All right. You've just come down with the flu the night before a date with Jessica Biel. You're convincing yourself that you're in good enough health to go out with her.
Now you've just watched the first six games of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Boston Celtics series in the Eastern Conference semifinals. For the most part you've been half-asleep for some of the games, fully asleep for others, and are convincing yourself that painful 76-72 final scores constitute exciting, close-fought battles. Plus, it's tied 3-3 and going to a Game 7. LeBron James! Kevin Garnett! It must truly be exciting!
Leading up to tip-off, I wasn't holding out much hope for that seventh game being something remotely resembling a memorable event. After all, I saw Boston's first Game 7 of the postseason, and I figured the same tea of dominance would be dumped into the lap of the undermatched Cavs.
But this Game 7 didn't have much in common with the one featuring Atlanta. For one, Atlanta — at one time in the game — had the lead. And, as is standard protocol with 34-point blowouts, the Boston-Atlanta Game 7 was never exciting, unlike the Celtics' duel with Cleveland.
But they did have one thing in common, and it's strikingly relevant: Boston won.
The Celtics' 97-92 victory over the Cavaliers at TD Banknorth Garden is already being branded as one of the more, if not most, memorable Game 7s in NBA history, and I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it definitely broke the mold from the first six. So it's as if you took the right amount of DayQuil and Sudafed and masked the symptoms enough to make it to that date with Jessica.
Of course, since the cosmos remained aligned and Boston predictably won, Ms. Biel does not find your sweating all that attractive, and you will not advance to a second date. (Or even second base.)
But you have to hand it to LeBron James — and how about Delonte West, he had a hell of a game himself — for picking the most dramatic moment to finally score at least 40 points in a game. His 45 wasn't enough to equalize Boston forward Paul Pierce's 41, which was strangely enough his first game over 40 this season.
But beyond the numbers, the moments were there, even if the circus shots and unfathomable layups were missing from James's game. Despite the Cavs not leading at all the entire game, they stayed within five to nine points most of the second half, and the score was 89-88 with a couple minutes remaining. For roughly 7.4 seconds I was believing in the upset. But, much like a second date callback, the Detroit-Cleveland rematch in the Eastern finals just wasn't happening.
(Photo Credit: Joshua Gunter/Cleveland Plain Dealer)