It never ceases to amaze us on the craziness of Cleveland as a sports city.
We guess until we finally win the coveted championship we’ve waited for over sixty years, it will not change.
Usually, the insanity revolves around the Cleveland Browns, but today’s piece is about the franchise that clinched a playoff spot last night, the Cavaliers.
Making the playoffs is a bit anti-climatic, since the Cavs have won 26 of their last 32 games, and since the hot streak started, we all knew they were going to make the post-season.
But the craziness is about resting the team’s best players: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love.
Love missed the last two games of the last trip the team was on, sitting out against the Magic and Heat, and when it was reported that James missed the shoot around prior to yesterday’s contest vs. the Pacers, the argument started again.
There is no doubt James is sore at this time of year, but he shares that along with most of the sport’s players. He’s 30 years old, and to be sure his back and knees probably feel much older than that at this point in the season.
However, yesterday, he had a cold! Most of us go to work and perform our everyday functions with a cold. We take some medicine and go about our day.
There were those who said James should sit out, and there were even callers on local sports talk stations advocating that James sit out the rest of the season to have him completely healthy for the playoffs.
That is ridiculous, and those people probably don’t own a calendar.
The regular season ends on April 15th, which for you non-math majors is 25 days away. That would be almost four weeks.
Do we really want LeBron James going into the playoffs having sat for four weeks?
Remember the 2008-09 playoffs, when the Cavs vanquished both of their foes in the first two rounds of the playoffs in four games, and had to sit for a week waiting for Orlando to advance?
The Cavs got a little stale and lost game one at home, and could never regain the home court advantage, nor the momentum they had going after sweeping the first two rounds.
Plus, despite LeBron’s protests, it is better for David Blatt’s team to get the #2 seed in the East and have home court advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.
And with Chicago just 2-1/2 games behind and playing well as of late, the wine and gold still need to win some more contests.
The guess here is the Cavs can accomplish winning the division, thus clinching one of the top three seeds, probably #2 since Toronto is now three games back, with at least a week to spare.
That means Blatt can sit James, Irving, and Love for a full week if they all want to before the playoffs get underway. That would be plenty of time to ease their collective bumps and bruises.
Plus, after this three game trip to Milwaukee, Memphis, and Brooklyn, the Cavaliers will be at home for seven of their next nine games.
Included in those home games are contests against the Sixers, Celtics, and Pistons. If Blatt were to rest James in any of those games, it would be understandable.
Look we all want the Cavs to win the NBA title this year, but locking LeBron James in a vault for the rest of the regular season isn’t the answer either.
We trust James and Blatt to work together to get the league’s best player the rest he needs heading into the playoffs. Let’s not forget the wine and gold still need to win some games in the regular season too.