Friday, December 3, 2010
LeBron James Return To Cleveland Draws 2nd Highest NBA Ratings
Unless you were stuck under a rock or still down in that Chilean mine you were aware of the heavily hyped return of now Miami Heat SF Lebron James to the home arena of his former team the Cleveland Cavaliers. Media was all over the event (from ESPN to CNN) which of course created a frenzy with the general public and fans of all types. Security was ramped up and there was even coverage of the Heat's flight issues en route to Cleveland (like airplane trouble NEVER happens -_-).
Cleveland fans who felt abandoned by the uncrowned "King" went as far as to organize synchronized taunt chants for #6 throughout various portions of the game. So it was kind of a a big deal to say the least, and the ratings for the game last night prove that to be true. TNT's telecast of the Cavs/Heat game drew it's second largest overnight of the season with a 5.0 rating, preceded only by the 5.8 overnight delivered by the season opener featuring the Heat & the Boston Celtics (which the Heat lost).
I'm curious to see the ratings trend from the first half of the game to the second, when the Heat pulled away in a 3rd quarter where the Heat outscored the over matched Cavs 36-25 (24 poured in by James alone). Miami cruised to a 28 point victory and #6 finished with 38, 8 assists and 5 boards.
The ratings show me one thing; people love drama. The Cavs were 7-10 coming into the game and were clearly out of their league in this one. Unless you live in the Cleveland area or have NBA League Pass, don't expect to see too much more of the Cavs this season as they only have 2 more nationally televised games, 1/9 @ the Suns and 3/6 vs. the Hornets. Oh joy.
I will say this; although many (including us here at LTSB) have been critical of #6 and his antics this summer, James put on quite a performance last night. He played with an aggression that we have not seen much of this season. If he can continue to harness that energy and bring it like that in every game he may be able to reacquire some of the fan support that was so quickly jettisoned in one off season.
But uh... where was Mo Williams? I expected more than 11 points on 2-8. Dah well. Oh and the DJ spinning Snoop's "Ain't No Fun" in the fourth quarter had to be somehow intentional (paging Delonte West).