In what's possibly the last possession of the LeBron James era, Anderson Varejao took a three pointer. (This was after the Cavs decided not to foul and extend the game. They quit).
It's hard to believe that the Cavs season ended this way. To Boston, of all teams. I was so sure they could beat the Celtics. This is shocking. And only two wins to boot. In the past two seasons, the Cavs had complete home court advantage yet have ended their year on the road.
LeBron's final line in Game 6 was 27-19-10 with 9 turnovers. He wasn't spectacular but he wasn't awful, either. His demeanor was still a bit off and I can't help but think he was hurt. Does that explain why he refused to post up? No. Does it excuse the passive offense (let's have Delonte or Anthony Parker try to create their own shot!)? Nope.
But you can't tell me that LeBron looked 100%. He lost the ball dribbling off his feet, he lost the ball on drives to the rim, he threw it away... his elbow isn't right. Was the effort totally there? No. Did he leave bullets in his chamber, as it were? Yes, I believe so. But you cannot tell me that his elbow wasn't a factor.
But the effort just wasn't there. Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao looked like they gave a damn. LeBron just didn't want it enough. They needed him to have a monster game and he only put up 27 points.
Yes, only 27.
(Does that make me sound ungrateful for poo-pooing a 27-19-10 effort? So be it. LeBron didn't give it his all. I know that sounds insane but it happens quite a bit (dagger threes!) and his stats are so good that people brush over it. He floated out on the perimeter, he didn't attack and left his teammates out to dry. They needed more from him).
Mike Brown. You had a good run. But there's no way you'll survive this. Nor do you deserve to.
The fact that Brown kept trotting out Shaq and Antawn Jamison just shows he doesn't get it. I don't know if he kept playing those guys because they're The Starters or because they were the New Acquisitions or what but neither big man deserved major minutes on Thursday night. They got lost defensively, they were awful offensively and they didn't matchup well.
But Brown kept trying to fit that square peg into the round hole.
How J.J. Hickson received 10 seconds of playing time was beyond me. Why Jamario Moon got just 7 minutes (all in the first half, unless I'm mistaken) is a mystery. J.J. started over 70 games this year and scored in double figures in games 1 and 2. You know LeBron's crazy dunk in Game 3? Moon threw him that pass.
Brown stuck to his guns, but shot himself in the foot.
As awful as Brown was, this is all on LeBron. If he has a monster game, the Cavs have more than a decent shot of winning. Instead, he was two points below his season average. Some peopel say he was greasing the skids to get out the door. I don't really buy that. This reflects so badly on him. For the first time, I actually think he deserves the criticism being leveled at him (lack of killer instinct, mostly).
I don't believe he threw the game (like some of my friends do. My phone went nuts for a little bit) to make his exit easier. But a lot of people do. Here's one of the Cavs "Insiders", Wine and Gold (FWIW I believe he's legit), posting on Real Cavs Fans:
If this wasn't Lebron's last game as a Cavalier, I will be the most shocked member of this forum.So ya. That's fun, right?
I'll have much to say in the next few days, but what happened this series, I truly believe, was years in the making ...and this was just the final act of his Cleveland days.
You don't spend seven years with a guy, and all the sudden see another human being suddenly emerge about two weeks ago that you never saw befoere nor recognize.
One that now refuses to communicate with our head coach, asst. coaches, gm , or owner.
One that plays a game notches lower than at any time in seven years with us, with no tangible explanation.
Sumptin was up ....I expect this summer all the pieces will fall in place. But, as of now ...don't get your hopes up thinking that he's staying here, folks. This played out like this for a reason. We might not be able to fully understand it right now, because we aren't part of the equation that orchestrated it.
But, if being a guy that is very very skeptical when I see things that seemingly make no sense makes me a "conspiracy theorist" ..then throw that tag on me.
We just got played.
There's already rumors that James will end up in Chicago (Chad Ford says 3 GMs already told him it's a done deal!) and ESPN has been pitching New York and New Jersey throughout the postgame.
Right now, I'm giving Bron-Bron the benefit of the doubt and am blaming his elbow for his poor performance. I just can't imagine he threw a series (I mean, seriously?). That being said, something doesn't feel right (I mean, his agent and Calipari sitting together for Game 5?).
I dunno if LeBron will stay or go. At this point, I fully expect him to leave. I mean, James left his post-game press conference by putting on a Yankee cap (thanks, guy. Cleveland fans sure do appreciate it).
But I've made my peace with LeBron leaving.
The Cavalier organization has done everything in their power to keep James. And don't get me started on the "why didn't they build through the draft like OKC did with Durant" argument. The Cavs are coming off back-to-back 60 win seasons. You can't tell me this team had no talent (and everyone loved the Jamison pickup at the time, don't let anyone tell you differently).
If James wants to go play in Michael Jordan's shadow or go deal with the New York media every day, that's his choice. Good luck. But he didn't make Danny Ferry's job any easier by egging on the 2010 free agent hype and it was his lackluster effort that torpedoed this series.
Did it have to be against the Celtics? Seriously?