Game One: Washington at Cleveland, Saturday 3 PMA gang of mostly reserves held off the Atlanta Hawks last night by a score of 100-99 in the season finale, giving the Cavaliers 50 wins on the season. The Cavs 50-32 record registers as the fourth best in the history of the franchise, and marks the first time they've done in since the 1992-1993 season. Coach Mike Brown also became the first rookie coach in four years to win 50 games.
Though expected to play, Brown held out LeBron James and Larry Hughes, who watched from the sideline in street clothes. After the game Brown cited "precautionary measures" as the reason. James is coming off a sprained ankle injury, and Hughes missed 45 games this year with a broken finger. Also ... regulars Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden played only 19 and 10 minutes respectively.
The star of the night was a maniacal Anderson Varejao, who dazzled the sellout crowd that came expecting to saranade LBJ with "MVP" chants all evening. Varejao, in 32 incredibly Dennis Rodman-like minutes, scored 14 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, blocked 2 shots, and registered 2 steals. Flip Murray and Donyell Marshall added 19 and 16 points to help the cause as well.
After the Hawks jumped out to a 30-18 lead after one quarter, the Cavs outscored Atlanta 62-36 in the second and third quarters to take a commanding lead, before fighting off a furious Hawk rally as time wound down, leaving the Cavs fans with a good taste in their mouth as the playoffs approach.
The Cavs first round opponent will be the Washington Wizards, who clinched the #5 seed last night with a win over a Detroit Piston team that rested most of their regulars. Game one is Saturday at 3:00 PM on ABC.
Coming later today: a detailed breakdown and analysis of the Wizards, who won the season series 3-1 over the Cavs.
Stay tuned to Swerbs Blurbs for the best coverage of our Cavaliers in the playoffs. I can't wait.