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Categories: Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland’s Best Week Ever: A Somewhat Pathetic Retrospect

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to pick yourself up after one person dissolves its bands and takes his talents to South Beach, improbable events occur.

On Tuesday, October 26, the new-look Miami Heat took the floor for the first time with LeBron James and Chris Bosh, in Boston against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Celtics, and…

They disappointed. The team that has dominated the headlines this off-season, with some pundits boldly predicting 70+ wins and overwhelming dominance of their competition, came out flailing. They looked like a team that didn’t work throughout the summer, didn’t learn how to play with each other or improve their own games dramatically, distracted by the inevitable media circus their power alliance warranted. And they lost, 88-80, to the experienced well-oiled machine that is this current incarnation of the Celtics, a team that embodies getting the most out of their guys and playing within a finely-tuned system.

Well-oiled, and healthy. KG is pleased. Eric Spoelstra and Stan Van Gundy, not so much.

One night later, the Cleveland Cavaliers debuted against those same Celtics, with the remains of the group of supporting players assembled to keep LeBron in Cleveland now in starring roles, and performed admirably. For two and a half quarters, they matched wills with the Celtics, until Boston opened the third quarter on a 19-9 run, running the lead to 11 points and leaving Cleveland fans with an all-too-familiar sense of dread.

Kind of like anytime anybody mentions Blowzeh Sayvah. May God have mercy on your soul, Blowzeh.

But Cleveland marched back, closing the lead to five points heading into the final period. Then they managed to play 12 minutes of inspired basketball making a series of clutch plays, taking the lead early in the period, followed by a few minutes where the lead wasn’t safe for either team culminating in a Ramon Sessions steal and a Cleveland timeout up 86-84 with a little over three minutes remaining. Anthony Parker made the biggest three of his Cleveland career out of the timeout, followed by a series of botched possessions and, because Boston couldn’t make an offensive basket, a series of Cleveland free throws, which the Cavs went 6-6 on in the final minute. Cleveland 95-Boston 87.

At least until LeBron and friends face Cleveland (December 4), this will be the highlight of the Cavaliers season, a somewhat depressing fact of life in the NBA. But who knows? With the Eastern Conference only having Miami, Orlando, Boston, Atlanta and possibly Milwaukee as serious playoff-caliber teams, if Cleveland can continue to play inspired, scorned eff-you basketball until April, they may be good enough for a 6, 7, or 8 seed in the East, and possibly earn a best-of-seven against Mr. James and friends.

Mr. James and friends, slightly more athletic, and debaucherous, than Barney and Friends. Also, less colorful.

Categories: Cleveland Cavaliers