Thursday, June 28, 2007

The NBA Draft is Tonight: Honk Honk!

Some things I want to see during tonight's NBA Draft, aside from gaudy suits, mother's weeping uncontrollably, and guys who have posses with more members than the franchise that just drafted them...

I want to see Kevin Durant go No. 1 overall, for a few reasons:

First, I can't think of anyone covering the draft for ESPN - all 20 of 'em - who wouldn't have a complete and utter breakdown live on TV. It would be akin to airing the apocalypse live, I think. You could be watching the draft on mute, and Stephen A. Smith would still find a way to shatter your speakers. This, it goes without saying, is something I would be interested in viewing (while munching on some Cheese Doodles, of course).

Second, it's the right pick, I'm pretty sure. I just think Durant is the best player in the draft, regardless of position. (and Hollinger is backing me up. I have no friggin' idea how he arrived at his conclusion, but 870.7 is really, really high. That article deserves its own post because of how phenomenal and ground-breaking it is; I don't think it is a stretch to say it could revolutionize the way NBA teams go about drafting.) I know centers are inherently more valuable, but aren't you supposed to take the best player? If you are, that's Durant.

The thing that seals the deal: Do you ever, ever see Oden putting a team on his shoulders and winning a Finals game? Or even a playoff game? I just don't. On a good team, he is one hell of a piece...but I think, eventually, Durant can do what LeBron did and single-handedly win a game or a series by himself.

And besides, if he goes No. 1, he can finally get a nickname: "Honk Honk." Man, that sounds dumb as hell, but I just want to call him Honk Honk, if only for a week. Hey, it is better than KD.

And speaking of nicknames, can Mr. Oden just go by "Hermey" from now on? Please? Oden has said over and over again that he wants to be a dentist. I am familiar with no one that comes close to matching Greg's affinity for the art of oral hygiene. (And the fact that Greg has a more deep-seated desire to adjust the headgear of unfortunate teenagers than he does to dominate a basketball game seems to be a fairly strong indicator, at least to me, that Durant is the pick. But that's just me.)

So: Honk Honk No. 1, followed by Hermey at the two spot. Three-year olds everywhere rejoice.

I want to see the Hawks screw this up. The whole thing, the third pick and the 11th. I really don't know how they could do it - you could easily make solid cases for Horford or Conley at three, and 11 is pretty much gravy - there is going to be a good PG sitting there. I want them to take, like...Yi at 3 and then follow that up with Josh McRoberts at 11, just because they promised him they would for no good reason. I'd gladly give them a standing round of applause for that. (No matter who they take, though, they are going to look sweet. Or, at the very least, successful. Baby steps, ATL, baby steps.)

Just thinking: If you were Mike Conley, would you want
any part of Atlanta? At all? Not only are you going to be compared to Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Raymond Felton, hell, even Brandon Roy for the rest of your life, but you are going to be expected to resurrect a franchise that is the poster child for NBA contraction. If I am Mike Conley, I make it abundantly clear that I will be pulling a Stevie Franchise if the Hawks draft me.

I want Joakim Noah to either go to the Grizz at No. 4 - because, really, who cares - or to plummet like the NBA's version of Brady Quinn. My dream scenario is that he is the last guy in the green room, he makes a jackass of himself in the process (wearing an outfit that is particularly douche-bagish) and then is drafted by someone where he promptly fades into Bolivian...someone like Sacramento, a KG-less Minny or Memphis. I really, really just never want to hear from him again. Really, who hasn't had enough of Joakim Noah? The sooner he goes away, the better.

I'd like to see Brandan Wright end up on the Bobcats. Raymond Felton, Sean May
and B Wright? In North Carolina? With MJ calling the shots (kinda)? Good God, they could snag Reyshawn Terry in Round 2, draft Wayne Ellington next year, hire Dean Smith to coach them. Then, halfway through some game late in the season, they can ditch their Bobcats threads for their old Tar Heel jerseys, a la the Ducks ditching their Team USA sweaters in favor of the classic Duck look. I really believe this could work.

(Unreal: I unwittingly stumble across
another dentist: Wolf "The Dentist" Stansson. "Team USA's going down, that's where you're going!")

