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Saturday, December 26th, 2009 at 3:26 pm  |  74 responses

The Cavs’ Big Win

Cleveland ruins L.A.’s Christmas party.

by Graham Flashner

For Lakers-haters and LeBron lovers, this was a great game. Otherwise, it was damned ugly. Kinda reminded me of the way L.A. lost in the dark years post-Shaq and pre-Gasol, when Kobe Bryant jacked up shots, his teammates stood around, and everyone whined to the refs. As far as Christmas Day games go, this had Scrooge’s footprints all over it: five Laker technical fouls, 36 percent shooting, lax defense, foam finger-throwing fans. In short: the game was a real turkey. Pass the stuffing, please.

It was a far cry from a year ago, when the defending champion Celtics swaggered into L.A. with a 19-game winning streak and the Lakers rose to the challenge, puncturing the C’s aura of invincibility and using it as a springboard for a championship run.

But that Lakers team never showed up today. They fell to 4-7 all-time on Christmas games, while the Cavs, after being swept two games by L.A. last year, sent their own message about what could be in store come June.

Pregame

The Lakers come into the game with a glittering 15-1 mark since Pau Gasol rejoined the lineup, and an 11-game home win streak, in large part thanks to a generous schedule that saw them play 17 of their first 21 at Staples.

On the Cavaliers’ side, it’s the usual scene: a bunch of reporters standing in a hushed silence, watching as King James, lying on his back on the floor, stretches with a trainer. He doesn’t look like he’s ready to talk anytime soon.

On the Lakers side, the locker room is predictably empty. Lamar Odom lazes by his locker, talking about Cleveland’s most notable marquee addition. “Any time you add a player like Shaq, he can’t help but bring something. He’s still got that myth and aura around him,” Odom says. Even at age 37? Odom nods slowly. “He’s still got it.”

I ask him about the Kobe-LeBron non-rivalry that the media would love to create. “You don’t have to dislike someone to have a rivalry,” Odom says. “You got two great players who like to play, and a great chance to match up tonight.”

Odom stirs restlessly. “I’m ready to get it on already. Not sure about these day game starts.”

Back to the Cavs’ side: same scene, bigger crowd. LeBron is now on his stomach, getting his legs worked. I step out to catch Mike Brown’s presser. Brown is the first to admit that, despite their 22-8 record, the Cavs aren’t clicking on all cylinders. “We’re scoring points, but we’re not in a great rhythm,” he says. We need a few more drives and kicks on our possessions.”

It’s been no secret that Shaq has been a bit unhappy with his minutes, but Brown deftly dodges. “I have a better feel for him and his teammates are getting a better feel for him. I don’t want to overkill him with minutes, and that’s why we’re bringing him along with the minutes he’s been playing.”

Responding to ESPN’s Mark Jackson’s quote about how O’Neal’s struggles at defending the pick-and-roll make the Cavs’ defense a “disaster waiting to happen, Brown shrugs. “He’s part right. Our pick-and-roll D isn’t good; our transition D isn’t good; we don’t box out as well as we should.” Of course, as Brown quickly noted, the Cavs are the No. 2 ranked defense in the League. “I’m not a stat guy, but I do value opponents’ points-per-game average, and we’re not doing too badly there.”

Brown continues to speak, but reporters suddenly bail, streaming back into the locker room, an unmistakable signal that the King is ready to hold court. I follow them.

By the time I get there, his corner looks like a rugby scrum.

It’s amazing sometimes, the questions that get asked. A reporter brings up an incident from seven years ago, when LeBron was in high school and was wearing a pair of diamond earrings that he had said weren’t real, and the reporter wondered if he’d lied to escape an investigation by the NCAA. Now, seven years later, this same reporter is here to once again ask LeBron, “Were the diamonds real, or were they fake?” LeBron shakes his head, says he can’t recall the incident, and that it’s got nothing to do with that’s going on here. The reporter quietly slips away.

