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Friday, January 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am  |  89 responses

Post Up: We’re All Witnesses

Of greatness vs. greatness .

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

Oh my word. LeBron James. LeBron James. LeBron James.

I can sum this one up to you with three words: “smiley face emoticon”

This came in text message form from the lovely Ryan Jones at 11:07 p.m. just after the Cavs defeated the Lakers, 93-87.

Want proof that this was a big game? Jones was awake and texting after 11 p.m. I kid, I kid. I’m not sure what time our guy normally goes to bed, but I do know I don’t get texts on the regular after Cavs victories. I can entirely understand why I got one last night. LeBron James was awesome. Not only did they sweep the season series against the Lakers, he got the W on a night when Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 25,000 career points scored.

Damn. You know that’s not how Kobe saw this one unfolding.

Most importantly, LeBron was huge down the stretch. Like down, down the stretch when the Cavs needed him. A block, a board, a layup. He was all over the floor, brought so much energy and it was fun to watch.

And those 3-pointers?

He was 1-for-9 from deep with his eight misses clanging all over the place and I think I’ve figured it out: He jacks threes so that he is reminded with each clang that he is indeed mortal like the rest of us. Let’s be serious: If he were making threes, too? It would be over.

The game was just fun. It also made me realize, I just love competition. Fire. Talent. Greatness. Whether it’s Kobe, LeBron, whoever. We’re lucky we are witnesses to all of this. I felt for Kobe with that stupid finger all taped up. I loved seeing LeBron jump over the Lakers bench for a loose ball and then give a fan a hug before getting back to business.

Didn’t love: Pau missing two free throws in the final minute. Kobe’s shot going MIA. Mo Williams missing this one.

Also… Um, somewhere along the way in the second half, the Nuggets turned their game against the Clippers into a blowout, winning 105-85. Melo had 28 points and 10 rebounds and, yeah. There’s no denying that the game of the night was the one in Cleveland.

P.S. Brandon Jennings, Andrew Bogut and the Bucks are in town today. Pretty happy girl over here. Looking forward to this game and then catching the Lakers on Sunday. Big weekend, starting with my favorite new kid on the block and finishing with the greatest in the game today (or, uh, one of them).

Have a great weekend, everyone. Catch you Monday!

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  • Anthony

    Am I the only who’s still wondering why the Lakers didnt call time-out after Lebron’s turnover at 0:40 and go for a 2 on 1 possession ?
    Game was tie at 87, anyway great game by Lebron, the go-ahead layup was huge.
    I also think Phil waited too long to put Kobe in the game, he re-enters around the 6:00 mark and went ice cold after that.

  • kev

    wow, great game. Cavs showed they have no fear of kobe or the lakers. there should be some good beef about 23 vs 24 today lol!!! 24 is good but give me 23 all day!!!!!

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew bryan

    The Lakers are the best team in the league and also the softest. Before anyone jumps all over me , by best I mean most skilled and paper best. Unfortunately their talent is not enough to carry them and they really need someone other than Kobe to be the toughest guy on the team.

  • http://www.bluefont.com Hisham

    Lebron was giving a rap concert there in the last minute. he was pumped

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew bryan

    I still think the Lakers are going to be able to put it all together come playoff time though. And until the cavs prove otherwise I still think they’ll be knocked out in the second round or conference finals.

  • A.

    Second round bryan? Really? LOL!

  • michael scorn

    The Lakers lost to the Magic both times last season and still beat them in the finals 4-1, but the also lost to the Celtics both times in 2008 and lost to them in the finals 4-2.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com TADOne

    LeBron’s 3 point stroke is still broke. However, as Shaq told him, just “TAKE IT TO THE RACK”!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Kobe and Ron-Ron have NOTHING in their overrated defensive arsenal to deal with Bron. Well, except for Kobe playing dirty and trying to trip dude when he busted his ass going to the basket. That is all. Oh…and the paper champs better hope they don’t see the Cavs in the Finals.