I want to see Stuart Scott interview Yi Jianlian. I want Yi to cut his interpreter off halfway through his response and ask Stu, in perfect English, "Why do you talk like that? Do you expect me to believe that is the way you talk around the house, with your wife or your kids? Everyone knows it is a big act and you are a complete phony. I don't even speak English and I can tell. It isn't funny or engaging; as a matter of fact, it is really grating and makes an already difficult interview that much harder. Now, if you have a legitimate question, just ask it like a normal person and I'd be happy to answer it, but if you insist on speaking to me like that, I have better things to do. Thank you."

I want Jared Dudley to end up on the Spurs. That'd be absolutely perfect.

I would like to see Coach Bill Fuller draft a girl and then demand that Sacramento change its court's dimensions to 10 feet by 15 feet.

I want to see who the Lakers draft. I am
dying to see who they draft. I'd love to see them draft a couple of projects. Maybe take Daquean Cook in the first round (Isiah: "Get me Kupcheck on the line!") and then follow that up with Aaron Gray. That would delight me to no end. Maybe we could get a video from Kobe that is a whole minute long!

I want to see someone use a second round pick on Jared Jordan. Or maybe no one takes him, and the Cavs sign him. Yea, I'd like that better.

Finally, I would like to see an absurd trade. Just ridiculous, like the Hawks giving up both picks, Amare in Atlanta, KG in PHX, Kobe in Chicago, Gordon and Deng in LA....something kinda like this.

Ballhype: hype it up!

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Live Blog: Cavs vs. Pistons, Eastern Conference Finals, Game 6

Sorry, I'm a little late to the party...I'm guessing I missed the Cavs open the game by throwing the ball into Big Z and Z responding with his obligatory awkward missed hook shot. I'm glad Cleveland has no problem wasting its first possession of each game.

This game is going to be a letdown and I am completely fine with that. There is no way on earth to possibly even come close to the game 5. All I want out of this game is a win; the final score could be 3-2 and I would be more than thrilled. Game 5 made the entire playoffs completely worthwhile and nothing else that happens from here on out can taint it.

All I want is a win, and I really don't care if it comes tonight or in Game 7, although it would be much, much better if it came tonight.

The rest of the live blog will be, as always, after the jump.

First Quarter

From what I can tell, the Pistons got off to a quick start but the Cavs D has gotten them back into it somewhat. LeBron is still without a field goal attempt.

I don't think the Cavs have gotten a stop since I turned in the TV. Cripes, fellas. At least they are scoring at the other end - Larry Hughes already has a pair of threes, and Sasha is being aggressive. Z, of course, has a tip in, two missed hook shots and 97 dribbles taken. 15-14 Cleveland in the early going.

Rip drills a three...he is so good at his midrange game I am always stunned when he hits a three. I feel like he isn't strong enough to get it there or something.

Billups hits a three to push the lead to 4....the pace of this gme is out of control. Compared to the first 5 games, this is Suns/Warriors on HGH. Back after the break.

Sasha off to a quick start. I was one game early on that "Sasha will do awesome" prediction.

Christopher Webber picks up a technical for...I am nut entirely sure. I think he was yelling at someone on the Cavs. Make that a double tech; the refs hit Sasha with one, too. Oh! Webber just two hand shoved Andy (I have no idea how to type "Varejao" with any type of consistency, so it is Andy from here on out.) in the chest. What a duchebag (I also do not know how to spell that). LeBron hits the free throw to tie it at 19.

matt said...

There ya are.

The Cavs are playing a little too much show time no look crap for the crowd. Dudes- just play your ugly ass usual style b-ball. That's what got you here.

No joke. The pace of this game is weird; I have no idea where it came from. It'll settle down eventually...I think both teams are just ramped up; Detroit is playing for their lives and Cleveland is a game away from the Finals. Hard to blame either of them, really. Cavs up one as we head to commercial. Just over two minutes left.

LeBron with his FIFTH assist so far; he finds Andy cutting down the middle. 22-21, Cavs.

The Pistons spring a quick trap on Hughes and he is completely baffled by it. Jump ball. Bobbie is in the game, just let him bring it up instead of Mr. Casual. Honestly, if Larry Hughes raced Chauncey Billups...would that be the least exciting thing ever? Both those guys show about as much enthusiasm as

Oh, Andy with a nice finish and draws a second foul on Webber. Nazr Mohammed checks in and has his shot imeediately blocked; guess he is a little rusty since he's only played four minutes the entire post season. Next possession for the Pistons: Del Fino picks up the offensive foul. Man, Flip...Mohommed AND Delfino? I guess he is just saying "Screw it, it doesn't matter who we play, this game is getting decide in the fourth."

