I'm going to read a quote from Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
"There are times in your life when you draw on everything you have. Times when you reach into the deepest part of yourself. When you know you have to give it your all. Because anything less won't get the job done. It's in times like these when you find out who you really are. That is, if you live long enough."
We learned a great deal about the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. Injured and on the road, they rallied from an 11 point deficit and won 92-91 against the Miami Heat. In the regular season, these are the biggest tests for any team. And make no mistake: the Heat were on a mission to settle a score with us after we beat them in their own building in the fall. They were playing suffocating defense and one Dwayne Wade was exploiting the Cavs (with a little help from the refs) all night long. He had 30 points at halftime, but just 2 in the second half. But he wasn't reduced to a spectator; twice in a row I saw him double-teamed, so he just passed to a wide open Udonis Haslem who sank the open shot.
We also had to overcome an unruly Jermaine O'Neal, who had 14 points in the first quarter and almost had himself a 3-point play in the final minute. Thankfully, they only made one of 6 free throws in the fourth quarter, whereas the Cavs made 8 of 9.
LeBron James: 9-23, 2-7 three pointers, 12-17 FT shooting, 32 points. The points didn't come easy for LeBron tonight. He had just 2 in the first quarter when we were down by 10. And down the stretch, he made a great steal
proving that Mike Brown's decision not to foul was sheer genius but was pounded by Wade, suffering an awful concussion to the head. He picked himself up, made both free throws, and gave Cleveland the lead for good.
JJ Hickson: 0-4, 0-0 FT shooting, 0 assists, 13 minutes, -17 +/-. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I think Hickson just plays better at home.
Shaquille O'Neal: 9-13, 5 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 19 points, 27 minutes. Shaq understands he will touch the ball more often with our roster having grown thinner. He responded by assuming the role of the second go-to-guy, taking more shots than any other Cavalier other than LeBron. The result was a decent amount of points, but with that comes plenty of turnovers.
Daniel Gibson: 5-10, 4-6 three pointers, 15 points, 41 minutes. Big Shot Boobie had himself another great game, hitting a huge 3 pointer in the 4th quarter to put us ahead for the first time all evening, 88-87. He played more minutes than any other Cavalier. Why doesn't Mike Brown use him more often?
Anthony Parker: 1-4, 0-3 three pointers, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 39 minutes. Despite just 2 points, Anthony Parker finished +11 in the +/- column. I report, you decide.
Anderson Varejao: 5-8, 13 points, 11 rebounds, 39 minutes, +12 +/-. I feel sorry for Varejao. It seems like every time he battles for a loose ball or a rebound, a foul is called on him. Can someone please explain to me what a loose ball foul is?
Our next game is at home VS the Timberwolves. The best we can ask for is for LeBron and Shaq to not have to play the entire 4th quarter.