Back to the present. Commenting on the state of the Cavaliers, LBJ says: “We’re very talented. We know we can play defense, especially late in the game. We’ve got good chemistry. We protect each other on and off the court.”

I ask LBJ if he thinks a Kobe-LeBron rivalry would be good for the League, in the way Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were.

“The fact that Magic and Bird played each other in college in the Finals and then got to the NBA and played multiple times in the Finals, that helped. I’m not sure a Kobe-LeBron rivalry would be good for the League; you’d have to ask Davd Stern.”

I’m only sorry I didn’t ask him about the puppets. Even Magic and Bird never had those.

After a scrumptious holiday press room buffet of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and apple pie, it’s time, as Lamar says, to get it on.

Buzz at Staples is good, but it’s not at Celtic levels. Last year’s Christmas Day crowd was vengeful, full of bloodlust for an enemy that had to be vanquished. There’s no animosity between the Lakers and Cavaliers, and no playoff history either. Even Shaq’s return is a ho-hum affair at this point, his introduction a lukewarm mix of boos and cheers.

Most ominous is the courtside celeb crowd, which is decidedly B-list for such a hyped game: Sly Stallone, Alex Trebek (!) Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, George Lopez, Craig Kilborn, Ellen Pompeo, Anna Kournikova, Snoop Dogg. No Jack, no Leo. Hell, even Jeffrey Katzenberg isn’t here. Whassup with that?

1st quarter

Gasol drops in a pretty running floater over LBJ. On the other end, Shaq tries to respond, but his floater misses. Surprisingly, he’s booed every time he touches the ball. Wasn’t expecting that.

Kobe, trying to get off quickly, drops in a smooth shot from the side. It’s 6-0 Lakers, then 8-2. Little do they know this will be the high point of their night. From here, it’s a 45-19 Cavs blitz.

Ron Artest has a “Mission Impossible”-style task. His assignment, should he choose to accept it – and he has – is to contain the King. Artest muscles LBJ as he moves through the lane. But the freelancing James can’t be stopped from the perimeter: 8-4 L.A.

Shaq seals off Andrew Bynum, spins off him baseline, and crashes in for the dunk as Gasol comes over too late to help. Bynum gives Gasol a look that says, “It’s very lonely out here on the block.”

Highlight play of the night so far: LeBron blasts his way down an uncontested middle for a one-handed throwdown. 19-15 Cavs.

LeBron backs Artest into the block, gets the ball, hits an easy turnaround. Scary if he did that more often. Luckily for his opponents, the King would still rather pass than shoot.

If there’s anyone who looks like he could’ve played in the Lakers’ first Christmas Day game in 1949 against the Fort Wayne Pistons, it’s Zydrunas Ilgauskas. No one shoots the flat-footed set shot like Big Z.

Kobe kills the first quarter clock as only he can – stutter step drive right, elevate over two defenders, bank shot. Money. 23-19 Cavs after one. At 55.6 percent, the Cavs are shooting the lights out.

2nd quarter

Mo Williams takes over: a jumper, a steal, a slashing drive, and suddenly Cleveland’s lead is 10.

A great fake by Anderson Varejao practically brings Odom out of his shorts. Varejao steps around him for an easy layup. 33-21.

Kobe attacks basket; Shaq fouls. No other Laker is attacking; everyone’s playing like like they’ve had too much eggnog, and Kobe’s having to work too hard for his shots.

Enter Sasha Vujacic. Before the game, Phil Jackson had expressed concern about the inconsistent play of the bench, and no one is a bigger target than Sasha. He immediately makes his presence felt, throwing a bad pass into the hands of Delonte West. Then, Sasha misses a long three, and Mo comes right back and makes a long three of his own. Boos for Sasha. 40-25, Cavs. Mo and Delonte West are killing the Lakers with speed and penetration.

LeBron hit Jamario Moon for a flying dunk. Jamario who? It’s a name the Lakers will continue to hear.

Boos as Cavs extend lead to 47-27. The Lakers’ bigs are getting pushed around inside. Bynum isn’t getting touches and has been rendered irrelevant. And Gasol isn’t getting his feathery post-up shots.