Mohammed fouls Boobie on a three with 2.2 second left. Man, Nazr is screwing up. I like when he's in. Boobie makes 2 of 3 and the Cavs end the first up, 27-21. 27! Good God, Cleveland, you are an offensive juggernaut.

Second Quarter

LeBron seemed oddly fired up that quarter...not screaming and stuff, but his passes had a little extra flair, making them no looks, jump passes....not that I am complaining; you might never hear my criticize the man ever again. I have become oddly defensive of LeBron after his game 5 performance, especially in response to any idiot who says "Well, hey, that's what happens when he plays hard!" Bullshit. He could play that hard for his entire career - hell, anyone could - and never see a performance like that. That was other wordly. Even things I bashed him for - like not playing hard or always seeming interested - I can't criticize him for anymore. I just can't. I'm too in awe.

The buzzer is malfunctioning, so we are treated to Craig Sager with an airhorn. That sounds like a terrific name for a blog, doesn't it? "Craig Sager's Airhorn." I like it.

The Cavs and Pistons players are all just chilling on the scorer's table while LeBron munches on his nails. I don't mind the nailbiting habit that much, but how the hell does he have any nails left to chew? He does it every single game...he had to have finished with the fingernail ages ago, I'm sure by now he is down to the skin and I wouldn't be stunned if he was gnawing on bone by this point. Maybe his nails regenerate faster than everyone else's though, like John Lock's finger on Lost. That would make sense to me.

Marv asks if this feels like a rain delay. Point 23 says yes. Back when the quarter starts.

Steve Kerr is talking about LeBron's dominance, and I am paraphrasing: "You see him dominate and forget he is only 22..he makes you forget that he is doing it against some of the greatest athletes in the world." As he is saying this, the camera pans to Donyell Marshall and Chris Webber, shattering any believability that statement had.

This delay is taking forever, we are on our third commercial break. Who does the delay hurt more? Well, the Cavs were on some kind of a run, so any momentum they had was killed, so probably them. But here is my thinking: this break is at least as long as a halftime, so this is going to trick the Cavs into thinking the third quarter is about to start. So they will suck in the second, then play great in the third, which they think is the fourth, and play even better in the fourth, which they think is overtime.

They are scrambling all over the place looking for clocks and horns and stuff...why the hell don't they have backup equipment like, under the scorer's table? I think they've settled on shot clocks in the corner, three different people have stop watches for time, and someone gets an airhorn for the buzzer. Good God, I have come up with better schemes in the driveway when I was 11.

Marv: "Do you feel like you are watching a Peter Sellers movie?" I have no idea who that is. Anyone?

The PA guy is counting down the shot clock in some deep, disembodied voice from the future. Whenever he says 10 seconds, everyone starts speeding up, like when the music stats going faster on Mario Brothers. Sleep Marshall seems OK with it, though: he sticks a three to push the lead to nine, 30-21.

Sheed hits a bucket at the same time as a defensive three seconds, and if they happen at the same time, you count he bucket. I did not know that.

Hunter picks up the foul as LeBron drives, who is about the fifth different Piston to guard him. Why not just pick two and have BOTH of them guard him? One doesn't seem to work to good, does it Flip?

LeBron picks off a pass and gets out in transition...Sheed AND Hunter foul him, but somehow the refs call neither.

This game has such a weird feel to it, with The Voice counting down and no clocks feels like an open gym or something, but really, it is the most important game of the NBA season.

Andy steals a pass in the paint, ignores LeBron who is begging for a outlet pass, goes coast to coast - going behind the back at half court, mind you - and then, and you are not going to believe this, he throws up the ugliest layup of the Second Season which, shockingly, misses badly. Surprising; ee usually pulls that one off. Cavs up 4.

Sheed hits a jumper and is fouled. He has nine points already and is playing really well. Damnit.

Oh, Good God, I can't breathe. Boobie goes flying into the paint, makes the bucket and is fouled, but he is laying on the ground, writing in pain.

Oh, OK, he's fine...he's just a little dramatic. I can live with that as long as it leads to three-point plays.

Gibson fouls Rip in the act of shooting. That is like the fourth time that has happened already and Gibson gives opponents, on average 2.1 three point play attempts per game in games in which he plays at least 12 minutes*. That isn't good, Boobie.

*I made that statistic up.

