Saturday, May 23, 2009
With just one second remaining on the clock at Quicken Loans Arena, I sat in utter disbelief. How can the Cavaliers be down 2-0 after a dominant season and playoff run? And on their home court!
Hedo Turkoglu had been a hero for the Magic again. Turkoglu had just given Orlando a two point lead and a seemingly 2-0 series lead. Only one second remained and Cleveland, a city miracles had forgotten about, needed just that.
Lebron's winning three was one of those classic moments in sports that makes you jump off your seat and yell. One of those moments that reminds us all why we love sports.
That shot changed the series. And the last two years, there have been two instances where I jumped up and down and screamed out of control. The Giants' improbable Super Bowl victory and last night. It was one of those moments where years from now you'll remember exactly where you were when you witnessed that shot.
That shot brought back so many Michael Jordan memories-the Craig Ehlo shot, the the Byron Russell shot. Lebron's shot will go right up there with every miraculous Jordan moment. It will be up there with every other Playoff buzzer beater-Magic Johnson's running hook shot to beat the Celtics and all of Robert Horry's buzzer beating, series clinching shots.
Lebron has taken the weight of Cleveland, the NBA, the Playoffs, his team, sports in general, on his shoulders and has thrived like few others. And he loves it.
And wow! How about these playoffs! That's two games in a row the Eastern Conference Finals have given us a last second shot to win the game. Just two nights ago we saw Mo Williams attempt an impossible shot to win Game 1. Williams got a great look and nearly drained it. Last night Lebron hit the winning shot in the exact spot Williams had missed.
This series could be 2-0 in favor of either team. But thankfully it's tied and we can only hope for 5 more games half as exciting as the first two.
That shot killed Orlando. Instead of having a choke hold on the series, their confidence and momentum have got to be shot. They played unbelievable basketball in the first two games. Orlando battled back down 23 on the road in the toughest arena for an opposing team to play in. They held Lebron in check the final minute last night. James turned the ball over twice in the last minute. And after all that, the series is tied.
Just when Orlando had swung the choke artist reputation off their backs and over to the Cavaliers, that shot changed everything. I can't wait till Sunday.