Suddenly – Artest takes over. A steal, a layup, another basket- the lead is down to 11, and the Lakers defense has finally come to life. The crowd is in it. The game is starting to turn.

Crowd on its feet as Kobe holds for last shot. Another gut-check drive, and foul. MVP chants.

Except here comes LBJ, launching from beyond midcourt. And… it’s… good! Except that it isn’t. The shot’s too late. 51-42, a 12-2 run by L.A. to close the half.

3rd quarter

Kobe makes a textbook block from behind on shot by Anthony Parker. Beats the floor for a breakaway. 54-48, it’s a game again, the crowd back into it.

And then it all goes to hell for the Lakers.

It begins with the worst foul of the night, Gasol bailing out Mo from beyond the arc with the shot clock just about out. Mo converts all three shots. Lead back to 11.

Then Kobe, who’s been edgy and off his game all night, starts forcing the action.

He gets his shot blocked from behind by Parker. The lookof surprise on his face is priceless. Then he runs into Shaq on a drive, Parker again stripping the ball; Kobe enraged there’s no foul. Again, Kobe takes it hard to the middle, where Shaq awaits – and again, the shot falls short. It’s starting to look like the bad old days of 2005, when Shaq and Kobe faced each other for the first time as opponents and Kobe went overboard trying to prove his dominance.

In frustration, Kobe shoves Mo Williams to the floor – refs don’t see it.

Then it’s Odom’s turn to gripe– he gets T’d up.

The Cavs’ lead expands to 16, then 20. Artest misses two 3’s on one possession. Kobe is 9-24 shooting.

The Cavs are playing like a team with something to prove. The Lakers have reverted to the whiny bitches of a few years ago, sniping at the refs, waiting for Kobe to make a shot, giving up too many easy buckets.

At least the organist is having a good night. After the refs miss an out-of-bounds call, they’re serenaded by the opening bars of the Christmas carol, “Do you hear what I hear.”

Cavs up 19 after the third.

4th quarter

Every mini-Lakers run is answered by a Cleveland basket. Kobe’s taking too many shots, but his teammates aren’t stepping up. It takes him 32 shots to score 35 points. No other Laker takes more than 11 shots.

An Artest three gives L.A. its last gasp, cutting the lead to 86-73. But Jamario Moon, one of today’s heroes (6-7, 13 points) hits the dagger, a three to beat the shot clock, and the Lakers have nothing left.

With 4:04 to go, Derek Fisher fouls Mo Williams with a well-placed elbow. LBJ comes over to bark at Fish; Kobe steps in for a heated exchange with LBJ; Odom gets his second T and is ejected; the Lakers get called for a delay-of-game, and angry fans have seen enough. They rain down dozens of yellow foam fingers on the court, as the P.A. announcer pleads for restraint. A couple of water bottles get tossed as well. Fortunately, no one gets hurt. I’ve seen the Lakers melt down emotionally plenty of times, but I’ve never seen L.A. fans melt down with ‘em. It’s the pathetic display of a kid who didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas. Boo-hoo! The Lakers tanked it, Mommy!

Cavs win, 102-87.

Postgame

“They came out definitely ready to play, they started quick, and we never countered it,” says Andrew Bynum in a subdued locker room.

“They played harder; they played better,” says Pau Gasol. “Obviously there was some frustration out there. Guys weren’t happy, and they reacted to some calls. But the referees didn’t have anything to do with the way the game turned out.”

Asked about the failures on offense, Gasol says: “It was bad execution offensively. We didn’t move the ball well. Quick shots, one or two passes, and they capitalized on the other end.”

On the Cavs’ side, I ask a smiling Jamario Moon by his locker if he was surprised by the Lakers losing their cool. “You got a lot of different emotions going on out there, and everyone wants to win games, and it probably would’ve been the same for us if the shoe was on the other foot.”

The seas part as the King makes his way from the shower. Clad only in a towel, he wants to get this over with.

