Thursday, April 14, 2011

This Season Certainly Was...Something

Well, the NBA regular season is over and for the first time in a long time, I know what it feels like to be a Pistons fan. It's been a few years (and probably will be longer) since I've followed a non-playoff team. In fact, it's been awhile since I've rooted for one of the worst teams in any league. I usually only support winners!  And while you all are likely very pleased that there was not an ample supply of Cavs posts this year, I feel some sort of need to close out this "interesting" season in some way. So deal with it today. I don't ask for much.

OK, no one really knew what to expect from Cleveland this winter after this summer's horrible decision to do The Decision. Would Norf Beach still compete and squeak into the playoffs? Would they be the worst team in the league? Somewhere in the middle? Well, it ended up being more toward "abysmal". Injuries had a lot to do with that (along with lack of talent and zero depth) but I never really thought that they were going to be competing to be playoff fodder anyway. Trust me, this team would have been much better had Varejao and Jamison been healthy while Alonzo Gee, Manny Harris, and Samardo Samuels collected ass splinters. But whatever, it happens. If it's going to rain, I'd rather it pour. And pour it did. But not everything was, and is, gloomy for the franchise. They have a ton of picks in the next few drafts (and likely more coming if they sell off some expiring deals in the near future), an owner willing to spend, and some better than average building blocks. There at least appears to be some direction and that is good. Much to Iceman's dismay, JJ Hickson has shown pretty much all year that he has what it takes to be a good player in this league (14 and 9 [and getting better] ain't too shabby and the numbers were even greater in the second half of the season, bitch, and yes I would take him over ANYONE on the Pistons and yes this is a rather lengthy run-on sentence!). Anyway, I'm rambling. I decided to come up with my five favorite moments from the 2010-2011 Cavaliers season. And you know, it wasn't even that hard to come up with 5 even on an 18-63 team to be quite honest.

1. Beat the cHeat - I've celebrated championships for my teams enough before to know how that feels (great!) and while this win a few weeks ago wasn't at that level, it was pretty close. My fucking God did that feel good. The cHeat deserved that. #6 really deserved that and I think that it finally started allowing the fans to put him behind us. The best part of that game was my boy, Austin Carr, saying in the third quarter (before the Cavs blew a 22 point lead in about 30 seconds), "they need to get this lead up to FIFTY!"  For as bad as this year was, that ONE game made up for it entirely and then some.  You hear people say, "I don't care if we win one game this year as long as it's against such and such".  Well, the Cavs didn't win that many yet the season feels complete after that one game.
2. Making History - Ugh, that 26 game losing streak was even more painful when you watched them nightly. Most nights, I couldn't make it to halftime without turning it off for good. But on that Friday night against the Clips when it ended and the losing streak was finally stopped, whew, what a relief. Again, the best part of that game was AC singing "Hit The Road, Jack" at future Cav Baron Davis after he was ejected in overtime. Fuck you, Seal, because Austin Carr is THE FUCKING GREATEST OF ALL TIME!!!  CBS should get him and Gus together for the tournament.  Mind=blown.
3. Opening Night - To tip off the season, the Celtics beat the Heat (which was awesome) and then turned around the next night to play the new-look Cavs in Cleveland. And the Cavs beat them...fairly convincingly. It was weird because the fans were into it but weren't sure how the team would respond down the stretch but they kept fighting anyway. I said at the time that I was really proud of the Cavs for coming out and playing tough-ass basketball against one of the league's best teams. After such a tumultuous offseason, it was a great start to the season. My how that thought process would change...but at least we took 3 of 4 from the fag Knicks and split with the PissedOns. And since RyHo made Charlie Villanueva go fucking INSANE the other night, I consider that a win of the series (again).
4. Trading for Fat Baron and a Pick - At the time, Cleveland was blasted nationally for acquiring Fat Baron's fat contract but, you know, it ended up being a really good deal. Mo Williams appeared to be shell-shocked after his horrible playoff performances and Twitter threats of retiring. He needed a fresh start. And Baron needed to go somewhere that wasn't cursed (as much) and had an owner that wouldn't talk shit to him during the game. As the season wound down, I couldn't help but love watching Baron play. He's REALLY fun to watch. Plus, he looked he wanted to be here and he was having fun.  It makes me wonder what could have been if the Mo for Baron trade happened two years earlier. But back to the trade, obviously, the big chip is the unprotected Clippers pick this year which should land the Cavs two top ten picks as a means to rebuild quickly. As long as there aren't a ton of surprises on lottery night, the Cavs should have picks 2 and 8. With Rubio coming here next year, I don't see the Wolves taking a point. The Cavs need playmakers at the 1 and 3. I see either of these combos happening. They go Kyrie Erving/Terrence Jones or Harrison Barnes/Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight. And I would be happy with either package.  I don't see them going after a big at all.
5. The Fans - I'm not saying that Cavs fans are the best in the NBA because we'll get a good idea about that next year, but I will say that they deserve consideration for MVP this season. They averaged over 20K nightly at The Q for an 18 win team. They were THIRD in attendance. Now, I know what you're saying, the tickets were paid for but that doesn't mean they were used. Fair enough, but the local TV ratings had the Cavs as the 8th highest rated broadcasts in the league. So while everyone might not be heading downtown, they ARE watching. Well done, fellow fans, you were awesome this year. And hopefully you will be rewarded for your suffering sooner rather than later.