I'm gonna agree with Doug Collins here: LeBron has been out a while, and considering he slept in until 2 pm yesterday and there was a half hour delay already this game, does he really need the rest? The Pistons have it within 2 and the Cavs offense look atrociously disjointed.

Bron checks back in as we go to commercial.

Sheed is killing it. He follows up his own airball with a dunk in which he did his best to rip the rim off. He is keeping the Pistons in this game.

Rip spends the entire time LeBron is at the line bitching to Eddie Rush, who then waits about 4 seconds before calling a bullshit foul on Boobie in favor of Rip. That is bullshit. Either way, Rip makes both. Pistons down two, 41-39.

Rip scores over Gibson again. He has 16, but a quite cuz I didn't even think he was in double figures yet. Game tied at 41 as my man Boobie gimps off the court. Just under 4 minutes left.

LeBron grabs a defensive board, works his way up court, and then explodes to the rim. I love when he does that. He knocks down both freebies. He has only shot twice and all his points are from the FT line.

Pistons up one with just under two minutes left; a patented Chauncey Billups "turnover-bad shot-turnover" would be really nice right now.

Oh, man. LeBron comes over from the week side and rejects Rip's shot with his elbow. Damn, Rip. Rip then commits a stupid foul, his third of the game. I'm calling it now: he is gonna get throw outta this game. He already has one tech and he is bitching non-stop. If the Cavs go on some kind of a run, he's gonna snap.

Tied at 48 at the end of the first half. That first half blog was a disjointed as the first half; the game just had a really goofy feeling to it. I don't know if it was because the teams were a little out of it, playing different styles, or because there are no clocks and God is counting down the shot's just weird. We'll try better in the second half.

Third Quarter

Alright, we've said it every game so far: let's see what the Cavs do in the third quarter. I'm hopeful.

Z misses to start the half. Ha. You can only laugh at that. It works like one outta twenty times.

Hey! The clocks are working! Apparently, LeBron was pretty pissed they weren't working. Uh oh, Detroit. Bron Bron is angry. Gooden knocks down that baseline J: Good sign. Billups answers with a step back J: bad sign.

Rip scores in transition, but he is bitching again...he's been a pretty big punk right now.

Sasha musta got jacked in the side of the head, because he is holding his ear and silently screaming. Mike Brown tells him to suck it up and leaves him in. Sasha responds by driving into three guys and committing an offensive foul. Some good did come of it, though: he kneed Webber in the nuts and he is on the ground holding his balls. I was not aware he had any.

How strong is LeBron? He drives and has Prince hanging all over him, but still manages to score. Prince has to weight, what, 190, 200 ounces? What a beast.

Offensive foul on Webber, who heads right to the locker room to get the sand out of his (expletive deleted). Is there medical treatment for that? Like, besides crying?

You know how Varejao is awesome at drawing charges? Like he gets one, two, sometimes three a game? Sasha is the exact opposite. Once he starts moving, he refuses to stop no matter what gets in his way, even Chris Webber's nuts. He just got his second offensive foul in the last two minutes.

How the hell does Z get so many offensive rebounds? I get that he's huge and all, but he can't jump OR move...just get in front of him and it is all yours. Either way, Cleveland takes the lead, 58-56.

LeBron misses a pull up three...which if he would have made would have blown the roof off the Q. They are cheering consistently, you can hear some noise...but they are dying for a reason to lose their minds. Bron almost gave it to them.

My little comment notifier just started working again; let's catch up on some comments...
#4 said...

i love bron because he isnt forcing anything right now....most players coming off of a tremendous game might force some bad shots, unnecessary shots....but he has the intelligence that they are playing fine without him needing to do the same time, if it comes to it, he will take over...hes doing what he needs win and not trying to be the next MJ...i respect the shit outta that.....

He used to get hammered for that, but as soon as they win this series, every basketball mind in the world will praise the hell outta him for "playing the right way." I love it.
matt said...

Allright #4! WOOOO!

Weird 2nd Q, the clock delay made it like a third Q for the Cavs. That sucks. BUT- tied without LBJ even trying yet. That's gotta be a good sign.

As a fan I really hat this clock thing- it must be bizarre as hell for the players. It has even taken the crowd out. They NEED to fix this.

LBJ is about to go off now that all the clocks are fixed. Just you watch.

Drew Gooden with a ludacris hook shot...his elbow wasn't even bent. And, of course, it was on the baseline. How ya like me know, Nick Collison?