“It was a very testy game,” LeBron says. “Both teams were very physical, and that’s the way it has to be when two great teams collide. I think the refs did an unbelievable job of letting us play physical, and we adjusted to the refs.”

Were the Cavs trying to send a message? “It wasn’t about sending a message to them,” James says. “It was about sending a message to ourselves and seeing how we match up with the best team in the NBA at this point. It was a good road win for us. I think it ranks up there, just because of the caliber of the team and the caliber of the players they have.”

I head back to the Lakers side in time to catch Kobe, looking like a woodsman in a red flannel shirt. “They played harder than we did,” he says. Asked whether his big guys needed more touches, Bryant charitably says: “I think they got outworked.”

As did the entire Lakers team. No need to panic; it was just one of those nights. For the Cavs, it was a great end to a 3-1 trip. And further evidence that the title of Beast Of The East is still up for grabs.

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  • Bruno

    I wish they’d play again at Staples but Celtics ‘d be East Champs

  • Bruno

    and I don’t like Boston at all but I’m startin’ to dislike more the Cavaliers this year

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    Kobe walked off the court after the game quickly without shaking hands with Lebron and the Cavs. The media has been all over it and just beating Kobe down…
    Oh wait, they haven’t even mentioned it.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Maybe because its the regular season?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, the Lakers were way off last night.

  • neaorin

    in before the people claiming Kobe just stumbled over tiny, 6 ft 1 Mo Williams on his way down the court

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    That ‘stumble’ was the most blatant intentional attempt to injure another player, not that it surprises me; ‘Mo, has the hot hand and is smaller than me, let me just mow into his lower back when he’s least expecting it and pretend I didn’t see him’ – such a douche. It was an extra Christmas present getting to watch Kobe & co. whine and moan to the refs like spoiled children on Christmas day. Embarrasing display from A-Z by the Lake Show.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Uhmm Haterade, so sweet and rich you taste today.

  • Mvp23100

    La was outplayed and embarrased good win for the cavs there still finding chemistry 23 controlled yhe tempo 24 whined all night

  • Johnnyjohn64

    Forget about this game and focus on your ring LeBron.

  • http://myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    Is there a more unlikeable team than the Lakers?

  • http://sportzin.com Joey E.

    ^how about the Nuggets or Celtics?

  • Jer Boi

    Celtics Cavs and Spurs are the most unlikeable teams. personalliy i really really REALLY cannot stand the Cavs or Celts. Spurs I can live with. and no i’m not a laker fan.

  • bk10

    why does everyone hate the celtics? well anyways its so clear that the celtics are the best team in the NBA, if they can stay healthy they will destroy the lakers in the finals just like two years ago

  • FoCo

    I hate the Celtics because I’ve always hated Ray Allen…and KG is kinda an ass.

    Then again I hate my own team cause George Karl couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag.

  • dutch Rob

    Watched the Game on League Pass(Thanx Gerard:D)
    But i was a bit surprised to be honest.The Cavs destroyed the lakers i was not expecting that at all. Nice win for sure for Lebron and Co. Watching Kobe jumping into a Brick Wall named Shaq a few times was also fun to watch and then when the fans started booing and throwing stuff onto the court that made my day.

  • http://www.nottherealmelvinely.com melvin ely

    this game was a showcase of how effective the cavs’ offseason moves have been, and how ineffective LA’s were. Getting 2 7 footers to patrol the paint (Shaq) negated LA’s size, getting another athletic wing (Moon) allowed LBJ to be more a facilitator and have the option to move to the 4. LA’s aquisition of Artest doesn’t seem to bear much fruit offensively, and defensively, I daresay they’d pretty much get the same results with a re-signed Ariza. LBJ was running thru screens all game w/o the ball and Artest, although a gifted 1 on 1 defender, just didn’t have the foot speed to keep up.

