LeBron James’ game-winning shot against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday was many things: clutch, badass, a dagger. The list goes on.
“It was amazing,” Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan host Andy Baskin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I almost broke the set because we did a post-game show on Channel 5 in Cleveland, and when he hit that shot, my feet were underneath the desk and I almost busted out a piece of glass. I was going crazy. It’s the kind of stuff that just doesn’t happen in Cleveland. We don’t get the shot; we’re the recipient of watching somebody else make the shot. The best part about it was (James) going Jimmy Chitwood in the huddle and saying ‘I got this’ when they wanted him to inbounds the ball, which to me, just seems crazy. Why wouldn’t you want to have LeBron take that shot?”
And why would you try to call timeout when you don’t have any?
“I think he got lost in the moment a little,” Baskin said of David Blatt. “At least Tyronn Lue was there to stop him before he actually called that timeout. Can you imagine if he gets that timeout called? They lose.”
Indeed, The Cavs lose, and Blatt is Chris Webber.
“He is Chris Webber,” Baskin said. “Every time I look at Chris Webber, I can’t stop thinking about him calling that timeout in college – and it would have been exactly the same thing. And they would have been down 3-1. You talk about a crucial bad minute of your life. That’s what David Blatt went through (Sunday).”
James’ jumper gave him a team-high 25 points on Sunday. He also had team-highs in rebounds (14) and assists (eight), but he did get a little help from his friends, including Timofey Mozgov, who played like a man possessed. Mozgov was 4-of-5 from the field, 7-of-8 from the line, scored 15 points and had nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks, often screaming after big plays.
“We haven’t really seen much of that (intensity),” Baskin said. “He’s a badass. I love him. That’s why I love (Kendrick) Perkins. If you like hockey, you like Perkins. He’s going to go lay somebody out if you start messing with your Gretzky out there. If somebody wants to mess with LeBron, Perkins gets out on the floor, and well, so be it. Let’s bring it on. I love that about Perkins, but he’s only playing like a minute a game. But Mozgov has made such a big difference on this team since they made the trade.”
The Cavs, however, head into Tuesday’s Game 5 not entirely healthy, to say the least. Kevin Love, of course, is out for the season, and seemingly everyone except J.R. Smith is dealing with some sort of ailment.
“Kyrie’s the big worry,” Baskin said of Irving. “His left knee’s got tendonitis. His right foot’s a mess. He’s off when he’s trying to take the ball to the hole. When you’re playing day after day, he just doesn’t have any time to heal, and that’s what Kyrie needs right now. LeBron needs him to be playing just a little bit better than he is, but the thing about it is, he’s out there with all heart right now. It’s all heart.”
Baskin has noticed a major change in Irving over the last year.
“He’s such a team player,” Baskin said. “He’s so intense and he just wants to be a part of this thing. I can’t tell you how impressed I’ve been with him – not only just on the floor, but the way he’s grown over the last year. He’s out there, he’s playing on fumes.”
Tuesday’s tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. ET.