  • neaorin

    Confidence builder for the Cavs, but right now Daniel Gibson gets to start at PG. Yikes.

  • LA Huey

    Great game. Amazing that Cleveland could pull it off with LBJ bricking so much from deep. Shaq and Big Z came up kind of lame but Hickson and Andy stepped it up.

  • http://slamonline.com tina

    Nice win for the Cavs. Hopefully the Lakers look back on these 2 losses to the Cavs & work on it in case they do meet up for the finals.

  • http://Slamonline.com Mvp23100

    Go watch 24 touch the wood in slow mo they was making excuses for him

  • http://myspace.com/showbread Bryan

    The real problem with the Lakers is the guard situation.

  • http://Slamonline.com Mvp23100

    Once again in my oppinion bron showed why hes better way more efficient and does everything on the floor get that broom out

  • http://slamonline.com Mo Money Bizzes

    Kobe’s in New York tonight. Watch out…

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    The Lakers will not see the Cavs in the Finals. mostly because the Lakers won’t be there. This isn’t based on last nights game either. I told u guys when Kobe got off to that hot start that there was no way he could keep this up, that he had lost a LOT of athleticism and he works wayy too hard for every bucket. Look at his last 10 or so games and I hate to say I told u so but. If you are going to be the #1 option on a team you have to be able to get easy buckets (how many of LeBrons pts last night came off layups, dunks and free throws?) which Kobe just can’t so anymore. everything is a fadeaway with a hand in his face

  • http://myspace.com/showbread Bryan

    Of course the Lakers are at msg tonight and I’m on my way to the airport. Just another stroke of bad luck. Speaking of the knicks david lee better be an all star.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    The real Eboy didn’t write that ^…..but I like where his head’s at!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    ^ no he’s the fake.

  • floe

    I thought Shaq dominated down low.

  • Eboy

    Kobe’s injured finger is really affecting his shooting.

  • http://www.digitalthread.com AlbertBarr

    I agree floe…Shaq may not have been scoring but his physical presence was an advantage to the cavs…he is just huge. Like pJax says “he is like a double screen”

  • LA Huey

    LBJ enjoying his theme song as Hisham mentioned earlier http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZFw2-8tRmA

  • Jdubbs

    Forced to share the TV with the wife, I vacillated between the game situation and “the situation” i.e. Jersey Shore. But turned back just in time to watch LBJ take over in the 4th and Kobe try but fail.

    The torch has been officially passed. Lebron is the greatest player in the league.

  • http://nicekicks.com Meloman2.0

    Ok, it’s known that i hate Kobe, and Lebron played a great game…. but people gas him up wayyyyy to much. i mean, I was watching the top 5 plays of the night on NBA.com, and lebron was in it, not for an amazing dunk or block, but because he attempted save an inbounds pass. And yes, he didnt even end up saving it!!!

  • Tom

    Lakers should be pretty pissed about this. After getting blown out on your home floor on Christmas, and seeing as Mo williams wouldn’t be playing, LA should have won this easily. Seems to me when Kobe has these hot starts, Pau fades away. Those blown putbacks by Pau at the end just brought back nightmares of him getting punked by Boston. Pau needs his touches early to be effective. All that said though, Lakers/Cavs finals will be a great one.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Gotta love the fact that one of the most hyped and anticipated games of the year draws so little comments….oh, because the Lakers got smashed and the fanboys are still wiping away the tears that Lebron and his mand of merry men crushed them a second time.

  • Tom

    They did get smashed for sure Eboy, I was getting pissed in the 4th when Odom and Artest were giving up so much space to Lebron for those jumpers. I mean thats way too much respect to give his drive. Obviously he deserves it, since he was tearing them up all night, but you can’t just bow down like that. I mean with space like that of course he’s gonna drain those jumpers.