  • dutch Rob

    i agree with you melvin
    Artest just could not contain LBJ at all
    With speed Ron Ron is obviously way to slow for him and even on the block Lebron was outmuscleing him a few time

  • dutch Rob

    oh yeah he did strip him of the ball one time but that was about it

  • Hoodsnake

    The Cavs played hard , Lakers moaned hard

  • Ben Flook

    Why has no one mentioned that Kobe should of had mid double digit free throw attempts? I havent checked the stats but i cant remember him shooting that many. I like the Cavs and the Lakers and was looking forward to a game to go to the wire but for once the refs did too little instead of too much. There was no consistency in the calls.

  • neaorin

    @Ben: you’re right, Kobe should’ve had a few more foul shots and then gotten ejected midway through the third. No consistency from the refs.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    Ben Flook: calls were equal either way, really can’t complain about that

  • J

    i like the mentality we showed on both sides. from start to finish. i don’t know how mike brown did it offensively but his defensive sets is superb. i like that he put both shaq and Z to start the 3rd. that really neutralized both 7 footers of l.a. i’m really surprised that it worked well. i liked how we hound kobe making him go for tough shots and shutting down the rest of the team at the same time. and the fact that he didn’t get so many post up plays, instead he played more on the perimeter facing up.

  • J

    i’m really amazed by mo’s play that game. he’s brilliant all out. he’s penetrating more instead of being a spot up shooter. hope he continues to be like this. the best thing is HE’S POSTING UP DEREK FISHER! Moon also had a great game. the bench showed its depth. Shaq can handle Bynum.

  • J

    one thing though. hopefully this game won’t cost us to stand pat. Gasol played poorly but you can’t expect that from him especially in a 7 game series. we still have problems at the 4 spot and hopefully Ferry addresses this sooner. this is still a regular season game, regardless of if this is a “measuring stick” game for us. overall it is the mentality and composure that gave us the W.

  • Mvp23100

    It shouldnt be suprising la 1-4 vs teams with single digit losses anytime this year they play a solid playoff team they either lose or go to the wire besides all the home games n bum teams theyve played they havent showed to much of anything

  • Mvp23100

    And the cavs are as deep n solid as any team in the league not because of this win lbj the best in the l we had a high powered offense last season add a legit big man a athlete and a 3 pt shooter on top of what we have but christmas was a strong wake up for those sleeping on us beat orl by 15 la 15 had boston by 15 early they came back First game though so we were figuring it out but i honestly feel the celts are scared of 23 we took em 7 games with no mo or help

  • J

    ^ i don’t think anyone is sleeping on the cavs. and i don’t think the celtics are scared. don’t be too high on this, the goal is to win the championship.

  • Mvp23100

    Like i said its not just the la game bos is a team we have been neck n neck with splitting the season series for the last couple years plus brons real comfortable with that matchup remember bos championship year he took them to the 4th qt two minutes left and almost sent them home without ANY help There not a walk in the park but by feb uncle kevins and uncle rays old ass might be on the sidelines hurt

  • Mvp23100

    Your not lying though the goal is the chip

  • playa

    yeah yeah, everyone is so damn excited, wait for the REAL reality call deep in may/june fellas, we’ll see your cavs then

