown likes the defensive aggressiveness to start as Arenas is working on deflections.
10:16: Wiz get a steal, DeShawn takes it all the way gets the foul and a goal-tending on LeBron James. The Lock Smith throws up the Rocafella diamond in the direction of the Cavs bench. Not going to talk trash about Jay-Z, huh? 5-2 Wiz.
9:48: Butler gets going early too with a baseline jumper on LeBron....good stuff. The fans seem to be making a nice showing on Sunday afternoon too.
Nice drive by DeShawn past LeBron and a drop off to Haywood for a dunk. 9-4 Wizards.
Gil pulls the chair out from under a posting Wally...loose ball, Cavs get it, lose the ball again but the Wiz can’t take advantage as Gil's lob past was a little too long for Jamison. Turnover.
8:01: Haywood is killing two birds with one possession. Draws a foul on the floor on Big Z and then gets a baby hook. 11-6 Wizards.
7:46: LeBron has hit his first two outside shots....and that's okay, he can score all he wants, just don't let him pile up assists.
7:20: Arenas drives on Wally...easy.....the double must come over and AJ is there for the dump off. 13-8 Wizards.
6:57: Wally hits a fadeaway deuce over Arenas, but Arenas is playing with more intensity on D that I've seen out of him before.
While I like the hot Wiz shooting so far, 7-8, I am not fond of the 4 turnovers, 3 by Gil....but none of them have really been bad turnovers.
3:53: Gil tries to force the ball to Caron who is posting LeBron at the 3 point line....bad idea, LeBron pokes the ball away and ends it with a wicked windmill dunk. 18-15 Cleveland.
1:22: AD hits a jab step back three...huh? 23-22 Wizards.
1:06: The Brazilian Spaz = Mr. Softy miss a lay-up.
0:58: AJ hits another crazy running hook and has his angry game face on. 25-22 Wiz.
0:16: AJ rolls home a trey ball. 11 first quarter points for the man.
LeBron then gets called for an offensive foul as he throws the arm out into Jamison's chest...the tears start streaming. LBJ has 2 fouls and 8 points.
Looks like he may have the case for a measly touch foul. After the last 0:00.7 ticks away, Bron Bron puts on his pacifier in the form of a long sleeve navy blue shirt and whines in Joey Crawford's ear.
Wiz up 28-24 after 1. They were boosted by 11-14 shooting, 2-3 from deep, but we're held back by 6 turnovers, 4 by Gilbert in 8 minutes. The Wiz need to reign it in on their gambles.
AD, AJ, Andray, D-Song and the Silent Assassin start the 2nd for the Wiz.
10:53: Bad call...the Cavs get a steal, at least Jamison manages to accidentally clock the Brazilian Spaz with an elbow, Devin Brown leads the break, Mason hustles back to attempt a strip, but they call a foul in the act of shooting. The replay reveals that Brown lost the ball going up before he was even touched. Oh well. 29-28 Cavs after FTs.
9:43: Damn...Roger Mason misses an open three, his second. C'mon Rog, you can do this...it was a transition 3 attempt, Hubie Brown would rather him go to the basket.
It's a physical game within legal confines. Mike Tirico points out that there is a lot of bumping, banging and whining happening on each trip.....he fails to point out that Cleveland is doing a majority of the whining.
9:15: MaseOn with a trey ball...that's a way to keep shooting fella. 33-29 Wizards.
9:03: Gilbert checks back in......keep that knee loose and warm - not sure if he was riding the bike during his down time.
Eddie Jordan's small lineup of Daniels, Mason, Arenas, Songaila and Butler is giving up some offensive boards , but Cleveland is not adept at taking advantage. Cleveland has Z, LeBron, Wally, Brown and Gibson on the floor.
7:34: The Silent Assassin's bullets are locked and loaded...very tough shot on the baseline fading out of bounds on the right side of the court (facing the basket) and with the right hand, of course. 37-29 Wiz.
7:17: Haywood comes back in to boost the rebounding game...for AD.
