When Asdrubal Cabrera meekly grounded out to Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil to start the seventh inning Monday night – the 18th straight Indian to head right back to the dugout – who knew that the most embarrassing performance in downtown Cleveland Monday night would take place not quite 100 yards from the Progressive Field bleachers?
That’s what happened after the Boston Celtics opened a 25-point lead en route to a 104-86 victory over the “Hey, but we won 61 games this year, that’s got to count for something, right?” Cavaliers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conferernce semifinal playoff series at Quicken Loans Arena.
Not long after Grady Sizemore walked to ruin Cecil’s perfecto, and right about the same time Jhonny Peralta singled Sizemore home to make both the no-hitter and shutout disappear, the Celtics opened up a double-digit third-quarter lead against the Cavs. The home team never got closer than 10 the rest of the way, falling behind by as much as 25 with nine minutes to go.
Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo pitched his own version of a perfect game at the Q, dishing out a Boston-record 19 assists. So did washed-up forward Rasheed Wallace. He got up off the couch and turned in a nearly perfect shooting night, hitting 7-of-8 shots for 17 points in 18 minutes. In his first six playoff games this season, Wallace had scored just 21 points total. Yes, Cleveland fans, you still have to muster up the hate for Rasheed.
The Indians having a perfect game tossed against them, or a no-hitter, or even the combined two-hit, one-run effort Cecil and Kevin Gregg turned are expected outcomes in this season of 3½ runs per game.
But the Celtics shooting 47% on 3-pointers? Six Celtics scoring in double figures, including all five starters? Kendrick Perkins scoring 10 points and grabbing nine rebounds while missing just one shot against the Cavs’ big men? Mo Williams making just 1-of-9 shots? LeBron James playing as if he were more worried about lifting his right arm over his head than playing for an NBA title?
All perfectly atrocious.
A beer bottle thrown onto the court after Boston’s Paul Pierce rassled Williams to the ground will probably be the least amount of gripping Cleveland fans will do while waiting for Friday’s Game 3. There’s already caterwauling at Real Cavs Fans, a Brian Windhorst article advising fans to calm down (like that’s going to happen with nothing but the Indians between now and Friday to distract us), and a practice on an off day for the Cavs.
So enjoy the next couple of days, Cleveland fans. Maybe the Indians will get no-hit. Maybe a Browns player will get arrested. Maybe Cleveland will end up atop another list that no one likes to see.
Whatever comes between now and Friday’s Game 3, nothing will be more embarrassing than what happened in The Q Monday night.