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    The Laker fans were disgusting. The Lakers themselves obviously mailed the game in. Things will be different next time.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    BRyan -The Lakers fans were p1ssed. I was watching with a CAVS fan and a NUGGETS fan. And we couldn’t believe the calls. Shaq playing ZERO defence but not getting foul calls. Lebron’s offensive foul called on Kobe. The Offensive foul called on Kobe when Parker elbowed him in the post.
    One of the worst refed games I have ever seen.
    I don’t know why ya’ll HATE SOOOO MCUH. It’s one game. A little measuring stick? Sure. The Lakers have played great for most of their games. They are bound to play sh1tty one game or two. Yes… they moaned to the refs. But the game was just terrible.
    And Artest didn’t play good D? Really? Lebron had ZERO rebounds in the first half!! The last two games against the CAVS and KINGS. The only problem so far has been Pau, Bynum, and Odom. Playing no fence, no help D, and terrible offense. I don’t know if it’s because Pau signed his deal… but they have been horrible.
    The Lakers lost by 20 with Odom, Fisher, Bynum and Pau playing like garbage.And Mo WIlliams and West hitting everything. I am excited for the next game. When the Lakers grab their balls and play like men instead of little b1tches!!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I will tell you what though … DFish… sometimes I wonder what Phil is doing with him. I am a huge fan, he is a tough motha’ fu(ka’. But I look at last night … the Kings put a fast guard on and ran LAYUPS around him lol. It made Derek look so bad. I have no idea what he is doing. They should start him every quarter except the 4th, then in the 4th bring him in with about 5 minutes left. Something. But give him 4-5 minutes a quarter and that is it.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’m happy with this game. It gives me some trust in the Shaq addition. He has played well against Boston, Orlando and LA. I’m also happy to see that Artest can’t body up Bron at all. Like really, Bron backed him down a few times like it was Kevin Martin on him. Cleveland can give different looks. They can play small AND big. Reminds me of the Spurs in their heydays, they would try to beat you at your own game. Bynum and Pau were not comfortable dealing with two 7 footers. Eff the number of wins, Cleveland looks better than last year against the very good teams. But JJ hickson has got to go. I’m through with him.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    D-Fish has always been dirty. He’s just so articulate off the court that ppl overlook that. Kinda like Stockton back in the days. / Kobe has too much body control to just stumble on someone in the open court. He bodychecked Mo. Apparently, Cavs are sending the tape to the league.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    I am lovin’ Shannon Brown though. I love his game!!!

  • jrb

    F*** bron….. Kobe stole the show. He put up the bettr stats…..

  • Chris

    This game shows why Lebron is a better player to have around than Kobe. Kobe has the more talented team by far and they lost their composure, and lost the game. It goes to the leadership capabilities of the stars.

    Lebron gets everyone involved. He will get his points, but he looks to make sure the Cavs get the best shot they can, every time down court.

    For Lebron, it doesn’t matter if he hits 30 points. He wants his team to stand a chance at winning a game. He is a rebounder, an assist man, and a scorer.

    Kobe is only the latter. Nothing went to Gasol to try and get him started. They need him if they are going to beat the elite teams in the NBA.

    Kobe also showed the most ridiculous display of unsportsman-like conduct. That was uncalled for. I don’t care how much you are down by or how physical the game has gotten. You don’t intentionally try to take a person out of the game.

    Kobe should be suspended for at least 3-5 games.

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Lebron has such horrible teammates and Kobe’s are so great!

  • Royal

    Kobe had a terrible game but he still put up 35 8 and 9 thats amazing …. BTW the CAVs simply outplayed the Lakers no excuses.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Chris lol… you figured that out by one game? So then last year when the Lakers beat them twice and wont he championship… what did that mean>? Idiot…
    Actually your right .. when lebron wore a “check my stats” t-shirt… he actually meant “check my stats… of all my teammates”.
    Again … idiot!!!

  • LA Huey

    It was a nice game for Cavs fans. Shows that Cleveland can compete in late May/June. It’s only one game and some of you are forgetting that. Artest did well by not allowing Lebron to dominate but Mo and the two-7-footer front court was key.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Am I the only one who thought it was funny when Kobe switched on Bron down 20 and started playing full court and Bron just kept the ball moving? Yes? Okay.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    LA Huey, c’mon man… I know you’re an LA fan but Bron gave him an EASY 26 or 28 (can’t remember) on 19 shots. LeBron gave him everything: post ups, dribble drives, curls, pull ups. When Mo has got it going on, the Cavs will always look for him. Artest can’t contain Bron, at this point in his career all you can do is give him room and hope that he misses the J. Nobody can get up in his grill. I’ve been saying that since last year but I think Artest’s D is not what it used to be. I’ve seen Melo, Durant and now Bron give him buckets like any other defender. Artest is not an improvement over Ariza.