6:50: LeBron James is intent on taking it to the hoop to make Cleveland's 5 point total for the quarter 7, their first points in about 4 minutes. 37-31 Wiz.
6:28: D-Song takes LeBron in the post...a foul is called, but it's not LeBron's 3rd. They somehow call it on Benny Wallace, who was second to foul......the fans give LBJ the overrated treatment.
6:15: "Delonte West out to lunch." Mike Tirico on a Cleveland turnover.
Gil misses a deuce...not in the offense....LeBron gets a power slam on the other end. The Wizards come down, but the offensive flow is clogged. Eddie Jordan timeout. 39-33 Wizards.
Hubie Brown is composing Valentine's Day cards for Darius Songaila.
4:51: The Wiz offense has gone a little cold. Not a FG since Roger Mason at 7:34.
4:20: Haywood is not helping the effort to keep the Cavs off the glass.....they now have 12 second chance points and a 9-1 edge on the offensive boards. 3 on one possession leads to a Delonte West trey. 39-38 Wiz.
3:54: Jamison gets blocked by Wallace and the Wiz can't recover in time to get an attempt before the shot clock goes off.
3:30: West steals the ball from Haywood at the FT line from behind.
3:25: Cavs come back down....LeBron goes hard. Stevenson takes a swipe.....looks to clip ball first but then gets a whole lot of LeBron's face. LeBron gets mad...bodies up....some pride is displayed as DeShawn gets off the floor..the refs do a good job to make peace. Cleveland fans will be pissed at the Lock Smith's swipe, probably calling it cheap head-hunting. He did look to be going to for the ball, but the motion can definitely be taken as an act of aggression as LeBron's headband went flying. A flagrant one is called on Stevenson. Mike Brown sprints out to check on his son, his paycheck, LBJ.
3:08: Wiz play good D....get the ball...but ANOTHER careless turnover. LeBron nails a trey to cap an 11-0 Cleveland run. 42-39 Cavs.
2:43: Caron misses a baseline jumper and then fouls LeBron attempting a long 3 on the other end. The Wizards are losing their composure on both ends. They are making LeBron mad and he is starting to channel than into a display of skills. Thankfully there is a TV timeout.
2:25: The Wizards are even having trouble passing the ball to each other.....nothing is crisp. Finally, AJ earns a trip to the FT line. 44-41 Cavs.
Hubie points out that the Wizards had 14 points in the paint in the first quarter....none so far in the 2nd. What right did they have to become complacent?
1:54: CRAP! Gil takes and misses a trey ball for no good reason.
People on Bullets Forever are calling for an Arenas exit and Mason entrance.
1:33: Jamison shoots a three with 18 seconds on the shot clock. What the hell was discussed during the timeout?
Down the court...Cavs o board....no points...Wizards turnover....huge dunk by LeBron. 51-41 Cleveland.
1:11: Daniels misses an open three...just because you're wide open....eff it. Finally the Wiz get second chance points with an AJ putback.
0:55: Transition D? Seat's taken......Boobie nails a trey. 54-43 Cavs.
0:38: Caron takes another outside jumper...luckily Jamison works on the boards and earns two FTs, but makes only 1. Yup, the extent of the offense in the past 6 minutes amounts to Jamison earning 3 FTs and a putback on offensive board work.
0:05: Daniels drives.....but Stevenson misses an open trey. F-ING OUTSIDE SHOTS!!!!!!!!!!
Wiz were up 8 around the 6 minute mark, but the Cavs made a run....ABC is crediting the hard foul by DeShawn. 54-44 Cleveland at the half.
- Eddie Jordan needs to get real in his halftime speech.
- 2nd quarter = 5 turnovers, 4-21 shooting.
- Game: 26-16 boards in favor of Cavs.
- Double-U, Tee, Eff?
- Jon Barry thinks that DeShawn should have been thrown out.....dork.
- Amare Stoudamire looks to be sporting one of the worst blue jean outfits I've ever seen (as if I've seen a "good" blue jean outfit) -- it looks akin to a prison jumpsuit.
- Gut check time.
