Cavaliers win their superbowl, down goes Miami

The Chicago Bulls cushion to win the #1 seed in the East just grew a whole lot more comfortable with a Miami loss tonight.   The Heat were going back to Cleveland in what we'd expected to be another easy Miami victory.  The Cleveland caught fire.

Caught up in the emotion of the crowd, Miami choked and Cleveland launched an onslaught of threes and great defense.   Cleveland built up a 19 point lead, but I know I wasn't convinced they could hold on.  

Miami quickly charged back.   Dwyane Wade knocked down a couple threes, the Heat got a three point play, and the lead disappeared fast.  After a controversial overrule to give the Cavs a three point play at the end of the third, the air was sucked out of the arena.

Miami fought all the way back to tie the game, and quite honestly, I gave up on the Cavs at that point.   Then they charged back again.   The Cavs got hit in the face, and unlike the rest of the season, they punched back and took it right back to the Heat.  They drew fouls, knocked down more threes and played great defense.

In the end, the Cavs walked away with a comfortable lead, and the Heat fell back to three games in the loss column behind Chicago.

The Bulls magic number against Miami now stands at six with nine games left to play.   Their magic number against Boston remains at eight with nine games left to play.  Given the current trends of all teams, the Bulls look like they're still on track for the #1 seed.

The game also serves as a reminder to panicking Bulls fans that all teams drop games sometimes, even to bad teams.

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  • LeBron ain't nothin' without his entourage.

  • Shocking win by the Cavs...Miami has by and large beaten the bad teams this season. That provides us with a little cushion for now, but I wouldn't count on Miami losing these kind of games -- so we just have to make sure we get 6 wins in these last 9 games.

  • In reply to walrus:

    You would think 6/9 is in the bag the rest of the way given our schedule and given the way this team has been. 6/9 is actually below our present winning percentage, and we only have two tough games left on the schedule (three if you count the Knicks).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not saying that I don't expect to win 6 of 9, but were Philly and Indy tough games.

  • Cleveland's ability to attack the basket and then play inside out was an excellent primer on how to beat the Heat. Plus the 44 to 30 rebounding edge showed how vulnerable Miami is to an aggressive front line.
    There was NO ONE that was watching this game when Bibby hit the 3 that tied it at 83 that figured that the Cavs would wind up winning by 12. No one!
    By the way, Chris Bosh sure makes me glad that we have Carlos Boozer.

  • In reply to Waldock:

    The rebounding edge in this one was a trailing indicator, neither team really hit the offensive glass hard, the Cavs had more rebounds because Miami missed more shots.

  • 1. It looks like from LeBron's comments that there is a good chance he will be pressing a lot during the playoffs.
    2. This game showed that Noah/Boozer better get healthy to dominate Bosh/Dampier.

  • Aside from being a moment of sheer kharmic delight, it's big for the Bulls, as it really puts the Miami back in the status of having no shot at the #1 seed unless the Bulls totally choke on it, and that's even if the Heat win out the rest of their games, which is unlikely. All these teams are worn down at this stage, and nobody is running the table.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    Yes, Boston is probably the Bulls biggest threat for the one seed, but given how they've played recently it's just so difficult to imagine them putting it all together and claiming it.

    Still, if they beat us head to head, they'd only need one additional win on us the rest of the season to take it, but their schedule is much harder than ours the rest of the way, and they've choked on the easy games.

    They still have @Spurs, @Heat, @Bulls, 76ers, Knicks, and @Hawks left in their nine remaining games. 6 of 9 against playoff teams, four of those on the road.

  • Kind of off the subject, but I can't believe how many Miami writers are speaking out against Rose. Looks like they're a little jealous that he has stolen the spotlight from their big 3. But hey, they had their moment of glory --- in the preseason.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Has anyone done it but LeBatard? I think if you're a stat geek it's easy to speak out against Rose, but if you watch all the Bulls games you realize how stupid that is.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    There was another guy, Ira Guttierez, was his name, I believe... and earlier this year one of the ESPN Heat Index team wrote how it's been Thibs and the defense -- and not Rose, that's been the big difference this year...Haberstroh?

    Stat geeks can make Derrick Rose look like Steve Francis and annoint Landry Fields an all-star -- then they wonder why people ignore their advice when it comes to things like the MVP.

  • In reply to walrus:

    As much as I think Berri's Fields fetish is a fantastic source of laughs, I do appreciate that he's at least producing something that's bold enough to completely ignore conventional wisdom. I think his system is crap, but on the other hand there's little point doing statistical analysis if you're only going to produce what people already believe.

