Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bron-Bron does his thing- you know, taking over the league

Cavs 97, Wiz 94
How LeBron James did not win the MVP award last year when Steve Nash-ty won it for a second consecutive time will go down in history as one of the great blunders of all time. It was almost like the league decided "hey, this kid is too young, we don't want to bestow our greatest honor on him too soon, so just give it to the little guy again."

Compare the numbers the two put up last season:

LeBron: 79g, 31.4 PTS, 7 REBS, 6.6 AST, 1.6 STEALS, 48% FG, 34% 3-PT
Nash: 79g, 18.8PTS, 4.2 REB, 10.5 AST, 0.8 STEALs, 51%FG, 44% 3-PT
Okay so Nash won it on the strength of a 3% higher shooting percentage and 4 more assists per game? C'mon, that was highway robbery last year, and I hope LeBron decides to make everyone pay for his snub by leaving no doubt that he should win it this year.
He started his campaign last night in the Cavs rematch of last season's thrilling 7-game 1st round playoff series against the Wizards. Same teams, same results: Cleveland pulled out a thrilling last-minute victory, and of course King James (26pts, 10rebs, 5ast) was most responsible for the win. With the score tied at 93 and a minute left, LeBron got the ball on the left post and looked for his move. When Anderson Varejao (a dead ringer for the Clown on the Simpsons) set a pick at the top of the key, LeBron pounced; he stepped around the picked man, drove the baseline and headed toward the basket. But Antawn Jamison stepped in to take the charge- or so he thought. Like a bird in flight, Bron effortlessly slipped around him and into the middle of the paint, raised up and flicked the ball into the goal with a gentle movement of the wrist that he made effortlessly before anyone really knew what happened; dare I say it was MJ-esque.
Like his Airness used to do to the Cavs, Bron had just done again to Washington. He single-handedly won 2 games of that 7-game set last spring with last-minute, game-winning shots, and he did it again last night. During a timeout shortly after that move ESPN played a montage of his 2 game winners, and I couldn't help but think that next time these teams get together the shot he just made will be added to the clip. After the shot the gave the Cavs a 95-93 lead the Wiz still had their chances to win, but for some unexplained reason they allowed Jarvis Hayes to take 3 critical shots with the game on the line. Not Gilbert Arenas, who was obviously still intimidated by the foul shot curse Bron put on him in the series-clinching game 7, because he was a no-show on this night (7pts on 2-12 shooting); not Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, hell not even Antonio Daniels. Granted Hayes did have a decent game (12 pts), but to allow the seldom-used swingman to take 3 crunch-time shots with all those shooters on the team was another poor coaching decision from Eddie Jordan (great time to point out my favorite thing about Coach Jordan: he looks like a cross between the horrible comeidian Sinbad & the excellent actor Terrence Howard-watch next time.
But that's why the Wiz are becoming the Cavs' bitches, and why LeBron is building his MVP resume on the strength of making game-winning shots against a team powerless to stop him.

Great commercials, cool nickname, game-winning shots, eye-popping stats, magical smile- get the trophy case cleared out Bron Bron- the MVP trophy is yours for the taking this year.

Celts can't win one for Red on opening night.
They honored their beloved mentor, teacher & friend before the game in a moving ceremony that brought many in the Garden to tears, including the players. And with a bouquet of green roses & unlit cigar placed in the seat where Red Auerbach had sat for so many years, the C's displayed the heart, determination, and desire that were hallmarks of all of Red's championship teams.

Unfortunately for everyone in love with the Green Shamrock squad the end result was not what Red would have wanted nor tolerated. Despite a 29 pt, 19 reb monster effort from captain Paul Pierce the C's fell to the scrappy Hornets 91-87 in the 2006-07 season opener. Although PP did his share of the damage, other than Wally World Sczerbiak (26pts) & Al Jefferson (12 pts) the rest of his supporting cast just didn't measure up to the Red Standard: Delonte West, Sebastian Telfair, and Kendrick Perkins combined for a miserable 4-12, 9 pt night. That's just not going to get it done. Plus the highly-touted Telfair had a meager 1 assist- this from the Brooklyn schoolyard legend who is supposed to be a wiz with the rock?
Well at least they never gave up. The 4th quarter was a see-saw affair, with the teams trading leads right up to the final minutes. But Chris Paul (21pts, 10 ast) and Peja Stojakovic (11pts) hit big shots down the stretch to deny the C's an emotional victory on an emotional night.

And the cigar in Red's chair would remain unlit.

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