Really? An Anderson Varejao 15 footer? That’s what was drawn up? And Andy, the Cavs get the offensive board and you decide to shoot another one? Seriously?
The Cavs had their chances to win (the Bulls missed four free throws in the last 30 seconds) but the failure to drawn up an offensive play bit ’em in the ass. In the possession before Andy’s ill advised jumper, the Cavs called timeout and ran a play for Mo (who was having a great night). They ran a play where no one moved and Mo ends up taking a 12 foot fadeaway with Kirk Hinrich draped all over him. Then the Cavs follow it up with a Varejao pick-and-pop.
On one hand, none of this means anything. The Cavs have clinched home court throughout the playoffs and they sat LeBron against the Bulls (Delonte West was out as well). The Bulls had something to play for and the Cavs didn’t. Who cares?
On the other hand, there’s still things to work on. It was nice to see the Cavs play well without LeBron. Mo Williams had 35 points and 10 assists and Antawn Jamison had 26 and 6 (Jamison rolled his ankle late it the game) and the Cavs put up 108 points without the NBA’s second leading scorer. I was glad to see Williams play well, especially down the stretch. He hit some big time threes in the fourth quarter and you can tell he had his confidence. The whole team played hard (Jamario Moon sighting!) and they gave a strong effort in a game that meant practically nothing.
But I’m not gonna lie, the lack of imagination during the final 30 seconds bothers me. Just a tad. I mean, odds are, barring injury or fouls, LeBron is on the court for these last second plays come playoffs, hopefully they won’t be in this exact scenario. Watching Mo take a bad fade-away over Hinrich (while the Cavs stood and watched) only to follow it up with Andy bricking a game winner really dredges some bad playoff memories.
I was really interested to see what kind of play they would call with LeBron in street clothes (and Jamison on the bench with a bum ankle). A pick and pop with Mo and Z? Pick and roll with Mo and Hickson? Maybe something really cool that I don’t even know about.
I know this game means next to nothing. No LeBron, no Shaq, no Delonte and even no Jamison at the end. I get that. If the Cavs and Bulls met in the playoffs, I doubt the Bulls would even win a game. But twice the Cavs called timeout to set up a potential game winning play and twice they failed to get a good shot. Those two timeouts yielded a play where four Cavs stood around while someone forced a bad jumper and Varejao hoisting a shot he did not want to take. So the results weren’t exactly encouraging, especially considering that they got two cracks at it.
This game doesn’t matter. This game doesn’t matter. This game doesn’t matter. Three more games til playoffs. Three more games til playoffs. Three more games til playoffs.