Monday, June 01, 2009
After enduring that, I could go for some "drowning" right about now.
Well, it's time for your old pal G$ to eat some humble pie. The Cavaliers were crushed in game 6 and have been sent home for the Summer with nothing but their dicks in their collective hands. This sucks. I've put so much of my time into this team this year and it feels so shitty to see it end like this. I probably watched 88 of the 96 games and knew that this was going to be the team. But they ran into a buzzsaw of freak athletes that hit big shot after big shot. You have to give Orlando credit unfortunately. They kept exploiting Cleveland's weaknesses and now have a shot (albeit small) to win a title.
Fuck. I don't get it. This was supposed to be THEE team to finally allow the city of Cleveland to hold their heads up high and end the drought. No matter what you think about the city, the people there deserve and have earned the right to see a winner. Instead, they get to watch yet another team with bandwagon fans and very little heartbreak effecting their psyche (Heat, Ravens, Rays, Marlins twice, and now Orlando). Why are these fans being rewarded? These are the things that I don't get. The "Cleveland Tourism" videos are right. The local economy IS based on LeBron James. That city is suffering and the Cavs were the only hope. The Indians are the biggest underachievers in baseball. The Browns will be lucky to win 4 games. The Cavs were the only distraction from the crippling depression of northeast Ohio. And now it's gone.
As far as the game goes, it was never really in doubt. Howard was a beast. When he's making his free throws and not being whistled for fouling which he does all the time, they are tough to beat. LeBron is taking some heat for walking to the locker room right away and snubbing the media. Of course this is just bullshit. The guy busted his ass all year long only to see his teammates come up small in the clutch. He did all that he could. He was spent and you could see it. There's only so much that one man can do. I'm on his side on this one. Why would you congratulate people that just ended your dream? Doesn't make sense to me. Had he taken questions, he may have let his frustrations boil over and that is not something that he does. I have no problem with him giving the silent treatment. He has earned that right.
So where do we go from here? Like it or not, this next season could be the last for LeBron in wine and gold. Personally, I don't see him leaving Cleveland before ending the championship drought but that is just my opinion. He has made a point in saying that he wants to bring the area a title and bolting before (if they don't do it next year) will be seen as cowardly. With that said, Danny Ferry has to gear up and go for broke this year. If you have to mortgage the future for one big run this next season, then so be it. Here is what I would do:
1. Ben Wallace is talking about retiring. Make him make his decision quickly so that a buyout can be reached and we can move on without a Favre-like drama. The guy has earned a buyout if he does decide to call it quits.
2. Wally can't come back. Unless he wants to play for the veteran's minimum, and I love the guy, but he has to go. The way that he played in the ECF, he is more likely to be playing in Europe next year anyway. There is no excuse for a veteran and former all-star to be chucking up airballs in an elimination game.
3. Don't give in to Varejao. He's going to want big money. Something in the range of 5 years and 50 million. No team will give him that so why should the Cavs. 5 years and 35 million sounds more feasible. He's a starter now and he needs to be paid like one, but he shouldn't be paid like a star. And there should be a clause in his contract that he can't take a shot outside of 6 feet.
4. Keep developing the young bigs. JJ Hickson and Darnell Jackson have shown flashes. With Wallace and Joe Smith likely gone, they need to keep getting better because it's cheap labor and, as Orlando showed, you can never have too many athletes. Hickson has shown that he has a lot of skill but it's a bit raw.
5. Take advantage of the Hornets being broke. It's no secret that New Orleans has no money. They are just sitting there waiting to be raped for cap relief. Why not go out and get the one guy that would have won the Orlando series? You give the Hornets Sasha Pavlovic's expiring contract and our first rounder for James Posey. The money works. Posey would allow the Cavs to play small ball, he can hit clutch shots, and he can actually defend guys like Josh Smith and Rashard Lewis. It makes too much sense. He also grew up in Twinsburg so it would be a homecoming.
6. If he really wants to, bring him in. Jason Kidd wants to play with LeBron. He has openly said this. If he really wants to, take a sweetheart deal and come to Cleveland. He's not the player that he once was but he still has some gas left in the tank. You still can start Mo and D-Lo in the backcourt, but coming with a second line of Kidd and Boobie would be not much of a drop-off.
It will be an interesting offseason in Cavsland. With the economic issues surrounding many franchises, will the Cavs take advantage of that? It is a relatively deep free agent pool, can they get some guys to come in on the cheap in an effort to win a ring? They have expiring contracts to deal if they want to (Z, Wallace, Sasha), do they go after someone like Shaq? And of course, you have to worry about the elephant in the room...LeBron's situation. While I'm shaken and mentally unstable today and probably will be for awhile, I still remain positive. It was a great season and they couldn't finish it off with a championship. As everyone in Cleveland knows...wait 'til next year.
I may as well make a prediction for the Finals eventhough I won't be watching because it will be too hard on me...Lakers win in 5. It won't be that close. Fuck Orlando. I'd rather root for a rapist. They actually have someone that can guard Rashard. Who cares though. The NBA: Where Wasted Seasons Happen.