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...