No answers to a mysterious night
I wish I knew.
I wish I could figure out just what was going on with LeBron James in the most important game of the season on Tuesday night, when he looked rather disengaged at times, far too deferential and simply not himself.
Whatever it was, it could very well have cost the Cleveland Cavaliers their last, legitimate shot at an NBA title for years to come if, as widely expected, James bolts and leaves a trail of devastation in his wake.
Now, I refuse to entirely write off the Cavs in Game 6 tomorrow, or even Game 7 if there is one Sunday because of the mere presence of James but there’s been nothing, really, that’s happened in this series to make me think the Cavs are truly a better team than the Celtics right now.
They haven’t defended as well, they haven’t shot it as well, they haven’t been able to do much of anything with any consistency.
And, to borrow a timeworn phrase, it goes back to the head of the snake.
James is a singular talent, of that there is no debate whatsoever. But when his team needed him most he disappeared. Not sure if it was his elbow or his desire to get his teammates involved or the suffocating Boston defence that saw a second and third defender always lurking whenever he got the ball.
I suspect, like always, that it’s a combination of all of those things, there’s never really one concrete reason for stuff like Tuesday night.
But if James – or coach Mike Brown – doesn’t figure it out in a hurry, the last thing we’ll remember about LeBron James with his hometown team is him walking off the court to a chorus of boos from about 4,000 fans who were still in the building when a 32-point pasting was complete.
That’d be some legacy, no?
It can be said – and has been said – that Atlanta’s Joe Johnson has cost himself a whack of money with his underwhelming performance in these playoffs; a free agent to be who may not find as many teams clamouring to throw cash his way in July
It can also be said – and will be said – that Boston’s Ray Allen has made himself a whack of money with his oft-overwhelming performance in these playoffs; a free agent to be who may now find many teams clamouring to throw cash his way in July.
Allen has been outstanding at times – like in his five three-point gem on Tuesday night – and you could make the case that he’s the difference in the Celtics. When he’s making tough, contested shots, they win.
Anyway, he’s also without a contract at the end of this season I guarantee you there are GMs out there salivating at the chance to make him an offer.
Yes, he’ll be 35 when next season rolls around and, yes, he’s not the greatest of defenders in the history of the game.
But, man, can he shoot and it would not surprise me in the least if some team didn’t offer him a three-year deal at the mid-level exception (maybe with the third year non-guaranteed) because there is an awful lot of value left in those old bones.
Will it be the Celtics? Well, at some point, you’d think they have to get younger so I’m not entirely sure; but tell me how he’d look in, say, Dallas or Chicago? Pretty darn good, I’d think.
Hey, you all realize that the NBA draft lottery is Tuesday, right? Been a very long time since there’s been a day of any significance for the Heroes Of The Hardcourt. They have scant chance to move up to one of the top three spots from their current 13th place but what the heck, there’s at least a reason to think about them.
And, no, I do not believe they’ve asked Chris Bosh to represent them on the stage.
But it’d be cool if he tweeted his reaction, wouldn’t it?
This is like a day without sunshine.
(Oh, wait, a quick glance outside at the gloom and drizzle shows that it is indeed a day without sunshine)
Anyway, what I mean is it’s the first night since the post-season began that there are no games.
It didn’t make the news up here, I don’t imagine, but there was a significant event in the world of grunt-dom yesterday when Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe won one of the Curt Gowdy Media awards handed out by the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Now, there is an awful lot wrong with the Hall’s various selection process – we don’t know who votes in each category, we don’t know the vote totals, the issues of transparency and accountability are sadly lacking – but who did the selecting on this one got it right.
I don’t know Jackie very well, we’ve only had a handful of conversations over the years, but I’ve been a fan for a very, very long time. When she was covering the beat in the heydays of the 80s, she was required reading whenever a guy could find a Boston Globe.
The most interesting thing in the story is the last quote, I think, the one about never having an issue with the NBA about access or support from the league office.
I take great pride as a guy who covers the game and the league in how fair and supportive the league has been over the years with female writers.
Yes, there are, and were, some idiot and childish players, no question about it, but if there ever was an issue, a woman could count on the league – and the other writers – to take up the cause.
Makes a fella proud.
I’m sure you’ve all read, or are aware of, the fact the Jays have to move a series against the Phillies in late June from Toronto to Philadelphia because of security concerns regarding the G20 Summit that’s being held – and suffocating – our fair city.
Not a bad idea, probably, although why they didn’t make the decision months ago is beyond me. It’s not like the summit, or the schedule, just popped up on the radar.
Anyway, it has no direct impact on me in the baseball vein of things (I may have gone to watch Roy Halladay pitch, I may not have) but it might impact my basketball world.
(And it’s all about me, right)
That’s because the NBA draft is June 24, two days before the summit starts. Now, I’m told we’ll likely still be able to get to the Air Canada Centre easily enough on draft day to do our work but the traditional Friday-after-the-draft media availability with whatever lucky soul gets taken by this storied franchise could be postponed until the following week.
And since the following week begins with June 28, that’s going to take away of breathless reporting on the July 1 fate of Chris Bosh. Aw, shucks.
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