The NBA Playoff match-ups are set and my Cleveland Cavaliers limp in to the first round as a 2 seed going up against the Indiana Pacers. It’s now time to see if health is ultimately more important than firing on all cylinders. Tyronn Lue has continually said that he feels good about his team entering the playoffs because they are all finally healthy. We shall see. Since the All-Star break the Cavs have been the most unpredictable team in the league. One game they look like the reigning NBA Champs and the following 3 games it seems like they couldn’t beat the team they put on the floor prior to Lebron’s return. It’s been frustrating to say the least. Defensively the Cavaliers look disinterested and completely out of sorts. The only thing that is consistent is the look on all of their faces as each night the opposing point guard break down their perimeter D and drives all the way to the bucket. The Cavs faithful will say it’s because Tristan Thompson has been out of the line-up and they have no rim protection. I’m not buying it. Defense starts with a willingness to lock your man down and not rely on the help behind you play after play. Plus, this has been a problem all season.
Now I’m not saying the Cavs can’t turn it on when Indiana rolls in to Cleveland for game 1. It’s always hard to bet against Lebron. His confidence in his ability and the guys around him is always comforting and it’s hard to dispute his domination over the Eastern Conference. Right now though this team doesn’t seem mentally tough enough to be holding the Larry O’Brien trophy when it’s all said and done. I hope I’m wrong. Go Cavs!
As game 6 of the NBA Finals is about to tip off, the question on the minds of many is if Lebron will be voted the series MVP even if the Cavaliers lose. I for one think he should. The MVP award doesn’t state that it needs to go to a player on the winning side. If that is not a prerequisite than Lebron’s name should be on it hands down. He’s putting up numbers that have never been seen in the history of The Finals and we may never see again. No other player has ever been asked to carry a team without it’s other two All-Stars in trying to win a title. Lebron is proving just how amazing he is and that win or lose he deserves the MVP. In my opinion.
Kevin Love said he knew as soon as it happened that his shoulder was dislocated and that the Celtic’s Kelly Olynyck did it on purpose. I knew that the Cleveland Cavaliers chances at an NBA Championship were probably right behind Love as he ran off the court and into the trainer’s room. Unfortunately my fears have become closer to reality as Cavs GM David Griffin announced today that Kevin Love is more than likely done for the remainder of the playoffs. As a long suffering Cleveland fan I’ll just chalk it up as another painful experience that will haunt me for years to come. One that will be more than likely be referred to as “The Shoulder.” It will be grouped right in there with “The Drive”, “The Shot”, “The Fumble”, and “Red Right 88.” Painful memories that constantly haunt Cleveland sports fans of what could have been. I’ve been through so many that I’ve lost count. Please Lebron, make this never ending nightmare go away! I beg of you.
As a lifelong and diehard Cleveland Cavaliers fan, I’m still in total shock that Lebron James is back in the wine and gold. Today’s media day coverage was a blast to listen to and watch online. Seeing the new Big 3 of Lebron, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving finally in their uniforms makes the reality of the situation sink in that much more. This is going to be one hell of a season to be a Cavs fan. A season that has me already ordering the NBA Package. Go Cavs!
If you grow up in Northeast Ohio like I did, you understand the agony that is associated with it’s professional sports teams. From “The Drive” to “The Fumble” to “The Shot,” each one drives a stake of pain deeper into the collective souls of every fan. Just say the name Jose Mesa to a Clevelander and you might get a beer thrown in your face just before seeing a right hook coming your way. Because of these heartbreaking memories, (along with the river once catching on fire because it was so polluted) Cleveland has been the butt of jokes for years on end. It’s something that you just learn to take and shake off when you hear national media use your home area as a punchline to a tired and overused joke.
Friday’s decision by Lebron James to return to Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland Cavaliers however helps to change that punchline into something entirely different. Lebron understands the pain of the area. He grew up in it as a kid who followed the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers and experienced the heartbreak right along with so many others. His letter in Sports Illustrated demonstrated his understanding that Cleveland has been without a championship for 50 years when he said, “Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
I, like so many others, said one championship in Cleveland would be worth at least 5 in Miami. Lebron seems to agree to some extent. He knows what a title would mean to an area that has been so deprived for so long. He also knows what his return means for so many business owners in downtown Cleveland who struggled to stay afloat in the wake of his decision to go to Miami four years ago. The economic impact he’ll have on Northeast Ohio will be immeasurable. Just ask people in Chicago what Michael Jordan meant to their city financially.
Lebron’s decision will undoubtably keep the Cavaliers in title contention for years to come. However, his return means more than just the hope of raising championship banners. For many it means the difference between struggling to stay open and being able to pay your bills. And for that reason I’m most excited to see Lebron return home.
Lebron James to the Cavaliers seems to be a real possibility. National and Cleveland media have jumped all over the Lebron to Cleveland bandwagon once it was reported that Dan Gilbert’s private plane was headed from Detroit to Florida Sunday afternoon. Many reports had Lebron’s good friend Žydrūnas Ilgauskas on the flight in what many assume was the Cavaliers attempt to persuade Lebron to head back to Cleveland. Will it work? Who knows. The one thing I know is that not only would Lebron’s return to the Cavaliers make them an instant contender, but it would also revitalize a city that has not been the same since he left. As much as I hated him for leaving my beloved Cavaliers, I’d have to learn to forgive and welcome him with open arms. After all, a team with Lebron, Kyrie, and Wiggins or Love on it would be a hell of a show. Fingers crossed.