  • http://Slamonline.com Mvp23100

    @eboy
    that is funny the kobe fans just were ranting about the dunk contest now there nowhere to be found why is this a suprise though when cavs have won the last 7 of 9 vs the fakers and lebrons almost always outplayed kobe

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    My wife and kids are visiting the grandparents this week. That made it easier to stay up past my bedtime.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    But yeah, quiet here otherwise…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    *Peeks in*

  • http://slamonline.com tina

    Not every voice that shows displeasure with Lebron are Kobe fans check out Meloman’s comment hahahah. As a Laker fan myself, i already said the Cavs had a good game & Lebron is a great player so please don’t be ignorant & make it seem as if ALL Laker fans or Kobe fans are biased.

  • rob

    The Lakers lost because they played like a bunch of p*ssies, and Bryant forced too many damn shots. I’m still f*cking pissed.

  • http://slamonline.com tina

    LOL @ Myles

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

    What’s to say? Lebron is the best since Kobe hurt his finger, what?

  • http://www.slamonline.com T-Money

    The finger looked alright to me in the 1st quarter. The fact that every single one of his shot attempts in the remaining 3 quarters were contested fall aways might have something to do with the poor shooting numbers. I don’t know if the finger can be used as an excuse when Kobe flat out refuses to rest and let it heal. That’s kinda on him, no?

  • http://www.twitter.com/isaiahk isaiahk

    Really hope the Rockets get the 8th seed, because everyone likes these Lakers-Rockets games, well I mean everyone that loves basketball.

    Hi Holly :)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    LeBron is the best since last season – its been pretty obvious

  • doubleg

    LeBron still a diamond in the rough.He tried a bit of the Hakeem dreamshake 15 ft out in the 4th and looked like a rusting tinman. Kobe has that move down.

  • http://Egotastic.com Michael

    I don’t understand why the Lakers are trying to gaurd Lebron one on one. I don’t care how big Artest is he can’t gaurd Lebron. They need to do what they did last year and have Kobe and Ron shade Lebron baseline and have him run into their big guys in the paint. And Kobe’s been playing the worst ball of his career the last three weeks. He can’t blame it all on the finger, he’s making things way to hard on himself.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    Eboy:
    The Lakers aren’t gonna be in the Finals? So I assume you think the Celtics and Cavs will meet in the Finals?

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  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Yooooo where James the Balla at?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    he’s with all the other laker fans

  • J-RO

    If Lakers won this game no one would be b**tching about Kobe’s finger. All of a sudden its an excuse.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Logues

    this kobe/bron era is awesome… i mean one night i think kobe is the best player then a few nights later im thnkin its lebron.. def gotta appreciate watchin these two guys play at the same time

  • http://www.slamonline.com T-Money

    Am I the only one that’s getting really annoyed with the Cavs’ alternate jerseys? All 27 of them?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    cosign J-RO

  • http://www.slamonline.com MooButter

    @T-Money: yes.

  • http://www.slamonline.com MooButter

    what’s there to be annoyed about?

  • Kadavour

    Kobe’s been playing poorly since he hurt his back. The same injury that shut down T-Mac and D. Wade amongst others. That he’s performing out there, be it not up to his standards and your expectations, speaks volumes about this man’s heart

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    why is this worth it? to prove how much heart you have halfway through the season….when your in first place? sounds to me like kobe bryant has a huge heart and a little brain

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Yeah, gotta say, the injuries are clearly taking a toll on Kobe. He’s staying out of the paint, he’s driving to his left, he’s not able to catch the ball without stopping… they gotta rest the dude. That wont happen.
    And Lebron will win another MVP.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    its funny when a player says im not going to use my injuries as an excuse, then says, yea, my finger and back affect me. blah! that was 2005 kobe we saw last night. he never set up any of his teammates, just jacking up bad shots all game. this is not last seasons lakers, and its not rons fault. (tmacs?) youre in a bad spot when winning depends on shannon-i can only do the statue of liberty dunk- brown and farmer. i bet phil would give up his big chair for vlad rad right about now. with boston hurt, orl hurt and not having great chemistry, this looks like cleveland year to get to the finals, they better hope its la or denver waiting and not the spurs.

