The Worst Game LeBron Has Ever Played

05.07.08 10 years ago 82 Comments
IMAGE DESCRIPTIONPhoto. Mannion

One reason everyone has been so geeked since July that the Celtics are a championship contender again is the inevitable feeling of nostalgia. Well, Celtics/Cavs last night was definitely nostalgic; it looked a lot like those awful bump-and-grind Knicks/Heat games from the 1990’s. Paul Pierce only had 4 points on 2-of-14 shooting, Ray Allen took a Krispy Kreme for the evening while going 0-for-4, and LeBron played what was essentially the worst game we’ve ever seen him play, going 2-for-18 from the floor (12 pts) with 10 turnovers. However, the fact that ‘Bron could struggle so much and the Cavs still only lost by four points on the road has to bode well for Cleveland. They were in great position to tie the game with eight seconds left, but LeBron had a finger roll go in-and-out on him … While the main storyline will be how bad LeBron, Ray and Pierce played, don’t overlook the performance of Kevin Garnett (28 pts, 8 rebs), who stepped up and delivered not just in the clutch, but throughout the entire game when his superstar teammates couldn’t get anything going. KG made two huge shots late in the fourth quarter: an 18-footer that tied it up with about 1:20 left, and then the go-ahead bucket with 21 seconds left when he took Joe Smith into the chamber down low. And while we’re talking nostalgia, don’t forget that Joe was the #1 pick in the Draft the same year Garnett was #5. If the Warriors only knew … You also have to give credit to Zydrunas Ilgauskas (22 pts, 12 rebs) for coming through when LeBron couldn’t. Garnett’s aforementioned clutch shots were both follow-ups to big-time buckets from Z; his as-per-usual mid-range J and a tip-in of a LeBron miss … We know it’s the playoffs and all, but the arguing and whining is getting ridiculous. There was a time when the Celtics had to inbound under their own basket with one second left on the shot clock, and their only option was to pass it to Garnett, who was in no position to get up a shot. After the C’s turned the ball over both KG and Doc Rivers were complaining to the refs. About what? … So much for those worries about Sam Cassell having to accept a backup role to Rajon Rondo. Cassell has been the ideal sixth man since coming to Boston, and in the postseason has consistently come in and immediately put up points. Yesterday he had 13 points, including a pair of much-needed threes early in the fourth quarter and some ice-water free throws late. Sam also committed a flagrant foul on LeBron, and tried to fight Ilgauskas after Z accidentally kneed him in the head … Thanks to TiVo we watched the replay of the flagrant, and it’s pretty clear that Cassell didn’t touch LeBron’s head/face at all. LeBron went down holding his face and completely sold it to the refs, who bought into it. Between his move yesterday and some of Chris Paul‘s antics on Monday night, even the young guys are getting a hang of how to work the refs in the postseason … Daniel Gibson is becoming a shorter version of Robert Horry with the way he only shows up for special occasions. Taking away last year’s playoffs, this year’s Rookie Challenge, and this year’s playoffs, can you recall a single thing he’s done as a pro? … Remember when Sasha Pavlovic was a relevant player? It seems he disappears for weeks on end, and it’s tough to even remember what leg he had to stand on back when he held out for more money last summer. We swear one time Mike Fratello called him “Popovich” yesterday … It’s funny how teams don’t even guard Ben Wallace most of the time, so he’ll get the ball in the post and be ready to back someone down, only there’s no one there and he ends up making some awkward move before kicking it back to the perimeter. Since you know he’s never gonna turn around and take the jumper, it’s like he guards himself … Kobe officially got his MVP trophy yesterday, and will be presented with it again in front of the Lakers crowd before tonight’s Game 2 against Utah. Staples is going to be louder than you’ve ever heard it, and the ovation/”M-V-P!” chant will last a good 15 minutes if no one steps in and stops it. Does any NBA player — even LeBron — own his city the way Kobe owns L.A.? … In a vote that wasn’t really as close as we thought it would be, Kobe got 82 first-place votes next to just 28 for Chris Paul. Garnett had 15 first-place votes and LeBron got one. Dwight Howard finished a very distant 5th place, followed by Amare, Duncan, T-Mac, Nash, Ginobili, Dirk, Deron, ‘Melo, Pierce, ‘Sheed, Boozer and Antawn Jamison … FYI, the MVP ballots include 1st-through-5th place votes, so don’t think anyone voted for Jamison or one of those back-end guys to get 2nd or 3rd place. All of the first, second and third votes went to Kobe, CP, KG or LeBron … In a story about Kobe’s MVP win, the L.A. Times mentioned Kobe’s self-written cover story in Dime #22. So with that, we re-posted an excerpt from Kobe’s story that even two years later still gives an in-depth look into why he played so well this season … Did you catch Like Mike 2: Streetball on BET last night? There were tons of cheesy-funny moments right off the bat, like when one kid hits a shot and says, “Money in the bank, baby. That’s why they call it (pause to brush his shoulders off) the BANK shot!” Or when the older bully delivered this line: “You win, you’re in. You lose, you cruise.” We were ready to sit through the whole thing until Kel Mitchell got involved and became insufferable … We’re out like LeBron’s shot …

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