Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Friday, June 01, 2007

One for the ages

It is a new day and I still don't think I have the words. That has to be the greatest game involving a Cleveland team in my lifetime. Does anything else come close?

What else is on the list?

The Browns beating the Bengals on the last day of the 1980 season to clinch their first division crown in a long time.

The Browns double ot win over the Jets when they were down 10 with four minutes left in the 1986 playoffs.

Albert Belle flexing his muscle and then Tony Pena homering on a 3-0 pitch the Tribe's first playoff game since 1954 in 1995.

Omar's fake bunt and/the wheel play both came in the Orioles series in 1997.

Maybe I was as emotional after the Jets win and game seven in 1997 was at the top of the list up and until there were 25 outs. But it is almost a shame that the Cavs have to turn around and play tomorrow. I just want to soak in this win.

The Pistons are a gang of men and they will play hard tomorrow night. I suspect if things go against Detroit, the game will get ugly and nasty. But at the same time, LeBron not only grew up last night. He bullrushed to Andy's defense and frankly I think if he doesn't go beserk that McDyess doesn't get ejected and then he fufulled all that promise down the stretch. He made shots like it was a video game. His step back three to tie after Webber's three point play was remarkable and will be on the highlight reel forever but that final play was something else altogether. He drove through the whole team and freed himself for the win. At live speed, old Bad Boy Rick Mahorn had to be thinking you have to kill him on that play and put him on the line-- but watching in slow motion, I think they tried and LeBron just slipped through like a ghost.

And while the National Media proclaims this as five against one. LeBron knows different. You can argue it was Kobe-like and worry LeBron will try to do too much in the future-- but then you would not have been paying attention. LeBron is all about the team and sometimes it doesn't matter who scores all the points just that they are scored. Plus who else should have been taking shots- our next three scorers had fouled out. But without defense, offense doesn't matter. The decison to move Sasha on Rip, putting LeBron on Prince and having Snow guard Chauncey allowed LeBron to win the game. Chauncey's big three to tie it came against Boobie. He never would have gotten it off against Snow. Sasha's length affected Hamilton. LeBron's strength affected Prince and Snow's I-AM-GROWN-MAN defense affected Chauncey. And Anderson made Wallace work on every play. Our defense allowed us to be in postion to win that game. It is easy to get that lost in the emotion of LeBron's superman heroics.

And yet, it all means nothing if the Cavs don't close out tomorrow at home. But the difference is now not only do the Pistons respect the Cavs and LeBron-- the rest of the Cavs have be true believers. They watched LeBron rise up last night and that has to provide a championship confidence. I would be really surprised to see them lay an egg tomorrow. And I don't expect the Pistons to roll over. It should be another Classic with the game on the line in the final seconds.