We realize that the average Cleveland sports fan has no real sense of success, so they don’t understand how to handle it.
This has become particularly evident in regards to the city’s basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Since the regular season ended, another non-playoff campaign just like everyone since the departure of LeBron James, nothing but good things have happened to Dan Gilbert’s franchise.
First, despite overwhelming odds, the Cavs got the first pick in the NBA Draft. Cleveland had the ninth worst record in the league, with just a little over 1% chance to get the pick, yet it came up for them.
Unbelievably, the next great thing that occurred was James returning to the franchise, still the best player in the sport, and this made the wine and gold an instant playoff team, and a contender for a title, even if nothing else was done.
Unlike James’ first tenure here, he started actively recruiting for the Cavs, and told all-star forward Kevin Love that they should team up and try to win titles in little ol’ Cleveland, Ohio.
So, GM David Griffin apparently has packaged this year’s first round pick, Andrew Wiggins and last year’s pick, Anthony Bennett sending them to Minnesota to bring Love to the Cavs.
The Cavaliers will now feature their own big three of James, Love, and two-time all-star Kyrie Irving, and are the favorite to win the Eastern Conference and advance to The Finals for the second time in history.
They’ve also added veterans Mike Miller, James Jones, and Shawn Marion, all with championship rings to add support for Cleveland’s all-star trio. And they may also add another well-accomplished veteran in Ray Allen soon.
Still, fans are complaining, worried that the team still needs a big man, someone who can block shots.
Let’s put it this way. If the Cavs suited us up with James, Love, and Irving, along with another member of the Cleveland blogging fraternity, they likely would make the playoffs.
This team is a definite title contender barring injury as currently constituted.
They have Irving and Matthew Dellavedova at point guard. At the wing spots, they can put James, Dion Waiters, Miller, and Marion on the floor. They will have Love at power forward and Anderson Varejao at center, or they can bring the latter off the bench, and use Tristan Thompson, who averaged almost a double double last season as a starter.
It is true that the last move to make would be someone who can block shots, and based on the moves made already, we have no doubt that Griffin will add one to those to the roster.
The Cavs still have several first round picks that can deal as well as some non-guaranteed contracts picked up in the deal that sent Carrick Felix to Utah.
That’s the beauty of the situation that has been created here, not only do the Cavs have James, Love, and Irving, but they aren’t hamstrung in the ability to make moves.
That’s why James structured his deal (two years with an opt out after the first year) the way he did. He saw what happened in Miami, where the Heat management didn’t want to go over the luxury tax threshold, and the Heat couldn’t add some younger pieces to keep the title train going.
If you aren’t optimistic about this basketball season, you would probably complain about the taxes if you won the lottery.
Some fans will still complain though, that’s the Cleveland way.