11:39: The Wiz come out shooting long distance again, Caron Butler miss from corner.
11:28: Big Z hits a jumper from outside to put the Cavs up 12. 56-44.
Finally, a one-legged Arenas is the only one who can score inside. He misses a layup on the next possession. 58-46 Cavs.
Offensive ball movement = Zero....are the Wiz trying to do this individually?
10:25: DeShawn does his best impression of the Brazilian Spaz with an absurd flop....but it does draw foul #3 on LeBron.
Ball movement and good shots = Negative.
9:42: Jamison will take it inside....he draws a foul with a runner. 60-48 Cavs after FTs.
Wired coaches at halftime: Eddie Jordan doesn't seem to be as poignant and isn't commanding as much attention as Mike Brown.
9:05: Gilbert makes a straight on three.....at least that came with ball movement. 61-51 Wiz.
8:35: GET A GOT-DAMNED REBOUND! Offensive board leads to a LeBron trey....15-3 second chance points for Cleveland. There is absolutely no intensity or hustle from the Wizards in securing defensive boards.
LeBron trey ball, Jamison bad three miss, LeBron heat check three miss, Jamison attacks basket. 67-54 Cleveland.
6:05: Haywood draws foul #4 on Big Z....LeBron has 3 fouls...keep going to the hoop!
Jamison is Wired: "We all gotta rebound....that's how they're killing us." It's unfortunate that he has to even say that.
5:40: Zone D gets a shot clock violation on the Cavs....Gilbert claps to get the crowd fired up.
DeShawn hits a 3....okay, tide is turning, the defensive intensity is ratcheted up. I feel better. Even better by a Wiz steal and DeShawn breakaway dunk. 67-63 Cavs.
The Wiz fight for a board after LeBron misses a gimme under the basket and the Cavs miss a three (looks like Gibson might have gotten fouled).
4:24: Arenas earns FTs. Only makes 1. 67-64 Cavs.
4:06: Devin Brown misses a 3, he looked like he went down in an attempt to draw a foul. DC ball.
3:52: Jamison drives baseline and earns a foul. D'oh! He misses both. The game should be tied at 67.
Hubie is giving Eddie Jordan props for switching to zone from man.
3:34: A 12-0 Wiz run is stopped by a Gibson trey ball. 70-64 Cavs.
3:13: Haywood dunks...hanging on the rim and trying to keep his balance, Brendan gives some crotch action to Gibson who was up and under him. Gibson acts like he is going to punch Haywood.....tech on Gibson. Controversy Sells!
2:31: Tuff Juice trey ball.... I agree wholeheartedly with Hubie B...he needed that. 72-70 Cavs.
The Wiz are running players at LeBron to get the ball out his hands...and it's working very well.
They show some Wired clips of Jamison and I'm loving his vocal style....."I Can't Hear You!!"
1:24: Great offense! Cleveland is getting aggressive with perimeter pressure....the Wiz and Roger Mason remain calm, Jamison gets a smaller guard behind him. Easy pass from Roger, bucket and 1 - 75-73 Cavs.
Still getting raped on the offensive boards....the Cavs get THREE on one possession....Devin Brown gets 2 FTs. 77-73 Cavs.
Grandpa Hubie disapproves of the Wizards guards leaking out past the FT line...they need to be there to help on the glass.
0:17: Another o board...LeBron over Butler.
0:01: Another o board....Joe Smith over all Wizards. I'm beginning to use my outside voice inside.
What do you do? Stay man and Cleveland's offense gets you.....go zone and rebounding is hurt......The 3rd is over, Cleveland 80-73.
THE most important 4th quarter of the season.
Eddie Jordan brings in a bigger lineup...Haywood, Blatche, Butler, Mason and Daniels.
11:48: Butler gets an early steal and draws foul #4 on James on the break. FTs = 80-75 Cavs.
11:37: LeBron misses 2 FTs, but Joe Smith gets the board...thanks Andray.
2nd chance points...what? 20-4 Cleveland.
10:55: Andray pusses up a hook against Joe Smith and misses.