  • A.

    @Tarzan Cooper: The Spurs? Wow. There’s no way the Spurs are stopping them. None.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    @Tariq:
    the Nuggets will come out of the west. Mark my words. The Lakers were very lucky to get by them last year. The Nuggets front line bullies the he’ll out of the LA front. The nuggets have a better bench in JR smith, Lawson, and Birdman. The nuggets even have a better scoring and more efficient #1 option in Melo. And finally Chauncey or Derek Fisher??! You decide. I’ve been screaming my face off about D. Fish and how he should not have been starting the past 4 years! His shot selection and decision making are horrible and defensively he is less than a nonfactor.

  • LA Huey

    If someone with the coaching pedigree of Doc Rivers can tell KG to sit down until he heals, then why isn’t Phil telling Kobe to chill? If the injuries are making a difference (not sure about the finger but the back definitely is), the coach needs to pull rank and shelf best player for a couple of weeks.

  • boogster

    There are some odds Lebron might not get a chip with cavs, even with any team. Besides o-called cavs fans! How many of you were backing cavs before 2003?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    One thing I think all of you are missing about LA is that the trade deadline has not happened yet. I highly highly doubt derek fisher and jordan farmar are gonna be their point guards come playoff time. It should still be LAL vs. Cle/Bos in the finals.

  • boogster

    Really want to see that highly touted Lakers-Cavaliers Finals, but I dunno, Lebron got to deal with another big mouth.

  • J-RO

    I’m with Eboy. If the Lakers remain too soft in the paint the Nuggets are gonna punk them. Also considering that Artest is off his game and Ariza did a good job on Melo. Lawson and Smith would kill the lakers subs and Chauncey would be all over Fisher.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    @ nbk:
    I will bet money that those 2 will still be the main LA pgs come playoffs.

  • therighttoremainsalient

    @Meloman2.0 — Your right. Its a shame when LeBron’s TURNOVERS make highlight plays. Sternbot is in full overdrive. It’s like Chancellor Palpatin with his milky smoothness all over the upstart Hayden Christianson… damn you dark side.

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    I hate this soft label. When the Lakers win, they’re unstoppable, when they lose, they’re soft? What?

  • Jacob (from Australia)

    I wish my 3 point stroke was broke. That would mean I would be shooting .349 from NBA three. Pretty decent considering Kobe is still only shooting .319 :)

  • Jacob (from Australia)

    Also, I stand by my backing of the Cavs. Yes, it has only been since 2003 or so, but I am only 17. I only started playing ball at the age of 11 (it’s not huge in Australia) so I chose the Cavs because it seemed like a good idea with this young 6’8 phenom on the team. Now I’ve grown to love the whole Cavs team and realise the importance of guys like Danny Ferry and Big Z. However, it’s games like these that are the truly great ones to watch, so much passion and competition between dominant teams.

  • Fizzbuzz

    Doesn’t anyone realize that Kobe’s finger is f.cking BROKEN?!

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Okay. I haven’t seen much games recently since I’ve been travelling for a bit now. But here’s my question: why not start Brown at point? Does that even make sense? Phil’s system doesn’t need conventional point guards, and the Lakers have ball handlers aplenty at the guard/forward spots. Why not try and mould Brown into a Ron Harper type of role?

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    Eboy:
    Your D.Fish point is well taken. I couldn’t agree with you more on that one. And Chauncey? Great PG. But:
    1- Melo is great and all, but he ain’t Kobe. Come off it. Not in the playoffs. F*ck a finger.
    2- Yeah, Denver’s frontline is more physical than the Lakers’ but all those physical forwards combine to average 5.8 points or something. They really don’t have a low-post scorer like Pau.
    3- It’s still January, and you’re happy because the Cavs won last night. But the Lakers, despite all their troubles, are only a game behind Cleveland for the best record in the L.
    Could Denver come out of the West? I mean, they have a very good team, so I guess it’s possible, but I really would be SHOCKED if it happened.

