Sunday, May 11, 2008

Home Cooking in Game 3

Ben Wallace is an overpaid athlete. Everyone who follows the NBA knows this. The Chicago Bulls gave him a ridiculous contract back in 2006 and he could have never possibly lived up to it. He is a garbage man, an energy play, and a player who impacts the game by doing the dirty work. But that doesn't mean the Cavs aren't happy to have him on their roster, especially after games like last night.

Going into Saturday's Game 3, Wallace was listed as doubtful with dizziness from an inner ear infection and allergies. That's why it was quite surprising to see during the Cavalier introductions on the video board when Anderson Varejao's name and picture briefly appeared and then were replaced by Wallace. It seemed that the late decision even took Cavalier PA announcer Olivier Sedra by surprise. And Big Ben immediately impacted the game with his presence, getting 6 points in the first quarter. His final stat line reads like this: 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks. Anyone who has followed this team since the big trade knows that when Big Ben is this actively involved, the Cavs rarely lose. His energy and defense set the tone for a big night for the Cavs at home.

And the Cavaliers' 24-point drubbing of the Celtics was especially satisfying when you consider that LeBron James had another off-shooting night. He will not keep misfiring like this. Maybe we just take his greatness for granted, but even on a 5-16 shooting night he still found a way to chip in 21 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 block shots (including one where he pinned Rajon Rondo's layup high against the glass). LeBron did have a lot of help offensively from some of the other newer faces, with Delonte West, Joe Smith, and Wally Szczerbiak all stepping up with very big games.

So now the series sits at 2-1 and the pressure is tilting heavily onto the Celtics after their fourth straight road loss in the postseason. If the Cavaliers can duplicate this effort on Monday, I think we may see a repeat of last year's Eastern Conference Finals. And on a personal note, I'd like to thank the arrogant Boston idiot in Section 219 that was wearing the "Got Banners" t-shirt last night. Thank you for riling up our section and making it the rowdiest I've seen since Game 6 vs. the Pistons last year. Please come back tomorrow for Game 4.

LBJ finds a rare chance to throw one down in Game 3

One final note on Game 3: I know this will probably come off as me being a whiny homer, but I'm sick and tired of guys taking these cheap shots on LeBron. Last night it was James Posey clotheslining LBJ as he drove to the lane, full speed. It may not have been intentional, but the way Posey grabbed him was very dangerous. I personally thought it deserved an ejection. He should at least be fined a pretty penny for that maneuver.

Tribe Update: I'm very pleased with Friday and Saturday's games from our Indians. I was there on Friday night and it looked like they were heading for another ho-hum, no-offense loss when they were down 1-0 in the 6th with only three hits. But the bats came alive for 6 runs and CC Sabathia did more than enough to get the 6-1 win. And I honestly didn't see one pitch from last night's game since I was inside the Q, but I did get to hear Grady's leadoff HR from right outside the Jake, errr, Prog. That set the tone for a 12-0 Tribe beatdown of the Blue Jays, and the rare Cavs/Tribe double-win. Let's hope for a few more of those all the way into June...

Sunday's Mother's Day game has just been postponed so we'll have to wait until Monday to see if the Tribe can climb back over .500 again. They will play a traditional doubleheader vs. the Blue Jays starting at 4:05 tomorrow.


Rick said...

I'm a Celtics fan, but I come in peace. I've enjoyed your writing during this series. We'll see how things go, but good luck the rest of the way.

chiefwahoo56 said...

Thanks for the kind words Rick, and good luck to you too. But I want my Cavaliers to win this thing!