8:02 - We are live on Comcast Sportsnet in HD (better to see Mike Hall's papules and pustules) with our favorite tandem of voices, Steve Buckhantz, and Phil Chenier, who have thrown a few nuggets of optimism our way, neglecting to mention the big two injuries all the way until we break for commercial!
Buck says Jarvis "responded" in his first-ever playoff game!
Phil Chenier on Jamison - "Much higher than his playoff career average!"
"This is what we play for all year," says Jarvis in a commercial, "We need you."
I don't know about you, but I am inspired. Feel free to leave your inspirational notes at the bottom.
8:28 - I like the way Buckhantz says "Va-le-shon."
When did this showing how super huge car parts are become a selling point? It's the Crocodile Dundee approach. "You call that a disc brake?"
The Wizards have been leading for most of this quarter and Buck adds that it has been "close throughout." The Wizards have lead by as many as four. Etan is leading all scorers and Haywood appears!
8:34 - Cavs called for travelling! Who thought such a thing possible? Buck laying on the optimism thick: the Wizards have yet to make a turnover.
8:35 - TOUGH SHOT BY BRENDAN, who is now obviously Eddie's secret weapon. Then he gets fouled by Lebron (gets two big ones), Lebron can barely hold a whine back for committing his first personal foul.
END OF FIRST QUARTER AND WE ARE TIED AT 23
8:40 - Mason Jr. comes off the bench to drain a 3. How many secret weapons can Eddie have?!
8:48 - A.D. runs the Lebron offense (hold ball for 23 seconds and shoot). WORKS! Secret weapon and Wheaton native Mason Jr. lookin' at a 4-point play. MVP anyone?
8:51 - Refs feeling sorry for the Cavs and displaying their remorse in the form of calling two consecutive questionables on Darius Songaila. By the way, the Wiz's largest lead of the series and Haywood is in. Apparently, the Haywood fan club gathering at washingtonpost.com this afternoon was prophetic.
8:56 - Haywood dunk, Haywood Offensive Board. Its all about Brendan. Wizards match their largest lead.
8:59 - Wonder what Nicholas Cage's nicely-coiffed, future-seeing character in the upcoming turkey "Next" (which isn't about my favorite MTV reality dating show), would think of this game? Think he would have seen such a renaissance from the centers?
9:05 - With Buckhantz and Chenier double-checking the restricted area, Deshawn Stevenson actually draws a favorable whistle.
9:06 - Drew Gooden still looks stupid, regardless of whether or not he's the next mediocre forward to torch the wiz
HALFTIME, Wiz down only THREE - Walt "The Wizard" Williams suggests smacking Drew Gooden in the face. Couldn't agree more. He doesn't suggest tugging on his rat-tail though. That would be my move. Then I would call him a second rate Juwan Howard.
9:34 - With Drew Gooden neutralized, Eddie goes secret weapon and puts the woodman back in. Using my Nick Cage "Next" powers, I see a run coming on...
9:35 - Right on cue, Haywood with a putback capping off a four-oh run. Deshawn Stevenson celebrates by chatting up an official, the ref likely responding, "You can't feel my foul."
9:39 - Chenier on another phantom King James call: "Looks like a clean block, but obviously there must have been some contact there." Love the subversiveness.
9:42 - BRENDAN RUNNING THE POINT! Dishes to 'tawn for the and-1! Brendan looking like Magic Johnson (Ilgauskas looking like Larry Bird).
9:45 - Buckhantz thanks Chenier for jinxing Lebron's perfect free throw shooting.
9:47 - Buckhantz has seen more contact from people coming off of an elevator, yet Haywood is called for both an offensive and a technical foul. Cleveland fans respond by chanting "Baaaad Caaaall" classy move by the mistaken by the lake.
Within just a few minutes, Haywood amassed a bucket, an assist, and a technical. In hockey we'd call that a Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
END OF THE THIRD.
9:52 - No reason to panic. "Relax. Everything's going to be fine."
9:53 - Outscoring Cleveland 3-2 in the pivitol fourth. Eddie puts the Wheaton weapon in. Causes a Larry Hughes airball.
9:55 - "CRITICS CALL BRENDAN SMART AND MINDBENDING", "YOU WON'T BELIEVE THE ENDING"
9:58 - Darius Songaila with a new playoff career-high. Anderson Varejao passionately embraces Larry Hughes, Hughes wipes a bouncy curl from his eyes.
10:00 - I feel another run coming on. "I can feel my optimism" (T-shirt idea?)
10:02 - Lebron starts galloping after missing a lay-up post-phantom foul call. Jamison, sensing the karmatic implications, absorbs three blows before hitting an and-one.
10:04 - Chenier injecting optimism, "If they can start hitting some jump shots..." Mason Jr. follows with a steal and two free-throws. lead cut to nine.
10:07 - "Wizards just will not die," says Buckhantz. Jamison cuts the lead to six after a three.
10:09 - A.D. AND ONE! Clevelanders realize they live in Cleveland, go silent. Lebron no doubt thinking about his upcoming dinner date with Bill Gates.
10:11 - Jamison getting punished as if he was Barbara Harrison's teleprompter. Goes to the line for two, then proceeds to swat the heck out of Lebron James, who immediately protests.
10:14 - Being a frequent Bog item, you can actually get Post points from reading the DCO. But they are only redeemable for extra cheese cups from Wendy's.
10:18 - SINCE ESPN WILL NEVER SHOW YOU THE HIGHLIGHT. Lebron HILARIOUSLY BLOWS a follow-up dunk. Wizards respond by hitting a layup at the other end.
10:19 - The Cleveland hype-man tries his hardest to energize the Clevelanders who ultimately know that they have to return to their homes in this most barren of wastelands.
10:20 - At least Clevelanders can drown their sorrows in the trans-fat laden Taco Bell chalupas, which were handed out after Sacha Pavlovich connects on his second free throw. This ain't over, folks.
10:22 - Buck with a pep talk: "Missing their two superstars, they have just given them all they can handle." Chenier: "You have to think, if a few shots would have went their way..."
10:24 - THEN, AS IF GOD HAD BEEN PEPPED UP BY BUCKHANTZ'S GOOD SPIRIT, JAMISON CUTS IT TO FOUR! CUT AND RUNNERS RETURN TO THEIR SEATS! CLEVELANDERS NOT CARING ABOUT IMPENDING TEAM DISASTER WHEN THEY HAVE FREE FAST FOOD TICKETS IN HAND!
10:27 - Lebron MISSES first free throw. WITNESS THE CHOKE
10:31 - SUDDENLY, JARVIS CUTS IT TO THREE! (2 of 12 from the field) HE'S FEELING IT!
10:32 - Buck: "Cleveland fans have gotten more than they have bargained for."
END OF FOURTH QUARTER
Chenier: "They came up just a little short."
OK, so the Wiz may have come up a tad bit short, but that doesn't mean that positives cannot be drawn. Brendan Haywood was a renaissance man! DSong, denied his whiteness and dropped in a new playoff career-high! Roger Mason Jr. was impressive in spots and Jamison was once again the go-to guy, helping to cut the seemingly insurmountable lead down to as low as three! I am looking forward to Mike Wise's column where he details how Wizards fans should abandon their hopes and dreams and instead criticize the interior decorating in the locker room.