After the first game of the series I wrote a quick post on what I liked and didn’t like about the team’s performance. This time, I’m going to offer the 5 things I liked best about the game from my seat Deep in the Q.
1. First off, the guys sitting down front in section 208 were great. I went to the game solo, but had some really great conversations with the guys around me about everything from LeBron to Tyrone Hill. Sometimes when you go to games you find yourself in the middle of some group that you can’t wait to get away from. We’ve all been there- maybe you are sitting next to the guy that knows every stat for every player and insists on telling you. Perhaps you are sitting next to the guy trying to impress someone with his knowledge of the game, but he gets 2 out of every 5 facts wrong. Maybe worse than that is the group sitting there watching a game who have absolutely no clue about the game, and chat loudly about work or fashion or something else. But for the most part, I’ve found Cleveland fans are knowledgeable and fun to share the experience with. And if you ever had reservations about sitting in the top sections, let me say that the view is just fine from up high. Well worth the experience. (By the way, that picture was taken with a crappy camera phone- so don’t judge the seats by the quality of that photo.)
2. Lebron’s ridiculous half court buzzer beater. Talk about bringing a crowd to life! That was awesome. We all knew what play was coming when LeBron stood out of bounds with the ball. The Hawks had 2 players around LeBron and he still drilled that shot. It was one of those moments that hang with you for a while. I don’t think there was a better reaction from the crowd all night. Unless it was for…
3. LeBron’s reverse two-handed jam as the shot clock expired. Seriously Hawks? Doesn’t anyone want to play a little help defense? Hold him perhaps? LeBron only made half his free throws, there was a chance it would be a good foul. As the guys in 208 agreed- they didn’t want to guard him. Nobody did. It seemed like all night the Hawks were completely disinterested in trying to stop LeBron. Watching Joe Johnson check back into the game in the third quarter, he had the look of a little kid forced to go to school in the morning. And he played harder than most of the Hawks. Certainly harder than Josh Smith. Smith absolutely quit in the third quarter. I don’t blame Woodson for yanking him out of the game after he walked back to the defensive end following a blocked shot in which he felt he was fouled. You wonder where Josh is planning to go on vacation next week. It looked to me like he was planning the trip last night.
4. Focus. This team obviously has the goal in mind, and they aren’t going to let anything stand in their way. Enough with the questions about whether or not they need to be challenged more. Would you rather they play bad enough to be in a close game? Would you rather see them drop game 3 so that “we can see how they respond to adversity”? That’s crazy. Win every game you can. Win them in the third quarter if you can. I’d love to see LeBron average 31 minutes a game in this round. Our bigs under 30 minutes each? I’ll take it.
5. Six down, Ten to go. Embrace the ride. You just never know.
6. A bonus number six- thanks Vince for the opportunity to catch up before the game. You should all read his stuff over at the Scene. He’s good people, and he knows his Cleveland sports. Thanks for getting me closer to the action later in the game. I’m pretty sure that’s as close to Usher as I’ll ever be.