Man, the Pistons are killing the Cavs on the offensive glass. They are getting two and three chances each possession, but it doesn't really matter because they are playing Lindsey Hunter and Dale Davis, who, as you know, suck at shooting.

Boobie! My man drills a three from the corner. Cavs take the lead, 65-63.

Boobie realy has a sense of the moment, doesn't he? Throw out the 21-point performance, and just concentrate on WHEN he was scoring...they might not have been buzzer beaters, but most of his threes come at really, really ideal times for Cleveland. Love it.

Varejao just shot a three from the corner. You read that correctly. The shot clock wasn't even at 0. What the hell. It would be better if he just threw it out of bounds, at least that way the Cavs could set up their D. What the hell.

Damon Jones misses a three at the nice if he made one of those every once in a while. Cavs up a point as we start the fourth. Sweaty palms

Fourth Quarter

I love Boobie. He just splashed a three with a hand in his face, no hesitation. Dude has some cajones. His mentality is friggin' perfect. Cavs up.

Lindsey Hunter and Flip Murray currently in Detroit's back court. Advantage: Cleveland.

Boobie with another three! Are you kidding me? We'll leave this one to Boobie's Moms...
Mrs. Gibson said...



If there was ever any doubt, LeBron James officially owns Cleveland. He comes out of nowhere for a steal, goes the length of the court and then lays it in with Lindsey Hunter hanging all over them. He capped it off by popping off the ground and pointing to the crowd with both hands as the place exploded. Never mind how dumb Lindsey Hunter is - seriously, he had no chance of stopping LeBron there - how great was the reaction? Perfect.

Boobie again for three! I can't even believe I am seeing this. What a fuckin stud. The Q is losing its damn mind. Cavs up 12!

Hamilton gets his fourth foul, reaching in on LeBron...they gotta get him off him, he isn't even that good off a defender and he is their only consistent scoring threat at the moment. You know what? Leave Rip on LeBron. Good call.

If LeBron scores here, this place is gonna explode. I mean, Boobie just drew a blocking call on Prince - who is sucking hard core, by the way - and the place lost it. If King James does something, the roof will blow off.

>blockquote>#4 said...

if you were an nba player wouildnt you celebrate with the crowd like that on a regular basis?
Oh, I would live for the fans. My go-to move would be the Iverson hand-to-the-ear, I-can't-hear-you, but I'd also point like a maniac, and if I hit a three in the corner, I'd slap five with the entire front row on my way back down the court. After big wins, I' be on the scorer's table like MJ, just screaming at the crowd.

Which is why LeBron's celebration was so perfect. He pointed to the entire city, and considering what that town as been through in its sporting history, that was no small gesture. He owns that city.

Oh, wow: Sheed gets called for an offensive foul on Varejao and then runs down the court screaming, somehow avoiding a T. I have no idea how, because even I hear him scream "That's fucking bullshit!"

Ah, there we go: Sheed gets called for another foul, fouls out, and then proceeds to lose his gah-damn mind. Didn't see that one coming.

Man, it took him forever to leave the court...he just flipped out. The entire Detroit bench was holding him back, he was yelling, pointing...he just lost it. It was awesome. Cavs up 83-69 with just under 8 to go.

Steve Kerr: "I think what you are seeing here is the end of an era." Well put, Mr. Kerr, well put.

Damon Jones misses ANOTHER three. Listen, I understand why he is in there, but with Boobie on fire and Sleepy Marshall out there, what's the point, really? He can't gaurd anyone...get Hughes out there

Boobie with his fifth three! There aren't enough exclamation points on my keyboard right now. What a freakin' stud.

matt said...

I don't know how I feel about this forever being known as "The Boobie Game".

Aww... fuck it. I'm good.

Oh, I can live with that. I am thrilled with that. The more help LeBron has, the better.

Hey, Damon Jones scored a layup! He looked really weird doing it, like he hadn't practiced one in a few years, which he probably hasn't. Cavs up 15. I really can't believe this.

Daniel Gibson - probably the smallest dude on the court - drops a tear drop over Tayshaun Prince. He has 31! This is unreal.

Flip Murray draws a foul on LeBron, his first. I can't believe Flip Murray is in with four minutes left. A Cleveland cast-off is getting crunch time minutes in the Eastern Conference Finals. Unreal.

Rip fouls out and is surprisingly subdued. If that woulda happened a few minutes ago, he probably woulda snapped, but he seems resigned to defeat, which is probably the right mind set.