  • GFlashner

    It was one game, folks. The Lakers tanked it and the Cavs took it to them. Does it mean LeBron’s better than Kobe? No. Until he gets a ring, LeBron will remain in Kobe’s shadow. At a certain point, when Kobe’s 34, 35, the torch will officially pass to LeBron, who will be in his prime years. For now, LeBron has a better all-around game, but Kobe’s the best closer in the league, he’s got better teammates, and he’s the best at imposing his will on a game since MJ. Except, of course, when he has games like this one. ;)

  • juanbatugan2

    I don’t understand this kobe have rings thus he is better than lebron analogy. If we follow that logic then Horry is better than MJ, Kobe, Lebron, Sir Charles etc.. When we are comparing two players i believe we should just consider their statistics, although championships is great, but it is a team accomplishment. Agree??

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Kobe was guarding him because Artest was out of the game Z!!
    Just like last year when Kobe guarded Lebron but Lebron didn’t guard Kobe!!

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    James: Lebron guarded kobe as much as Kobe guarded Lebron last year. No need to fib, dude

  • Ryhar

    Why is this such a big deal? The Bucks and the Thunder beat the Lakers, too. but people are discussing this game as if the Cavs are a lock to win the NBA title now or something. The Cavs lost to the Grizzlies and they beat a sh***y Nets squad by only 10 points. Way to make a big story out of absolutely nothing.

  • vtrobot

    @ FoCo: HATED Ray? OK. You don’t hear that one a lot. Maybe you are just very anti-3′s. This one was an amazing gift for the Laker/Kobe haters. Why do all the Lakers fans not understand why everyone else dispises your team so much. Kobe’s tantrum after no call are completely hiliarious. He looks like a 10 year-old little b*tch. Nice fans too. It’s a stadium full of b*tches. Love it. Merry X-mas. Happy New Year.

  • http://www.cracked.com litetitan

    …you gotta be hungry LeBron…

  • http://www.cracked.com litetitan

    …if your neither a kobe hater or a LeBron lover, what does any of this mean?

  • http://www.cracked.com litetitan

    I wonder why Phil Jackson doesn’t just let ‘the machine’ go… seriously, the WORST player in the NBA right now.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    lifetitan: Not even close…

  • Dagger

    “I think they got outworked”

    Good to see Kobe’s still the king at throwing his teammates under the bus.

  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    Juk’s. I have both games taped … Bron guarded Kobe ALOT less. And Kobe was on IV for the game at the Cavs arena!!
    This game was a great win for the Cavs. Every win is a great win. I don’t know why people are making such a big deal. The Cavs are a friggin great team and Bron is the best/second best in the NBA. One of the teams has to lose. Kobe complaiing for foul calls is no worse then bron getting hit in a body part and grabbing another … but then is all of a sudden fine when he sees he has free throws coming. They have faults. Kobe has 4 rings. Getting his 5th this year against the celtics : D!!!!
    it wit play

  • LA Huey

    Actually, Z, the LA is not for Los Angeles. I actually don’t like the Lakers at all and still annoyed that I play for them in NBA 2K10′s My Player Mode….and about Artest vs LBJ. Lebron still had his impact on the game but kept LBJ off the boards and contained his playmaking. LBJ also got about 8 of his points when Artest wasn’t on him.

  • LA Huey

    Also, Z. I thought it was funnier that JVG and Mark Jackson were talking about Mamba’s never-say-die attitude when he was hounding LBJ at that point in the game. I mean, hasn’t he learned to concede the battle and focus on the war at this point in his career?

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    James: So who guarded Kobe? Please send me those tapes, dude. I have vivid memories of Lebron guarding Kobe throughout the fourth, unless teams were making a lot of switches.
    Kobe and Lebron complain equally. What’s amazing is what they get away with. Kobe BOUNCED the ball above his head, and Lamar Odom gets T’d up. That’s super star calling beyond belief.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    When they showed people throwing the foam fingers and water bottles, the camera was on LeBron’s back and he was bringing guys in for an on-court huddle. From the angle it seemed like he was tauning the crowd to keep throwing and I had an “Ohhh sh!t, Asshole LeBron is out!” moment but then the camera zoomed out and it was just him being a great leader instead.

