The NBA Closer is written by Matt McHale, who woke up this morning without Internet access and had to rush off to a Caribou Coffee, where the "free WiFi hotspot" actually cost him a bag of Deep River potato chips. When he's not finding a way to do his Deadspin column at the last second, he can be found wiping the sweat out of his armpits at Basketbawful. Enjoy!
Well, that was sure...entertaining. Did you enjoy the 1994 NBA Finals? Do you miss those halcyon days of the Knicks-Heat rivalry? Has watching the Spurs slowly and methodically grind their opponents into paste over the last 10 years been the highlight of your existence? Then Game 1 of the Cavaliers-Celtics series was for you! And you are a freak. Please stay away from me and my column. I'm kidding. Keep reading. I get bonuses for page views.
This is how Kevin Garnett (28 points, 8 rebounds) described last night's crap-a-palooza, which Boston won 76-72: "This was two heavyweights, just body-punching. There was no finesse, no jabs, just an all-out, beat-down, defensive fight." He's sort of right, assuming those "heavyweights" were two mildly retarded paraplegics drowning in their own spittle while having an epileptic seizure. Oh, and while on fire, too.
Look, there's no way to sugarcoat this: The game was ugly. An abomination. An affront to the memory of Dr. James Naismith and all he stood for. Or, as Bill Walton might say, it was terrrrrrrrible...an embarrassment to the sport of basketball. If the NBA is a pimp, then this game would be its black-eyed bitch. Have I gone too far? Or have I not gone far enough? I'll let you decide.
LeBron James — who came in a very distant fourth in MVP voting — saved his absolute worst for last night. The King played like the bastard prince of some lowly province or whatever the hell princes rule these days. He scored 12 points on 2-for-18 shooting. He committed 10 turnovers and was a single assist or rebound away from achieving the infamous triple bumble. He played so poorly that I honestly started wondering whether a Lucky the Leprechaun had drugged him before the game. Seriously, do we know what he had for lunch and where it came from? Somebody look into it. (Maybe he got some of Tim Duncan's Gatorade?)
He wasn't alone in the suckfest, though. Teammate Delonte West was 2-for-10 and Wally Szczerbiak was 5-for-14 as the Cavaliers shot a Mr. Freeze-like 30 percent from the field. And the awful wasn't limited to Cleveland, either. Ray Allen scored zero points on 0-for-4 shooting and committed 4 turnovers in 37 minutes of lack-tion. Paul Pierce shot 2-for-14 and had 6 turnovers. Big Baby Davis had a four trillion. If it wasn't for KG (who finished third in MVP voting) and Zydrunas Ilgauskas (22 points, 12 rebounds), I'd have to revise my earlier description of the game from "mildly retarded" to "severely retarded."
Fun fact 1: With the game tied at 72-all, Garnett hit a basket to give the Celtics a two-point lead with 22 seconds left. So those that say he shrinks away from the big moments can go suck it. LeBron "Mr. Fourth Quarter" James followed up KG's shot by boning a layup.
Fun fact 2: This is the final line from the Associated Press recap of the game: "James missed a long but meaningless jumper to punctuate his night." That just cracked me up for some reason.