I just finished watching one of those transcendant performances that raise the stars in the NBA to legendary status. LeBron singlehandedly beat the Detroit Pistons tonight. Marv Albert said it was an all time great performances and it was not an exagerration. This will go down as one of the greatest showings in the playoffs. You could tell as Albert started getting excited about LeBron's scoring late, Steve Kerr was a little hesitant to anoint him with anything. But when LeBron started sinking ridiculous shots like that one from middle of the floor just in front of the 3-point line after sweet behind the back dribble to get by Chauncey Billups. Or the jumper with three guys around him along the wing. I was standing at the end of the game I was so into the performance. It was obvious something special was going on, and you really just don't get to watch it all that often.
I mean I just want to leave you with this:
Lebron had 48 points. Lebron had 25 straight points to end the game. Lebron scored 29 of Cleveland's final 30 points. Words from a blog just can't do it justice.
I was actually standing in my room throughout the end of regulation and the two overtimes.
Overlooked among all the greatness being displayed on the floor was the worst coaching by both teams I have ever seen. They mentioned it on TNT, but Mike Brown's mismanagement of his timeouts in overtime was just despicable. I really thought he would end up wasting a phenomenal performance. Seriously, my jaw dropped when he took that timeout with 30 seconds and the Cavs up just two. And to make matters worse, all he did in that timeout was draw up a give it to LeBron and see what happens "play". Couldn't you have relayed that to LeBron while 'Sheed was shooting free throws on the other end. The TNT announcers, specifically Doug Collins who usually serves a giant douche who can sound out vowels and also doubled as an atrocious coach, said they would need that timeout to move the ball up the court for a last shot and when it came down to it, they ended up forcing up a desperation heave.
And why on God's earth was LeBron allowed to handle the ball. Charles Barkley and the rest of the gang spent the entire postgame discussing how Detroit didn't do enough to get the ball out of LeBron's hands. I was in shock when they weren't double teaming LeBron more down the stretch. The few times they did utilize a double team the possession ended up with a Sasha Pavlovic miss or goofy Anderson Varejao tripping over his gangly legs.
I was going to make a crack about how Mike Brown is just a fatter version of Tommy Amaker but this picture was just too good to be true.
Some Other Quick Thoughts From THE GAME of this year's playoffs
- If anyone gives Chauncey Billups max money, they are absolutely insane. This guy is not great, just good. That three at the end of regulation was real nice though.
-This Pistons team is showing its age in this series. I think the torch is being passed now. This is their fifth straight season getting to the conference finals or further. It was a good run, but this team is on the downhill.
-Imagine LeBron with real, actual teammates. How good would he be then? As a Wizards fan the only good thing about having LeBron suffer with Larry Hughes is that it makes me so happy Grunfeld didn't give hima huge deal a few years ago.
But seriously, David Stern needs to exert his power secretly and get LeBron a team with some actual pieces, and some actual talent.
-By no means does this LeBron lovefest mean I think they have any real shot against the Spurs if they do close it out.