  • http://www.nottherealmelvinely.com melvin ely

    Lol Anton I had the same impression. Also saw Big Z doing the same gesture and I was like, when the #%^& did Z turn into a d-bag??

  • http://www.cracked.com litetitan

    @ Jukai – How is the machine NOT the worst player in the NBA right now?

  • http://www.cracked.com litetitan

    ON SASHA VUJACIC: Here is a young completely healthy role player, with no pressure on him to perform – he’s not being asked to lead the team out of the gate or excel and push everyone else in practice. He plays in a tight knit, established offensive program and is expected to hit open shots, hang tough on D and get into games for brief stints to give Kobe a rest and prompt a 3 man attack with himself, Farmar and Shannon Brown. He’s failing to look after the ball so using him as a primary ball handler is getting the team out of rythmn. He isn’t hitting his shots with half as much accuracy as he enjoyed earlier in his career, so his man can leave him and help out on Kobe or double down in the post. Here is a guy with career stats around 15 mpg, 5.00 ppg and 1.2 apg his number this season??? 7mpg, 2.00 ppg and 0.4 apg…0.4 apg and his turnovers? 0.3 ppg. In other words – you put him on the court to spell Kobe or Derek and your giving the other team 2 more possessions (either he misses the shot or gives up the ball entirely). This is his 5th yr in the league and one would expect that a player at this point in his career would be providing a almost veteran quality. But no. The Machine needs a serious upgrade.

  • james

    f all u kobe haters its only 30 games in lets yall in june cavlier g a y a s s es

  • james

    ya heard me dog ya heard me dog>???? i dont think yall eaaaaaaaaarrrrrddd me dog kobe going to kill yall in the finals if you make it there lebrick!!! ahhahahahah

  • bill breedley

    the queen without a ring was bailed out by mo williams in this one. the press failed to notice that lebron was more or less a non factor with his quiet 20 something points. his team carried him on christmas day. for the lakers only the the trio of kobe, fisher and artest came to play. ron played hard. had he not fouled out bron wouldn’t have made 20 pts. refs had to get him out of the game. kobe was beaten up like a ragdoll and hardly got the calls while bron could not be touched. interesting considering it was played in LA. imagine what kind of calls we would have seen had it been played in hick city cleveland. still this was a Cavs win that they deserved given how their bigs and little mo played. lakers bigs were passive

  • J

    ^ then what does Mo supposed to do? i hate that it’s always the superstar to carry the whole team every single time. if a superstar has a quiet 20 then he is a non factor? I’d rather see lebron having a quiet 25 on a blowout with others being on the lead on offense, rather than a close win with bron going 40 and others having 9 or 10.

  • J

    @anton: yeah me too. I’m like “oh no he didn’t” for about a second or two..

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Cosign vtrobot, and most other comments were tamer than i expected. Must be the all that xmas turkey, commenters are fulllll and satisfied. ;-)

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Z: LeBron shot like 8 for 18… Not exactly his best performance of the year. And I did see Artest bully LeBron a couple of times on defense in the post. Obviously he’s going to get his stats but if there’s one player who can come closest to containing LeBron James, its Ron Artest. Or Shane Battier.

  • http://www.VoteForPerk.blogspot.com KobeWearsAPurpleThong

    Great win, blah..blah..blah. Until they do something like this in May or June, they are still the Chokeland Cavs.

  • A

    When LeBron plays off the ball and in the post like most people want him to do and distributes to his teammates when they’re CLEARLY on fire, and he doesn’t score a lot of points, he’s having a bad game. But when he scores a boatload of points and doesn’t involve his teammates as much, he’s being selfish. Point is, the Cavs won. Lakers b!tched the ENTIRE game. Kobe was b!tching even when he wasn’t touched. What’s the excuse against the Suns now?

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