We all fret too much. It’s the nature of being a diehard fan. You watch 82 games, and it’s hard not to obsess over every game, every posession—to nitpick, to worry about close games that shouldn’t be close and losses that shouldn’t be losses.
You lose sight of the bigger picture sometimes.
And tonight, the bigger picture looks like this:
• One night after an uninspiring home win against the Nets, the Cavs struggled to put away Philadelphia on the road. Shaquille O’Neal took only four shots and made two. He’s shooting 51 percent from the floor this season—by far the worst mark of his career and down from 61 percent in each of the last two season—and the Cavs are nearly 13 points worse per 100 possessions with him on the floor. Lots of things to figure out in Cleveland.
• As I’m writing this, the Bucks are up 106-100 on the Lakers in overtime with a crunch time line-up of Michael Redd, Luke Ridnour, Ersan Ilyasova, Andrew Bogut and Charlie Bell (guarding Kobe, who missed a potential game-winner at the regulation buzzer). Like the Cavs, the Lakers are on the second half of a back-to-back.
The lesson: It’s a long season. Everyone has nights like this. Sometimes it takes some channel-flipping on an off night to remember this.