I know. The Cavaliers lost a game, their first loss in over a month and we need to place blame. For those of you that like that, I'll get it out of the way early. How about this - free throws aren't free, just the attempts. Cleveland was awarded 40 trips to the free throw line. They left 17 points right there at the free throw line. Shaq, as we would expect, was 0-6, but there were others. LeBron was 12/17 from the line, missing two crucial free throws down the stretch. Anthony Parker and Daniel Gibson each had chances when fouled beyond the arc for 3 free throws. Each went 1-3 in their attempts.
More blame? How about the love of the three point line. LeBron was 1-9 behind the arc, including a 3 at the buzzer that would have won the game. As a team, the Cavaliers went 7-22 from deep. 30% from three point land to go with 57% from the free throw line will usually equal a loss when playing a top-notch opponent. Still, the Cavaliers took the Nuggets to Overtime, and still, it took a great shot by Carmelo Anthony, in what was likely his best overall game, to beat the Cavaliers. I'll take that.
Now that the blame has been placed, sit back and enjoy what we got to Witness.
LeBron James - 43 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists. That's Pistol Pete territory folks, since no one has hit those gaudy numbers since Maravich did it in 1974.
Carmelo Anthony - 40 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists. 'Melo hit shot after shot. Like I said earlier, it was the best all-around game I have seen 'Melo play. Impressive.
These are games that are better suited for May and June than February, after a long layoff, but for a national TV audience the teams' superstars were not going to disappoint. Sure, we can be pissed about the loss, but why take away from what a great game it was. Both of these teams are going to go deep into the playoffs.
Yes, the Nuggets swept the season series, but it took Denver hitting every big shot in both games to do it. I can also use a bit of reverse psychology - people keep telling us that beat the Lakers twice means little - so Denver beating the Cavaliers twice means just as ....ummm....little.
Both teams were sloppy at times, both teams were awesome at times. We can only hope we see 7 games in the summer that are a lot like this one - with different results of course. Don't fret too long, Cavs fans, we were going to lose sometime, and now we get to see Jamison in action - hopefully tomorrow night in Charlotte. We have a score to settle with the Bobcats, and by the look on the face of LeBron when he left the floor, he's ready to collect.