You might ask, "what about the dominating win over the Lakers in February?" to which I will say "fuck that noise". During the streak, I had grown accustomed to betting against the Cavs. The payouts weren't great, but it was REALLY easy money and after the Super Bowl (where I lost coin), I needed something to build my bankroll back up. So on that night, I decided to go all-in on the Lakers just to win the game, not even cover. Yet somehow, the Cavs crushed them that night and I went bust. Goddamn Cavs. Fuck you, Kobe.

Anyway, I'm pretty excited for the future and that begins in a few weeks with the draft lottery. Come on, Kyrie Erving! I really, REALLY want to sing Mr. Mister's "Kyrie" on Draft night. And put me down for a Lakers over Bulls Finals.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Cavs finished where I thought they would. The Bottom !

Irishman

GMoney said...

They were a .500 team with Baron though!

Drew said...

You are probably the only person in the world that would take J.J. Hickson over Greg Monroe. Good to be an individual though.

Grumpy said...

What's up with basketball guys wearing wide receiver numbers?

GMoney said...

Really? Monroe has a nice future but JJ is going to mushroom stamp him for years in the Central. Monroe is maybe a little more complete but Hickson has a much better offensive game.

Mr. Ace said...

Damn...it had been so long since we had to deal with Cavs basketball. You're either delusional or a masochist. There is nothing good about the Cavs....or the Pistons.

Daniel said...

I forgot to say yesterday, that it's an honor to be included with the likes of John Rocker on the front page. I've admired his work, strictly speaking as an Atlanta Braves fan of course, for a long time.

The Iceman said...

You're really celebrating 14 & 9 and calling that living up to expectations? You know who else averages around the same? Tayshaun Price. Nene Hilario. Lamar Odom. If that's what you're excited for then enjoy mediocrity. Gotta love a guy who's ceiling is Emeka Okafor. Hickson will never be the 20-10 guy Cavs fans insisted he would be when Lebron was still in town.

I also find it just hilarious that you're embracing Baron Davis. If he's even around next year, enjoy watching him mail in 50 games and trying to bitch his way out of town after the Cavs start off slow again. He's the NBA's Randy Moss.

I promise you the Pistons will be in the playoffs before the Cavs. Lock it up.

GMoney said...

What's wrong with being Nene or Odom? Both of those guys are really good players. I think that he grows into a 17/10 guy and for a non-lotto pick, that's really good.

Anyway, the first round gives us a KoKo/Byron James matchup. Worlds are colliding! KoKo put up an 18/9 game the other night! All Star!

Anonymous said...

Daniel- you just like Rocker because he says things out loud that you're too big of a snatch to say (unless you drank a bottle of liquor).

I am kind of looking forward to rooting against the Heat in the playoffs.

G- you don't know what its like to be a Pistons fan. They have multiple NBA titles in your lifetime. The Cavs do not and probably never will.

Dut

GMoney said...

Pistons fans re just like Tigers fans: white trash. So you're right, I don't know what its like to be them. I apologize.

The Iceman said...

Don't worry G$, Hickson will come back down to reality next year (even though this year's numbers were pretty average considering he was THE guy with all the injuries) when Varedouche comes back and Baron Davis has just flat out quit on the team. If Davis isn't back then you can always grasp at the glimmer of hope that Ramon Sessions is the real deal...which we all know he is not.

You're a Cavs fan and you're calling Detroit fans white trash. Have you been to Cleveland??

GMoney said...

You can deal with your weirdo projections all you want, but I deal in fact. Fact is that JJ's numbers have significantly improved every year.

And I'm interested to see how many non-lotto picks did better than 14/9 in their third year.

You lose. I win.

Tony B. said...

"It's been a few years (and probably will be longer) since I've followed a non-playoff team. In fact, it's been awhile since I've rooted for one of the worst teams in any league. I usually only support winners!"

Ummm- the 2010 Redskins?

The Iceman said...

And you can live in fantasy land for the rest of eternity. Keep in mind that until Lebron showed up this is who the Cavs were. Shitty. Unless you plan on landing another "once in every 20 year player" in this year's draft, get ready for mediocrity at best.

Carlos Boozer, Josh Smith, David West, Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Nenad Krstic, Luis Scola, Zach Randolph...just to name a few. My money is that Hickson doesn't even become Krstic at his best.

GMoney said...

Again with more projections and opinions. Can't you ever speak fact like I do?

The Iceman said...

Fact: 1996 - 2005: 1 playoff appearance.

2006 - 2010: 5 playoff appearances with Lebron

2011: worst record in the NBA after Lebron leaves...with Hickson putting up the best numbers of his career.

Those are the facts. I think it's fair to assume that J.J. Hickson and Baron Davis/Ramon Sessions don't have what it takes to make a playoff run next year. Unless you're a Cavs fan and you think that Varejao coming back and contributing "hustle points" translates to 20 more wins.

GMoney said...

Not the worst record in the league actually. I ought to smack you in the nuts for all of your lies today!

The Iceman said...

Second worst in the league...by 2 games. My mistake. I've GROSSLY underestimated the talent level of the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers.

I can't wait to see how Cleveland fucks up this year's lottery pick since there's not a no-brainer for them to get lucky with. I hope they take Jimmer Fredette...