I have been on a bit of a hiatus since the game in New York and was not in Chicago today. However, I did watch the entire Cavs' 112-108 win over the Bulls. I believed this was the biggest game of the year to this point. But every game from now on in will surely have extra emphasis because the Bulls and Pistons are still so close.
Here's some things I saw...
--The last six minutes of regulation showed just how weak-minded the Cavs can be. Seriously, above all else, mental lapses are this team's biggest weakness. To repeatedly just hoist away jumpers, low percentage ones at that, is just mindless. They have to know they cannot be successful this way, yet they do. Although it is on Mike Brown as well. My personal favorite was when LeBron James imbounded the ball with four seconds on the shot clock, got it right back, and then fired up a 25-footer. This was out of a timeout. Honestly, could this have been the play drawn up?
--Even though the last shot in regulation was ugly, it was satisfactory because the design was a LeBron post up and also Sasha Pavlovic drove the ball at least.
--The way overtime went is the reason the Cavs will always be dangerous in the postseason. A single player can make such an impact in a tight game in the NBA. The Cavs probably did not deserve to win this game, but they had the best player and so they did. It happens a lot this time of year. Just ask the Dallas Mavericks.
--Sasha and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are a lot alike. The more shots they get, the more productive they will be. It is simple and obvious. The inverse, however, seems to be true with Larry Hughes. The more shots he takes the less productive he seems to be. As some of us in the media say about Larry: "All roads lead to 40 percent." If Larry starts 4-4, he'll probably miss his next six or so. Starts 1-of-6, he'll probably make the next three.
--Sasha is very aggressive going to the basket, but he needs to be more aggressive finishing. With Ben Wallace and Tyrus Thomas in the game, you must go strong. None of this underhanded or finger roll stuff.
--Drew Gooden deserves a lot of credit in this game. It was a fierce game and there was a lot of fighting around the basket and Drew won a lot of battles.
--As I get ready to head to Boston, I think it ought to be pointed out that a loss to the Celtics, who probably won't have Paul Pierce, would render today's win meaningless.