  • J

    L.A. are finesse kind of team. they’re not soft. its just that our team is tougher and more physical.

  • J

    i really like how shaq plays in these “measuring stick games”. he’s really stepping up. and he can definitely handle bynum at both ends. but these games doesn’t change the fact that we still need someone who can lights out score. preferably a 4. (yeah i’m looking at both of you West and Jamison.) especially now that both delonte and mo are out for period of time. hoping for a speedy recovery for both pf them. and of course to get Z back if he’s gonna be dealt.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Eboy, Myles, Ryan and the guy who had to alternate between Jersey Shore (more like sore) and the game, your comments made me laugh out loud. Not good since i was reading em on my phone in a quiet conference room… During a meeting with some bigwigs…. Thanks for that. Oh, nice “D” Artest, you too Pau. When Shaq did the up&under fake to layup, i thought he’d also spent the summer with Hakeem. Beaut!! Finally, where IS James the B???

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    @T-Money: no, you are not the only one. Cavs have enough alternates to clothe half the teams in the east. Ridiculous.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton
  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Holly – if you can, grab a few words from Bogut.
    Thanks in advance,
    Australia.

  • Yesse

    I’m still going with Kobe, but looking at this season.LeBron is getting really close and might just pass him any second.

  • Karl

    James the baller faints

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    was anyone else annoyed at the fact that no other cavs other than bron even TOUCHED the ball in the 2nd half of the 4th quarter? couldn’t bron at least catch the ball at the high post or on the wing instead of 30 feet from the basket? it was the most uninspiring basketball ever. which i suppose we’ve all been witnessing for the past 5 years at least.

  • therighttoremainsalient

    @albie – I think thats LeBrons way of moving closer to his billionaire ambitions. “see Sternie? I touch the ball 96% of the time, so should I not therefore get 96% of the profits your global NBA machine is bringing in?” – [this may or may not be an actual conversation piece]

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    haahhaha HERE are the Lakers fans, posting three days after this happened, awesome.
    Were you guys ever annoyed how Jordan was the only person to touch the ball when he was scoring 12 straight?

  • http://fjkld.com Jukai

    Wow, I reread Albie’s comment and realized how insane it was. Judging from his comment, he must believe Magic/Stockton/Thomas/Kidd/Nash have ruined basketball for touching the basketball so soon and for so long.

  • J-RO

    LOL @ Albie.
    whats wrong with Lebron simply dominating in the fourth quarter when it matters?
    especially when u get the win for your team?

  • http://www.realcavfans.com Anton

    Hey Albie, LeBron passed the ball in the 4th q

  • http://www.realcavfans.com Anton

    Hey Albie, LeBron passed the ball in the 4th quarter to Gibson for the game-winning 3, is that okay with you?
    No? Carry on.

  • http://theurbangriot.com/ NUPE

    albie – Bron with all the touches is more a result of a Coach with no imagination/strategy about how to run an offense, and a team that doesn’t have any real second options. Plus, the team trust Bron’s decsions about when to pass and not too. He’s one of the only superstars that actually get’s criticized for passing to his teammates. Haters call it him not having the killer instinct like a Kobe or MJ, others claim it’s because he’s just the consumate team player – like a Magic. Bottom line, the teams best chance of winning is to give the ball to Bron and let him create. Maybe if they go a new coach, they would have a new approach.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Lakers are soft and great. They can still win a ring and be semi-soft. They did it last year. Artest and Odom gave Bron way too much space to shoot that jumper. Yes, I know he will go around you if you crowd him too much, but you can’t just let him shoot uncontested jumpers. He will kill you all night from the top of the key.

  • Ryan

    Pao Gasol screwed the lakers twice we all no kobe would of came down and won the game if pau could make two freethrows and get a board at the end of the game

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