Daniel Gibson doesn’t have as much talent or natural ability as the majority of starting guards in this league. Just doesn’t. Talent aside however, there aren’t too many other guys – guards or otherwise – who genuinely embrace the big moment more than Gibson does.
We remember him in what might now be our finest hour as Cavs fans going for 30+ to send the Cavaliers to the Finals way back when. I was at the Clevelander with my boy Falvey when he nailed three, after three, after three, after three. The city almost burned that night.
Photo Credit: Stepien Rules / BB
More recently, he was also the only Cav to get 20 last time out against these guys, and he did all he could tonight too even though there weren’t any “fans” in Miami there to witness the performance.
But to the dismay of those empty arena seats, and despite the manufactured “crowd” noise that was being piped in by the Heat in-game staff, Gibson did go for 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting along with dropping four dimes as he led the upset “effort” by the Cavaliers. Oh, and he didn’t play patty-cake with any opposing Heat players either, which was appreciated by this guy at least.
He ended up fouling out of the game late, but not before he left it all on the floor, and not before giving everything he could’ve gave on Wednesday down in South Beach.
And to me, I can’t help but think that Daniel Gibson’s performance on Wednesday is not only symbolic of what this team is right now, but also kinda like what it ”could be” on any given night. Meaning, nobody thinks Daniel Gibson is gonna go out there and be Chris Paul, and nobody thinks it’s particularly “easy” for Gibson to get 26 in an NBA game either. We know he – and they – have to work for any success they find on any night, against any team, in the entire league. He has to be mentally focused for a game like Wednesday’s. He has to be ready. He has to be prepared. When he is, he can do things like that. When he doesn’t try as hard – unlike other players with more ability who can get away with not trying as hard – he looks bad.
Not too much unlike this Cavs team as a whole. When they choose to ball up, they can play with anybody. They might lose – like they did tonight – but if they bring that effort consistently these types of losing streaks that they’re currently on shouldn’t and won’t happen.
Andy played tough too. Actually, he played more than tough. 18 points, used all but one of his fouls himself, and had a game high 15 boards. Combining those two efforts, on most nights, that should be enough. And even on the road, against a team like this one, if Mo does a little better than the 6 of 20 (30%) he finished for from the floor, it almost was enough. Only it wasn’t, but what are you gonna do? That team is loaded down there, and Wade was unguardable for the majority of that second half.
Like I said though Cavs, just keep bringing the effort. We don’t even really care if you lose, we’re numb to that at this point. Just don’t disrespect yourselves, or us, anymore. Like you didn’t tonight.
*Rest in Peace Mr. Bob Feller…I have a story I wanted to tell about when I met him once which I’ll post later this week, but in the meantime Mr. Feller, you will be missed dearly…and forever remembered. *