Okay. Let me preface this post by saying that I doubts that I'd be able to do a full WotN entry with only one game on the slate. But man oh man...this particular game came through in spades.
Cleveland Cavaliers: They scored only 72 points, shot 30 percent from the field, committed 17 turnovers, and added to their the all-time worst record in Game 1 road games (0-for-14). Yay, team.
Boston Celtics: They scored only 76 points, had more turnovers (21) than assists (18), and barely beat the Cavaliers in Boston on a night when LeBron James had the worst game of his career (more on that below). That's a pretty bad sign, right?
LeBron James: Poor LeBron. On the same day the King found out that he finished a distant fourth in MVP voting, he went out and had the worst game of his NBA career: 12 points, 2-for-18 shooting, 10 turnovers. He scored only 2 points in the second half and missed his last six shots. He also was one assist or rebound away from the shameful triple bumble (as several of you quickly pointed out).
And with all due respect to the Celtics defense...Bron-Bron was just flat-out bonking shots and tricking layups. And he knew it. "I missed a lot of shots I know I can make. I missed layups. Those layups I've made my whole life." (That's right, boys and girls; LeBron came out of the womb hitting layups.)
Fun fact #2: Sorry, ESPN. You missed one. Fortunately, Yahoo caught it. The worst shooting night of LeBron's career came on December 29, 2004 against the Houston Rockets, when he went 0-for-5 in 17 minutes. However, there were circumstances. Said LeBron: "I fractured my cheekbone."
Kevin Garnett, quote machine: KG was the only player who truly played well last night (although Zydrunas Ilgauskas came pretty close). Garnett -- who came in third in MVP voting -- had 28 points (13-for-23), 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in nearly 40 minutes. More importantly, though, he hit a clutch shot with 22 seconds left to break a 72-72 tie and put the Celtics up for good. So much for KG shrinking from the big moments, eh?
But here was how Garnett described last night's celebration of suck: "This was two heavyweights, just body-punching. There was no finesse, no jabs, just an all-out, beat-down, defensive fight." Uh, if you say so, KG. If you say so. And toxic sludge really is good for you...
Wally Szczerbiak: Wally World outscored and outshot LeBron James! And while that would normally be cause for celebration, last night was a definite exception. Szczerbiak missed his first five shots en route to a 13-points, 5-for-14 shooting night. Which once again raises the question: How, exactly, was he an upgrade over Larry Hughes?
Ray Allen: Can we have Ray-Ray digitally removed from He Got Game? Because last night's lack-tion would certainly justify it: Zero points, 0-for-4, and 4 turnovers in 37 minutes. Memo to the MVP voters: Remember how you unjustly disqualified KG because his team was "too good"? I hope you watched this game and wet your pants with shame.
Delonte West: Where's Eric Snow when you need him? West scored 4 points (2-for-10), had more fouls (3) than assists (2), and threw the ball away twice. Not a bad night's work, eh? Actually, yes it is.
Paul Pierce: Remember that post on TrueHoop about Truth's rivalry with LeBron? If not, then go read it. Anyway, their personal competition has gotten so heated that apparently if LeBron sucks, Paul is going to try and suck more. Let's here it for one-downsmanship! Pierce scored 4 points, shot 2-for-14, had his shot fed back to him twice, committed a team-high 6 turnovers, and had Boston's worst +/- score (-14). And he wasn't the least bit embarrassed about it.
"Me and Ray, we figure if we play [LeBron] to a standstill...we give ourselves the best chance. He's not going to go 2-for-18 every game but, hey, we're going to do our best to try to make him." So in one fell swoop Pierce took co-credit for LeBron's craptacular game and justified his and Ray Allen's sucktasticness. Wow. The only thing missing was a megalomaniacal declamation:
Anderson Varejao: And here, my friends, is Exhibit V in the case against ridiculous contract holdouts. Sideshow Bob -- who was so instrumental in Cleveland's run to the Finals last season, by the way -- was so ineffective you'd think he was getting paid to not play: 1 point, 0-for-1, 1 rebound, zero assists, 2 steals, and zero blocked shots in 11 minutes. Cap killer, anyone?
Glen Davis: Big Baby played like an actual baby last night, accomplishing exactly nothing in four diaper-filling minutes. That's right. I'm talking about a four trillion. (And no, that's not a fat joke. Although it could be.)
Mike Brown: Any good coach -- or in Brown's case, even a bad coach -- is going to get his star player's back. But Brown took that to a kind of ridiculous length last night. "[LeBron] had a tough night, and he is entitled to it." I'm sorry, but...what?! Since when did players start earning entitlement to horrific performances in critical playoff games? I'm sorry, Mike, but there's no such thing as a Get Out Of Sucking Free card.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas: Z-Man was the only Cavalier who registered a pulse last night (22 points, 12 rebounds), but he also stepped on Sam Cassell and "inadvertently" kicked him in the head. Sorry. I've played enough basketball and stepped over enough clumsy players to know that stuff rarely ever happens on accident.