Thursday, May 14, 2009

A top 10 list of Cavs victories

As we are waiting for our next victim to emerge from the Orlando/Boston series, I thought now would be a good time to recap some of the memorable Cavs victories this year. So here's my personal top 10 list of regular season victories, along with a brief recap and a link to the highlights.

#10 - 11/3/08 @ Dallas, Cavs 100 Mavericks 81 (highlights)
This was the first blowout of the season, and a big road win (the Cavs were 1-2 at the time if you can believe it).

#9 - 3/13/09 @ Sacramento, Cavs 126 Kings 123 (highlights)
This one was special because it clinched the Cavs' first Central Division crown in 33 years. The Kings put up a massive fight, the Cavs forgot to play defense for a few games, but it was an entertaining, high-scoring affair in which the Cavs came from behind again. It ended their second straight successful West Coast trip and earned bonus points for Fred McLeod tearing up in the postgame.

#8 - 1/21/09 @ Portland, Cavs 104 Blazers 98 (highlights)
A huge road win for the Cavs against a very good young Blazers team. This one came one the second game of their first West Coast trip after they were embarrassed by the Lakers in LA. It continued the trend of this Cavs team being able to bounce back after tough losses.

#7 - 12/19/08 @ Denver, Cavs 105 Denver 88 (highlights)
I enjoyed this one for personal reasons. My wife and I had just arrived in our hotel in Times Square in NYC. I was scrambling for updates on my phone to see if Z was gonna return from his ankle sprain. We were tired from a long day, my wife decided to take a nap and I was able to catch pretty much the entire game on the hotel TV. The Cavs blew out a very good Nuggets team in their own building (possible Finals preview?) with Z going off for 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

#6 - 2/4/09 @ New York, Cavs 107 Knicks 102 (highlights)
LeBron's ridiculous 52/10/11 triple-double game in Madison Square Garden that was later downgraded by the league for mystifying reasons. One of the greatest individual all-around games in the history of the NBA... and one of those games where you sit back and think how important it is to watch everytime this kid steps onto the court.

#5 - 1/9/09 The Q, Cavs 98 Celtics 83 (highlights)
The Cavs' first blowout win over the Celtics this season. The Cavs had this one circled on their calendars for a long time and delivered with a huge win to stake their first claim as leaders in the East. Bonus points because I was able to enjoy the game from the Hyland suite at the Q thanks to my buddy Nicko. God I love beating Boston.

#4 - 2/20/09 @ Milwaukee, Cavs 111 Bucks 103 (highlights)
LeBron's white hot shooting night... you know, the one where scored 16 points in less than 3 minutes (probably my favorite sequence of the season) on his way to his season-high 55 points. Just an incredible performance. And bonus points because I watched it from Cleats in Strongsville and the atmosphere inside the bar was electric. It was also the first time I got to hang with my friends since my accident. A great night.

#3 - 4/12/09 The Q, Cavs 107 Celtics 106 (highlights)
A 31-point beatdown of the Celtics on Easter Sunday... 5 Cavs in double figures... the Celtics getting Rickrolled in the Q on national TV... them complaining about 'being disrespected' afterward. Just a great game all around. Can't wait to do it again in the Eastern Conference Finals. Bastards.

#2 - 1/23/09 @ Golden State, Cavs 106 Warriors 105 (highlights)
LeBron's amazing buzzer-beater... Fred and AC's reaction as it happened... my wife and I jumping around like crazy in our family room... another improbable road victory by the Cavs, typical of their never-say-die attitude this season.

#1 - 3/10/09 @ Los Angeles, Cavs 87 Clippers 83 (highlights)
Speaking of that never-say-die attitude, you might be wondering how a game vs. the lowly Clippers could top the list of my favorite Cavs victories this season. Then again, remember this was the Cavaliers on the road on a Tuesday night in the middle of March. I had to work the next day and the Cavs were facing a 69-52 deficit entering the fourth quarter. I contemplated turning off the TV and just going to bed, as the team looked absolutely lifeless. But I thought the better of it and stuck it out and was rewarded handsomely. The Cavs closed the game by outscoring the Clippers 35-14 over the final 12 minutes, including an amazing performance by both LeBron and Mo. The most unlikely comeback of the year, even if it was against the Clippers.