Overview: In a game that meant exactly nothing to the Cavaliers but was necessary for the 76ers to avoid the Celtics, the Cavaliers’ bench was able to take the 6ers to overtime on a clutch Boobie Gibson bomb before coming a point short in OT. The Cavaliers missed tying the record for best home record of all time by one game.
Bizarro day! Day is night, down is up, purple is Stromile Swift!
With LeBron, Mo, Joe Smith, and Z sitting, some weird juju went down in the Q.
Sidebar: I support that decision. The 40-1 would have been nice, especially since with a better win margin and our loss being to a better team, we would have had legitimate claim to being the best home team of all time. But who really cares? Ask the Patriots how pulling out that 16th regular season game felt in terms of their legacy. We won the games we needed to give us the best possible chance at a championship. And seeing LeBron or even Joe go down in an entirely meaningless game is literally my worst nightmare. Actually, legitimate question: what is your worst-case scenario?
1. LeBron and Cavs lose in game 7 of finals to Lakers, with LeBron having a terrible game and missing would-be clinching free throws in final seconds before Kobe hits impossible game-winning three.
2. Same scenario, Eastern Conference finals, against the Wizards, with DeShawn Stevenson hitting game-winning three.
3. LeBron tears ACL in meaningless game, Cavs lose in first round.
Yes, being the favorite going into the playoffs has made me paranoid and slightly insane. I am not going to live through this playoff run.
But anyways, back to the weird crap. Andre Iguodala is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. So if I were to tell you the best player on our side of the floor went for 21,8,8 on 80% TS, you’d say that LeBron had a pretty strong game, right? Wally Szczerbiak did that. Of course. I imagine that this game must have been like Wally Christmas, even before it started. Wait, coach Brown, you’re telling me I can shoot as much as I want and still be able to slap everyone’s butt? This was Wally’s game 7.
Sasha was the one bench player who had a good game without looking like a completely different player; he was just normal Sasha taken to its logical conclusion, trying to take the entire team off the dribble and making crazy, spinning forays into the paint with no real plan, and finished with 20 points on 19 attempts, 5 turnovers, 6 fouls, and an air-ball from the free-throw line. If someone makes a line graph of Sasha’s by-month production since 05-06, it would be the funniest thing ever.
It’s cool to see Jawad Williams hit a three; seeing him open and knowing he was going to hit the second one before it even went in was absolute bliss.
And of course, Tarence sucked, as did Delonte. I attribute this to the wormhole this game was played in.
Honestly, I’m surprised Elton Brand didn’t just get up and drop 40 this game. Maybe he cured mesothelioma or something. Someone check that man’s Twitter.
Boobie-all season, his strange aversion to being a spot-up shooter and pathetic attempts at slashing and playmaking have seen him make a massive regression as a player. Tonight, he went for 28 points and 7 assists, including going 8-14 from inside the arc. How? Why? Where? And the game-tying bomb he hit was just pure. Hopefully, this can get his confidence going, but again I’m more willing to attribute this to God playing a prank on everyone.
Seriously good: D-Block. He’s hitting the deep jumper, he’s running the floor, he’s sealing and finishing at the rim, he’s snatching rebounds. I’m going to say he looks Powe-like. I’m going to go there. I have no idea how he looked that bad early in the year.
And of course, we did the two things we never do: we lost a tight game and we lost at home. And we got tough breaks from the refs: I haven’t legitimately been able to say that the refs cost us a game this year, but not only did we have some questionable calls at the end of the game, the overall free throw disparity was 43-12 in favor of the Sixers. Now, they’re a physical team, we weren’t stopping penetration, and we weren’t spending all that much time getting to the rack, but 31 free throws is odd. Again, this is NOT a microcosm that shows how the league hates us, or wants to keep us from tying a record nobody really cares about. Everything about tonight was weird. See you guys in the playoffs. How weird was tonight? BECK WEIRD.