    As far as the Heat writers being negative about Rose, I don't see why they wouldn't be. Home team writers are supposed to be biased, and the Bulls are the Heat's biggest competition right now. You wouldn't expect glowing praise of anything Bulls related any more than you'd expect Sam Smith to write a column about what an awesome dude LeBron is.

  • I noticed that Lebron didn't show up for the player introductions. He claimed he was in the bathroom. I think that is the first time that has ever happened, lebron is full of BS. Coward.

  • In reply to zachmanisback:

    I try not to put that much into stuff like this, but LeBron really shows a lot of different signs of lacking mental toughness. Of course, if he wins some titles, no one will say that anymore.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes, hiding in the toilets is never good idea whether your in primary school or in the NBA.

    But I wish Cleveland fans would just grow up, and move on. Seriously.

  • In reply to anasemaj:

    I feel their pain though man what else do they have to root for now other then downing Lebum?

    I mean put yourself in their shoes imagine if Rose did that to us?

    Leaving is one thing but the decision show thats another he could have been a man about it

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    If a loved-one dies, I can understand people grieving 9 months on - but seriously, a sportstar leaves your team and at the same time you find out he's absolute d'head? - that deserves 9 months of attention?

  • In reply to anasemaj:

    If you think that LeBron was not "Thee" sports icon of the NBA, but simply a "sportsstar" then I'd say your critique was right. But many don't view that as the case. Losing the games greatest player(despite playof chokes see Delonte West as ReRun in the reamke of "That's My(philandering) Mama. Still, bascially regarded as thee heir apparent to stud of his time/the league, and in a winning black hole vortex of a midwest podunk city like Cleveland no less. And your deliverance from this utter hopelessness prolongs your anguish for weeks and weeks only to go on national TV to tell you he's dumping you for Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade? I'd say the hate their will take a long time to "let it go" though agreed that would be the rational/healthy thing to do. But since when have sports fans ever been rationale?

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    Lol, didn't know that cleveland was that bad ... I take it all back,lol

  • In reply to anasemaj:

    To be a rabid sports fan means not being rational. Whatever bad thing you say about Melo, he gave a chance for Denver to recover. LeBron did not do that. The only break I can give LeBron is maybe he thought about staying back in Cleveland. But he didn't leave the right way which you know. He just flat-out embarrassed the whole fanbase. And honestly, if I were a Cleveland fan I would be angry. Off-course, when I am doing my other things in life basketball is not important.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I agree they should probably get over it, but it's pretty easy to say get over it when you're not in their shoes, having gone from a contender to a doormat, having your idol abandon you, etc, especially when they don't have anything else, given that their other teams stink and the city doesn't have tons else to look forward to.

    What would you have thought if Jordan went to NYC in 1990, frustrated over losing to the Pistons? And how would you have felt if he did it in the manner in which LeBron did it?

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Let's also not forget that while he was crushing the sports fans in Cleveland, he was trying to shield himself from criticism by using children.

    He deserves every bit of animosity thrown his way.

  • In reply to anasemaj:

    I love the (Howard)Cosellian "Down goes(Fraziuh) Boston, Miami etc." I just hope by some miracle we(Doug) can say that after the Bulls beat Boston or Miami in the ECF.

    Speaking of potential ECF foes, despite their poor play of late, I still worry about the Celtics. You just look at their field goal percentages which so many championship teams have five or more guys above 45-46%. I mean what do they have ten(!) guys above 45% including eight or nine players in double figures? I know stat geeks can rip this basic stat observation to shreds, but still to me as a basic precedent of winning those numbers loom large in my books/should not be ignored. But will their guys be able to get reasonably healthy?

  • In reply to anasemaj:

    Would Bulls fans just grow up if Rose left.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Excellent Point!

  • In reply to BigWay:

    if Rose left and you were still upset about it after a whole season - it says alot about the problems you need tending to in your life

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  • Twas a beautiful site to behold.
    There must be a warm glow emanating from Cleveland tonight.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    "A warm glow emenating..?" Dude, are we talking about basketball here?? (I'm kidding). You're right. I'm sure there were a lot of happy if not buzzed Cleveland fans after that one. Really no matter what happens in the playoffs other then the Bulls playing well(winning a couple of series) the only thing I want to see is LeBron and Wade lose. As I'm sure many would agree.

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