Thursday, April 14, 2011
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.