10:24: Butler attacks...and another foul is drawn..on Ben Wallace. DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!
Hubie Brown says that Ben Wallace is doing yeoman work.....old people.
ABC has excellent coverage by the way. From Tirico to Brown to Stephanie Ready on the sidelines.
9:19: Butler drains a deuce just inside the 3 point line. 83-80 Cavs.
8:14: Delonte West is balling, his 2nd trey in the last 80 seconds - 4 for the day. 88-82 Cavs.
7:58: Arenas is back on the floor after a timeout. He joins Stevenson, Jamison, Butler and Haywood......I'm very nervous at this point.
7:42: Lock Smith trey ball. Needed it.....88-85 Cleveland.
Tirico calls the Wizards fans smart because they haven't broken out the overrated chant in a while. Uh yea....can’t really do it when you're losing.
6:54: Butler drive....running tear drop on LeBron's head. 90-87 Cavs.
6:22: Stevenson drives....but terrible decision as he tries to pass to Jamison with two Cavs on him. Turnover.
5:54: Arenas air balls a trey after West fell down.
5:35: Jamison misses a runner...damn.
5:10: Boobie Gibson makes a huge trey with 2 seconds on the shot clock. Timeout. Well, the Wizards are letting other Cavs beat them.....93-87 Cavs.
4:50: Butler just misses a trey....the Cavs take their time, a Big Z jumper is no good.
4:22: Just as Tirico says that Washington doesn't need to start forcing threes, what does DeShawn Stevenson do? He takes a three. No good.
4:05: Butler drives...to Haywood for a dunk. 94-89 Cleveland.
3:55: LeBron turns the ball over. Delonte West wasn't even looking. 18 turnovers for the Cavs, 5 for Bron.
3:44: Caron drives...runner...THANK YOU!! 94-91 Cavs.
3:13: Boobie Gibson with another huge three....set up by LeBron who drove, got the ball to Wallace who passed to Gibson..... That guy is incredibly clutch. 97-91 Cavs.
3:00: LeBron shoves Caron out of bounds, that's his 5th. The Cleveland bench doesn't agree with the call, but the refs had to make it.
2:48: Stevenson with a three attempt off the curl. NO NO NO NO NO !!!
2:29: The Wiz secure a board after Cleveland miss. The Cavs only have one offensive board so far in the 4th...Joe Smith off a LeBron FT miss. Eddie Jordan smartly calls a timeout to calm the team down and set up a play that's NOT a three point attempt (I hope).
2:10: LeBron gives Caron space, so he hits a dead on mid-range deuce. Good shot. 97-93 Cavs.
Stevenson makes LeBron take a very tough deuce...miss, but ball goes out of bounds on Jamison -- Big Z misses an open jumper.
1:29: Haywood misses a baseline hook turning to his left shoulder (on right block) looks like middle was more open....and I'd rather go to Butler every time.
0:57: West "bails" Gilbert out with a foul on a drive. He drains both FTs...two point game. 97-95 Cavs.
0:42: LeBron misses a runner...rims in and out.
0:28: Gil drives..what is he doing?......what kind of fading shot?....no, no.....MAKE!! OFF THE GLASS!! Tied at 97!
0:05: Stevenson on LeBron, man defense....drive.....West in corner....NOOOO! He makes a 3 at the exact spot that Damon Jones did 2 years ago. I'm sick. 100-97 Cavs.
No one was even close to covering West in the corner as Arenas went to help on LeBron driving and Jamison got caught behind the post player (had to protect basket) what are you going to do??
Who takes the last shot? I don't know and I'm too nervous to care.
If Hubie Brown is the Cleveland coach, he fouls.
0:01: Cleveland doesn't foul, Arenas takes an off balanced trey falling towards the hoop. Hubie brown calls it a good look.....I'm not sure I agree. I'd rather Gil pull up from 10 feet behind the three point line with balance and space.
Game over, down 3-1 in the series.
Perhaps I was so nervous because I knew this was our cursed destiny and I'm just not sure how to react. I'm too hurt to be angry.