The TNT studio guys are ridiculously dapper these days—even Charles Barkley. We've got Nuggets/Cavs first, sans Marcus Camby, the League's leading rebounder. I guess on some level that means there will be no distractions from Melo/Bron, but it definitely would have been more interesting with Mr. Camby in the paint. Francisco Elson, not so exciting. The drama, of course, is whether the Cavs will ever win again with LeBron scoring 30-plus (1-5 over the last 6). But there aren't many alternatives—it's not like Eric Snow can score. Meanwhile, on the Nuggets side, it's all about Carmelo, Kenyon, and who they'll trade Earl Watson for.
Marv Albert, Doug Collins and Steve Kerr are in the booth—the best national NBA announcing team around, IMO. "Kenyon Martin, he's come out shooting." That's not going to get it done. I've noted this before (prepare for nonsequitur), but I think that Zydrunas Ilgauskas would make an AMAZING James Bond villain. He's vaguely sinister looking, Eastern European, and he's OVER SEVEN FEET TALL. Someone cast him, please.
It strikes me that a starting backcourt of Eric Snow and Greg Buckner could be the worst scoring backcourt in NBA history if they somehow ended up on the same team.
Good ol' Quicken Loans Arena. It's just so heartwarming. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Greg Buckner is outscoring the Cavs. Oops. And um, normally I love Wieden&Kennedy's Nike commercials, but from what I've seen so far, "The LeBrons" is just plain stupid. LeBron himself, on the other hand, is ridiculous. On offense he simply does whatever he wants, whenever he wants. And he's 20. 20! It boggles the mind. Must drive Kobe crazy, too. I hope LeBron reminds him of it constantly when they're going head-up. "Hey Kobe, I had your Laker jersey when I was 11!" "Kobe, when I was in 6th grade I really wanted your shoes!" "Kobe, I remember going home from junior high to watch you in the Dunk Contest!" And of course a few simple, "Damn, Kobe, remember when you were my age and you kinda sucked?"
I've come to the conclusion that I don't like the Denver Nuggets uniforms very much. Shiny pale blue looks like either WNBA jerseys or old college jerseys (actually, did the Minneapolis Lakers where shiny blue?). They'd be much better off going back to the rainbow skyline jerseys, or even the old ones with the pick on them.
Um, Alan Henderson is still in the League? See, he WAS a better choice for Mr. Basketball in Indiana than Glenn Robinson. You don't see Big Dog in the League anymore, do you? Thought so.
LeBron is not only going to wind up being the best player ever, but at this rate people are going to have to invent new words to use when talking about him.
Missed a bit of the second quarter there. Had to run across the street to the deli. My bad. Meanwhile Luke Jackson's in, and he just turned it over, and Adam Morrison is just going to add to this "white guys with bad hair" thing, huh?
Earl Watson's in the game playing with Andre Miller. If indeed he is just getting showcased, isn't that just free license to do whatever the hell he wants? It's sort of like being a free agent while playing. Must be liberating.
LeBron's back in, which is good. I just thought of this, too: Isn't it strange that two of the best players in the League—LeBron and Allen Iverson—were born to young, single mothers? (Was Shaq too? I can't remember.) Anyway, I just think of the Greek myths with Zeus coming down to father children with human women, and wonder if the old dog has still got it.
Kenyon Martin is a beast. He still isn't worth $80-something million. Although the Nets would probably like to have him back, the way they're playing. Wouldn't be a bad idea to shop Vince Carter for someone younger. Or, say, Ron Artest. Take Stephen Jackson back, too.
If Ron Artest thinks he has a mismatch every time he gets the ball, what does LEBRON think?
I kind of just realized this, but I really, really like Andre Miller. As far as earthbound NBA guys go, he might be my favorite. Don't know why, really, I just like the way he plays.
OK, Steve and Marv have essentially referred to LeBron as a cross between Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley. What's really scary is that they're right. And he's already a better outside shooter than either of them. If he gets his one-on-one defense together, other teams may have to start genetically engineering players to try and keep up.
DerMarr Johnson trying to guard LeBron is definitely a mismatch.
44-40 Cavs at the half. Please get this over 100?
Missed another big chunk, this time while wrapping a few Christmas presents. Gotta get 'em to the post office tomorrow. Cavs up 6 with three minutes left in the third. Not sure if either team will actually get to 100 in this one.
Hm, maybe keep Earl Watson? Just figured out that—well, that LeBron dunk on a backcourt steal would have been worth three in the ABA—Denver is missing their tallest (Camby) and shortest (Earl Boykins) players, who probably happen to be their two most entertaining players. Can't imagine that's all too common.
Tie game at the start of the fourth, hopefully it all goes down to the wire. And Eric Snow just took his first official field-goal attempt. What are you saving it for, Eric?
And while we're at it, maybe Earl Watson should be a starter. 4-4 from three—including that last one from 30-something.
LeBron turns 21 in just over two weeks, and needless to say, all opposing GMs should send over as much alcohol as they can afford. Maybe the Maloofs can put him up in one of their Vegas hotels for the entire offseason. Whatever works.
LeBron just took his first shot of the fourth with 4 and a half minutes left? Crazy.
Five-point Cavs lead with just under three minutes left. Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones stepped up in the second half, and I'm not sure if Larry Hughes did much of anything. Regardless, neither team looks likely to break 100, and this game might not end until 11. Lots of fouls. But what's with Greg Buckner hitting three threes? Can we get a drug test?
There's Larry Hughes. 10-point Cave lead, just over a minute. This one's pretty much over. Oh hell, it is over. You want the final, read a newspaper.
Might come back for the second game, but I doubt it.