Orlando 116, Cleveland 114: The Night Dwight Howard Became the Leviathan

(AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

I can’t take ownership for the very fitting moniker describing this Dwight Howard.

Talented author and esteemed TSF/SOMM commenter, The Last Poet, lays stake to that claim.

Man, was It was nice to finally see Dwight growl!

Scowl…as he protected the rim in him from the media Kryptonic glare that ensnares the fan beautiful and leaves him/her soul rock soul impaired because of ultimately immaterial corporate imagery. This isn’t about nice guy Dwight being some kind of anti-human monster the masses just can’t get wit’; this is about being a competitor.

Not delusional and unrealistic purity but dominance.

Taking what is yours at home oh so Diesel like.

When Dwight tore down the shot clock in Cleveland, the momentum swung in his team’s favor. Would he have apologized at home?

Naaah. For who? For what?

Business, never personal.

He’ll always be the nicest person you’ll ever meet when he’s writing for the Daily Planet, but I guarantee you Dwight will smile less once he thunders out the phone booth and sees NBA Lilliputians at his feet trying to run his streets.

It’s over for that.

This was a great game. Where are the Athens haters now? The NBA is great again and last night was the perfect example why.

The best part personally was texting back in forth with my son Gaston as all the drama was unfolding and sensing the pg/qb in him wonder and subsequently speak about LeBron’s legacy. He’s wasn’t shocked because I told him about Orlando’s length and talent all year long. A subtle reminder of when my Pop would wake me after yet another Ali rope-a-dope knockout and give me a Steppin’ to the AM lesson on the finer points of heavyweight prize fighter boxing.

I listened. Damn right I did. Dig the picture that heads the site.

That influence is the main reason why I’m so hard on Dwight Howard. He can be one of the best ever if he so wants. Big Pat is teaching him.

I wanna see him Ali flex.

All he needed was a mean streak and that mean streak was chiseled from granite and aged in Dwight’s image by way of an ever rising crescendo of media poking and prodding from cats like me but not.

That mean streak was perfected through the constant and ridiculous stream of LeBron James/Kobe Bryant end all be all commercials aimed ultimately at consumers, but still painfully and gainfully influential in rising the basketball Leviathan from within a certain writer’s city limits.

Shaq was also there. Do you really think O’Neal’s presence didn’t affect Dwight’s basketball mean in just that certain way so he wasn’t as cavalier as the Cavaliers seem to have become with the notable exception of LeBron James?

Yeah that’s a dig.

LeBron is alone and if I was Chris Bosh I would sit on my hands and zip my damn mouth until it was just the moment to sign that contract. Yeah, that Cleveland contract that will lead to Bosh one day tearfully see his #4 jersey raised amongst the championship banners in the Q…or whatever it’s called by then.

Obviously premature and off topic, but why would LeBron leave Cleveland when all he saw was Mike pumping his fist in ’89?

He’s the Craig Ehlo get back and speaking to him on many occasions, he just doesn’t seem like the type of cat who would walk out of his house with no regrets.

All the Akron little kids jumping on him…

Nah, it ain’t happening. Trust me. If I’m wrong, I’ll go long until I stop just short of the cliff baby.

His history and love for the game is too encapsulated in the love of the pill’s slow motion spin as it heads to the rim.

No crowd, just him, but hey, sometimes it doesn’t go in.

Rashard Lewis (10 points in the 4th, 17 total), Mikael Pietrus (also 17) and Rafer Alston (26 points) shot the daggers that are slowly but surely killing Cleveland’s will to win and becoming goosebumps on the Orlando crowd’s collective skin.

But did you know?

When LBJ drove the lane with 4.1 left and was fouled by Pietrus (yeah it was a foul), what did you think? Did you honestly think he wouldn’t make them?

LeBron swished the first and wills the second in, but imagine if he missed. Anderson Varejao was right there for the tip in. Game over. Cleveland wins and the series is tied.

Nope. Overtime.

Dwight Howard’s overtime. The Leviathan kind.

He scored 10 of the Magic’s 16 points in the extra session and took no prisoners.

There were no mad three point attempts to get the crowd hype but missed and led to fast break cock back LeBron James bangers on the other end.

There was the Leviathan.

6 straight to open O.T. on two monster dunks and a lay in.

Stan Van Gundy is smarter than you think folks. He gave Dwight the damn ball and the Big Fella showed and proved and grew expontially in the span of 48 minutes.

This is why I said the real rivalry is LeBron and Dwight. All that other stuff is sky rockets in flight outta sight like the Mars lander.

This is the here and now. Dwight had to learn how to win and so far he has, but it’s not over. He must continue on the same vein and slam the lead door on LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, cookie tasting, Chinese food, water with vitamins in it Kryptonite.

Can he? What will be the fallout in Cleveland? Mike Brown’s job better not be on the line. He and Danny Ferry have some serious work to do if Orlando in fact wins the series because the odds are against them.

Only 8 teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit. Teams with that advantage have won 96% of the time.

Whatever happens, ya gotta love the NBA because it is in fact amazing.

CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
LeBron James, SF 49 13-29 4-10 14-18 1 11 12 7 1 1 8 5 +6 44
Anderson Varejao, C 26 4-8 0-0 1-1 1 1 2 0 5 0 1 6 +5 9
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C 33 5-9 0-0 2-2 3 6 9 0 0 0 0 3 +2 12
Delonte West, SG 47 7-15 0-3 3-3 0 5 5 7 1 1 0 4 +5 17
Mo Williams, PG 47 5-15 0-3 8-9 0 5 5 2 2 0 1 2 -5 18
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Wally Szczerbiak, SG 21 1-4 0-1 0-1 0 2 2 1 0 0 2 3 -8 2
Daniel Gibson, PG 21 2-5 2-5 2-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 +6 8
Ben Wallace, PF 16 2-2 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 0 1 1 0 1 -14 4
Joe Smith, PF 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -7 0
Tarence Kinsey, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Sasha Pavlovic, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
Darnell Jackson, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
39-87 6-22 30-36 7 33 40 17 10 3 12 25 114
44.8% 27.3% 83.3% Team TO (pts off): 14 (16)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.
ORLANDO MAGIC
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Hedo Turkoglu, SF 43 5-13 2-5 3-4 1 6 7 8 0 0 5 4 +4 15
Rashard Lewis, PF 46 5-9 2-4 5-6 1 4 5 0 0 0 2 1 -6 17
Dwight Howard, C 49 10-16 0-0 7-9 2 12 14 4 1 3 2 5 +1 27
Courtney Lee, SG 26 2-6 1-4 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 1 0 2 -5 5
Rafer Alston, PG 37 10-17 6-12 0-0 0 2 2 4 2 0 3 4 +18 26
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Mickael Pietrus, SG 40 5-13 5-11 2-4 0 3 3 2 1 0 2 5 -2 17
Anthony Johnson, PG 15 2-4 1-2 2-4 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 2 -9 7
Tony Battie, C 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +8 0
Marcin Gortat, C 4 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 2 +1 2
Adonal Foyle, C DNP COACH’S DECISION
Tyronn Lue, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION
J.J. Redick, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
40-80 17-38 19-27 4 34 38 21 5 4 15 25 116
50.0% 44.7% 70.4% Team TO (pts off): 15 (15)
+/- denotes team’s net points while the player is on the court.

Flagrant Fouls: None
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: 1 ORLANDO ( D Howard 1 ) – TEAMS (def3sec): ORLANDO (2) – COACHES: ORLANDO P. Ewing (1)
Officials: Mike Callahan , Scott Foster , Joe Derosa
Attendance: 17,461
Time of Game: 03:06

12 Responses to “Orlando 116, Cleveland 114: The Night Dwight Howard Became the Leviathan”

  1. Temple3 says:

    4 of 8 (AV); 5 of 9 (ZI). Cleveland’s big men shoot a good percentage. Don’t take enough shots. CLE finally has a decent outing vs. Hedo and Rashard…and it doesn’t matter because Rafer and Pietrus knock down ELEVEN 3′s. Damn!!! ORL shoots the LIGHTS OUT and win a squeaker.

    That’s a crazy game.

  2. TheLastPoet says:

    “May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.” [Job 3:8]

    Thanks for the shout out, broda!

    Didn’t know you remembered that “Leviathan” crack on Mr Howard from way back.

    I just commented on SOMM that it may be time for the MSM to rethink who the next GOAT is gonna be. At one time they were ready to pass the title to Howard, but then folk turned their attention to guys like Chris Paul after his great 07-08 season, and, of course, Kong was never off of their radar.

    But if Stern ever decides to let big men play ball like they used to back inna day (we’re only talking, what, 6 or 7 years ago when Shaq and Tim B Dunkin took turns killing the league), then the next 10 years may belong to Mr Howard – er Leviathan – and King Kong may be reduced to uber-talented also-ran status, like Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and my man Patrick Ewing.

    In any case, I think we are about to see a Dwight Howard puppet crash that Kobe-LeKong pad, eat some cookies, toss some chalk around, and watch “unstoppable” videos.

  3. Temple3 says:

    LP:

    Long time no see. Ditto that.

    Funny thing is that LA would really struggle with Orlando because they simply wouldn’t defend well enough. It seems like only Denver has the tenacity and the players to give Orlando and Howard a run for the money.

  4. GrandNubian says:

    T3,

    I was thinking along those same lines. LA-Orlando would be an interesting match up that is probably inevitable now because it appears that Lebron won’t be showcased in this year’s finals and Stern has to have another marquee name (Kobe) to keep viewers tuning in.

  5. Temple3 says:

    LP:

    Folks might not watch, but Denver-Orlando would be a rim rattling series. All I can say is, “Look out Be-loooooow!”

  6. Mizzo says:

    I’m with T3. I would rather see Denver/Orlando. At least it would be a series.

    Dwight would murder the soft underbelly that is LA’s front line.

    Seriously, unless everyone lines up with LeBron (Wade, Bosh, Amare), Howard might get crazy with it and start stamping out cats consistently.

    I’ll post an interview I did with Pat Ewing after the clincher (whoever wins).

    Poet, glad to see you bruh. I don’t forget anything.

  7. Temple3 says:

    the soft underbelly that is LA’s front line

    Dat, deah’s poetical!! Love that.

  8. GrandNubian says:

    Yeah, I would rather see Denver/Orlando myself. It would definitely be a LOT of scoring in that series.

  9. Mizzo says:

    Yeah it would. Whose heart would shake like distorted static first?

  10. Temple3 says:

    Rashard Lewis!

  11. Mizzo says:

    I would have said the same thing brothaman, but I saw something in his eyes after they clinched here.

    Swag is all his despite some minor shooting woes recently. I don’t know if he could be faded this late in the game.

  12. TheLastPoet says:

    Ok I’ma jump on the Orlanda/Denver mothership with yall…

    Shakey dog status has to go to one of Orlando’s 2-guards doesn’t it? Pietrus, Lee, or what’s his name – Redick?

    But even tho I’m funked up on the mothership, a part of me would still rather see Kobe go for his legacy in the Finals rather than anyone on the Nuggets team. I mean, I can appreciate the way the Nuggets are playing right now (minus the dirty play of that Duke boy), but I’ve just about had it with “Birdman” flapping his tats and shit after every play, Junior mean muggin after very 3, K-Mart taggin fools, and B-B-Billups getting all the credit at my man Alley-I’s expense lol!

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