Wednesday Night. Detroit, Michigan. The Palace of Auburn Hills. Lebron James' first appearance in Detroit since his all time great 48 point performance in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs came in winners of five straight and a night after handing the Celtics aka The PGA Tour just their second loss of the season. All five Cavaliers starters played more than 40 minutes. The question I most want to know is why didn't I bet the Pistons? They were such a lock. My brother called it the day before in an email: "They'll lose by 20."
That isn't the point. A nightmare that you never think could happen, popped up. Lebron was driving to the hole and was raked across the hand by Detroit's overpaid scrub-dog Nazi Mohammad. He immediately grabbed his hand. He went to the Locker room and didn't return. He came back after halftime with his shooting handed wrapped and tape around his fingers. Predictably, a five point deficit became 20 real fast. The final score was 109-74. The diagnosis for now is a sprained finger, but if it is indeed broken and Lebron misses time, the Cavaliers obviously are in serious trouble.
No Larry Hughes, no Donyell Marshall, still no Anderson Varajao, and potentially no Lebron. Things could get real ugly real quick. Imagine for a second what the Cavs will put out on the floor without him: Boobie, Z, Drew Gooden, Sasha Pavlovic, and Devin Brown. They will be backed up by Ira Newble, Damon Jones, Dwayne Jones, Eric Snow, and Demetris Nichols.
That team wouldn't win 20 games in a full season.
Everyone is scared, and they should be: "I didn't know anything was even wrong until I looked around at the start of the second half and he wasn't there," said forward Drew Gooden. "That was a shock and a surprise. It's tough to not have him out there -- he's our leader -- but we have to keep playing. Injuries happen, and you can't just give up." "We just hoped that it was nothing serious and hopefully it isn't," said Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
It's a Cleveland fan's worst nightmare for the King to go down. The good news is it isn't a knee. Its a finger, but if it requires surgery, he could be out for months. The Cavaliers would instantly become unwatchable and a team everyone could easily defeat. Check out a couple of columns addressing the situation. They all are in agreement, the Cavs are screwed without Lebron.
Cavs are who we Thought They Were - Tony Mejia, CBS Sportsline
This Could be Trouble - Terry Pluto, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Lebron Hurt in Cavs Loss - Brian Windhorst, Akron Beacon-Journal
MRI Confirms James has Sprain - ESPN.com