This game is over. The Pistons have stopped trying to come back (I know this because Damon Jones got into the paint again, finding Andy for a wide open lay up). Cavs up 16 with two minutes left.

LeBron ices it with a fade away. Perfect.

I want to see LeBron run around with Boobie sitting on his shoulders.

LeBron launches the ball into the rafters, and this game is a wrap. Cleveland is going to the Finals, and there is no way I can possibly describe the emotion, so I'm not even going to try.

Cleveland is in the Finals.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Friday, June 01, 2007

Trying to Put LeBron's Game 5 Into Some Type of Context

Words are not going to do it justice. The numbers, incredible as they are, do not do it justice. LeBron's Game 5 performance was just something you had to experience first hand. No secondary source could possibly come close to conveying what LeBron James did in Detroit last night.

It was that profound.

I am tripping all over myself trying to find the right superlatives to describe K
ing James' domiance, and I suspect I am not the only one finding it damn near impossible to boil it down to one definitive phrase. It was that monumental.

One thing I won't say - and I pray to God no one else does, either - is "finally." Bron has been criticized - and I wholeheartedly include myself in this category - of not living up to his potential; in this series alone he's been hammered for everything from his decision making to the way he plays in the third quarter to his overall output.

But his Game 5 performance was more than anyone has a right to expect from any player, ever. Much, much more. In any scout or coach's most far-flung scenarios, in their wildest dreams, no player at any point in basketball history should have that type of effort expected of him.

That performance was not something you expect, let alone think possible. The only appropriate response is to marvel and talk about it in hushed, reverent tones.

LeBron exceeded every single-game expectation anyone in their right mind could possibly have set for him. He annihilated it.

Where it ranks in the pantheon of all-time great individual performances in the history of the NBA is up to much wiser people than me; I just haven't been around long enough to make a fair assessment.

The one statement I can make with absolute conviction, though, is this: What LeBron did last night was the greatest performance in the post-MJ era and the second-place finisher is so distant that it isn't worth mentioning.

25 straight points to end a game? 29 of the last 30? That is so good it is absurd. That is a different sport. And every basket was bigger than the one before it. If he wasn't taking the lead, then he was tying the game or he was cutting a deficit or he was pushing the lead to two possessions. Every single time LeBron scored, it was a must have bucket. His team needed him to do it on his own more times than is even fair and he delivered every single time.

The only game I can think of off the top of my head that I could compare it to would be the Lakers coming back from 15 down to knock off the Blazers in the Western Conference Finals. But I'll take this game over that one in a heart beat. I would much rather watch a game where it was back-and-forth with multiple lead changes and huge bucket after huge bucket - by both teams - than a game in which you could say one team just choked the game away. Throw in that performance for the ages, and its a walk.

It goes without saying that this is the defining moment, so far, of young LeBron's career (it really is hard sometimes to keep in mind that he is just 22 years old), but can you ever imagine him topping this? For that matter, can you imagine anyone topping this? I am sure his career will have accomplishments that mean more in the grand scheme of things - championships, MVPs - but as far as single games go, I can't even fathom what the man would have to do to top this.

LeBron's career still has miles to go. But if this game isn't leading of his
Sports Century twenty years from now...well, I can't wait to see the game that tops it.

Have you ever seen a guy just take the ball like that and score every single time with no regard for his teammates or the other team? I haven't. Truly, I haven't.

Drew Gooden tried to say that he was"Video Game James" because only a player made out of pixels could possibly pull off what LeBron did Thursday night. But there is no way Drew - or anyone else for that matter - ever did anything that impressive even in a video game. Thoes types of shots? Step backs? Behind the back pull ups? Fade away threes over two defenders? On that stage, with that much pressure, getting that much help from his teammates? And throw in the clutch defensive plays, his effort on the glass and his seven assists and there is just no way. No way. LeBron James is better than a video game.

This was one of those games where you will always remember where you were when you were watching it. You were acutely aware you were watching history being made as you were watching. How many games can you say that about? I'm going to be honest: that's a first for me.

And if you didn't see it live, I am sorry, but TiVo or a tape-recording or even an ESPN Classic replay is not going to capture it. I'm not being a snob or a prick; this was that surreal to watch live. If you were unlucky enough to miss it, well...I really don't know what to tell you.

You missed out on the greatest basketball performance I have ever seen in my life.

Read the Rest After the Jump...