I’m not quite sure where to start with this one.
First and foremost, tonight’s game against the Nets was one of the best showings of basketball Cleveland has put forth since probably the beginning of the season—until the end.
Antawn Jamison was flirting with a double-double as he started off hot in the first half, finishing the game with 26 points and 8 rebounds, but couldn’t get a basket to save his life during the crunch.
Daniel Gibson had a huge three late in the fourth, keeping the Cavs in the hunt for their first win since Dec. 18 against the Nets’ cross-river counterpart, but it came with no further adieu.
The true turning point of this game was in the third quarter, with about 6:40 to go. If you were watching this game, this is the point where New Jersey started really gaining momentum. They started getting into the swing of things, meanwhile on the other side of the court, Cleveland was starting to lose its touch.
The Nets nailed a few key shots, swinging the pendulum back their way. Jamison started struggling and J.J. Hickson was being overpowered down low. You could feel the Cavs starting to run out of the steam from the first half and the Pru center had a home team vibe to it, even if there were like nine people in there.
It was almost like a scene off of “I Love Lucy.” Things slowly started slipping away, little by little, then the bottom fell out. Right when there was a glimmer of hope (Cavs had just tied it up with a few ticks remaining), Brook Lopez nailed a two-step jumper, leaving 1.7 seconds on the clock Ohhh Lucyyy, I’m ho-ome. Even though Cleveland got the ball and had a last-second chance, you could feel that shot not going in. Sure enough, it didn’t.
The loss comes to a struggling Nets team, one the Cavs really could have beaten. It was a better showing than that of the previous game (by the way, I realize I am eating my words on the last blog ‘The skid will end with Milwaukee’) and this team definitely needed a win going into Tuesday’s nightcap against Boston.
Cleveland will go into the Eastern Conference’s top dog’s house and try and do something near-impossible. Fortunately for the Cavs, the Celtics have just come off an embarrassing loss in Washington against a struggling Wizards squad. Reports are saying Shaquille O’Neal will be out for at least two games, so this will help a player like Hickson. But again, he’ll have to worry about Kevin Garnett.
Last time Cavalier fans saw it this dim, a “young” Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office and Joan Jett was rocking the radio with “I Love Rock’n’Roll.” A light at the end of the tunnel: the basketball uniforms have gotten a whole lot better.
About the Author
Written by Ricky Campbell
I'm a daily news reporter for a newspaper in Northwestern Connecticut, now, throwing my hat into the sports world. I have a dog named Carlos and a studio apartment where I like to eat canned beans and cheap hot dogs.