My friend TJ always had a saying in high school: "There's hope where there's no hope."
To this day, I'm still not exactly sure as to what the hell that means, but I think it applies to the Cavs-Sixers game tonight. And thus, I give you the hero of tonight’s game…Devin Brown!
(I’ll pause while that digests in your systems.)
(It’s OK, I’ve got time.)
With 15 seconds left, Brown, standing idly by in the corner as about 17 Sixers players charged at LeBron, calmly caught the King’s pass and made a driving scoop shot near the basket over a Philly defender to give the Cavs a one-point lead.
After Lou Williams made a ridiculous jumper with five seconds left, and LeBron’s last-ditch layup attempt was blocked, it appeared all was lost for the Cavs.
But the ball landed in Brown’s hands as he cut up from the baseline. And he didn’t hesitate with it, flipping it up to the basket as fast as he could.
It bounced off the front of the rim. Confetti dropped from the rafters. Fans danced in the seats. Jubilant Sixers players streamed off the court --- all except for one.
Samuel Dalembert banged his head on the hoop’s support and raised his hand in the air in frustration, signaling that he had committed the error. He knew what happened, even before the refs went back to replay and see if his foul – lowering a shoulder into Brown’s body – occurred before or after the final horn sounded.
The refs put two-tenths of a second on the clock. Brown, the cagey veteran, ignored the hostilities of the crowd, ignored Andre Miller’s stalling tactics, and calmly sank both free throws to give the Cavs a 91-90 victory.
Brown scored 13 points in just 20 minutes off the bench. He epitomizes the “Sixth Man” because he does everything you need him to. He can score; he plays great defense; he always hustles; he can rebound and pass; there isn’t anything on the court that he can’t do.
So Devin Brown, thank you very much for everything you did tonight. This team needed a surge of energy, some type of spark before the playoffs, and you very well could have provided it.