Remember when I said the other day was a great day to be an Ohio sports fan? Yeah, well today was the complete opposite.
Ohio State took a heartbreaking defeat to the Tennessee Volunteers on Friday night to eliminate themselves from the NCAA tournament (and completely bust my bracket). And just a short time later, the Cavaliers took an ugly 102-97 loss at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs.
Typically I wouldn’t describe a five point loss as ugly but the Cavs just looked lost in the last twelve minutes of play and let Manu Ginobli have his way on the offensive end. Ginobli completely outplayed our young King in the fourth quarter on Friday night and that certainly made the difference.
And by no means am I saying LeBron played poorly because that’d be a lie. He went for 27 points-10 assists-and five boards but didn’t do a whole lot of damage in the final minutes. San Antonio was throwing two, three or four guys at him on every possession and, quite frankly, looked like they were playing with about eight or nine guys through some stretches. They were that active on defense.
Antawn Jamison regained a little stride on the offensive end and came up huge with 24 points and nine rebounds on the night. He added three steals to the stat line and seems to be fitting in quite nicely for the Cavaliers on defense. But Mo Williams took a step back and was just 2-of-8 from the field in a lousy six point effort.
Cleveland fell to 32-2 on the season when JJ Hickson scores more than his season average (7.8 points per game) as the Baby Bull poured in 20 points and snagged eight rebounds in the losing effort. I am still convinced he checks in on the Gospel from time to time because he has been a force on the glass ever since I wrote that “somebody needs to teach our starting center to rebound.”
Anderson Varejao posted four points and three rebounds in the first half but did not return in the second half due to a sore left hamstring. And, maybe due in large part to his absence, the bench looked out of sync. Delonte West was one of very few Cavaliers with a positive efficiency rating and Ilgauskas added a four point-four rebound effort. But that’s where it ended for the Cavs.
Sloppy performance on most accounts. They’ll take a day off and host the Kings on Sunday afternoon. Until then, we shall mourn the elimination of our beloved Buckeyes…