The Cavs got the deuce! By beating the Park and Rec. Bucks 109-96 and the Chicago Bulls losing to New Jersey, Cleveland will be the second-seed in the playoffs that start this weekend. The only person more excited than me about that is Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Now he doesn’t have to go up against Shaq in the first round and won’t see him until the conference finals, if at all.
This is the biggest break in Cleveland sports since the Cavs won the lottery in 2003. Which is ironic because if that doesn’t happen, they aren’t in the position they are now. Being the second-seed is as much of a clear path to the conference finals as there can be in any playoffs. The Cavs open with the Wizards who are Agent Zero-less and Caron Butler-less and fading faster than Alex Rodriguez in October (I didn’t really want to use A-Rod as a comparison but the NYY are beating the Tribe like they are a double-A team so I needed to rip them a little bit. It’s all I got). Remember when Washington had the best record in the East and Eddie Jordan was coaching the Eastern All-Stars in Las Vegas? I barely do too. Let’s not write off the Wizards just yet only because as soon as we do that’s when the Cavs collapse and lose in biggest upset since Dikembe Mutombo was clutching the ball and crying in 1995 after his Nuggets beat Shawn Kemp and the Sonics in the first round. After all, this is Cleveland and if anyone knows how to lose games and fill a town with heartache, it’s Cleveland.
I sure hope Antawn Jamison isn’t doing this in two weeks.
(Quick side note: Since I brought up Kemp’s name, I remember in this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament when Memphis was playing Nevada in the second round. I was watching the game with two buddies when CBS showed the starting line-ups. There was Kemp on both teams. We joked about what the chances are they are both Shawn Kemp’s kids. It has to be at least a 50-percent chance, right?)
“Wait! I have how many kids?”
After the Wizards, it will be either Toronto Raptors or the New Jersey Nets. Personally, I would rather see the Raptors. They are a young team that hasn’t been to the playoffs before. The Nets are a team that scares me a little bit. They are kind of the wild card here. They are very talented with Kidd, Carter and Jefferson and the Cavs always seem to struggle with them. I’ll take my chances with Chris Bosh rather than a three-headed monster.
But for now, let’s just be happy the Cavs don’t have to play Miami or Detroit. Last night I refused to watch the Bulls game until the Cavs won. I got nervous when FSN Ohio kept giving updates on how the Nets were winning. I was a afraid they were going to jinx it, because after all, this is Cleveland. After the Cavs had the win locked up, I even opted to watch South Park and the Indians (who were getting a lashing from the Yankees, losing 9-2) rather than watch the Bulls. I was just afraid my watching would have forced a Bulls comeback. I only tuned in for the final five minutes. I’m convinced that since I was nervous and didn’t watch, I single-handedly led the Nets to the win. You’re welcome. Now the Cavs are the two-seed and can make a run deep into May, and hopefully June.
One more good thing about the playoffs, all the Cavs games will be on ESPN or ABC now. That means no more Fred McLoud on FSN. Thank goodness. I’ve made it clear that I can’t stand the man and they need Michael Reghi back. Reason No. 482 why; with 8:46 left in the game, the Cavs just went on a run to extend their lead to 91-77. Going into the TV timeout this is what McLoud said, “The Cavs can smell the second-seed… They just need a few more sniffs!” Wow. I don’t even know what to say. I’ll just leave it at that.
Of course, that means there will be plenty of Bill Walton. I love Bill Walton and find him entertaining. He might sound like an idiot some (most) of the time but at least he is something different but what he said last night might be the second dumbest thing I’ve heard (coming in directly behind McLoud’s sniffing line). Last night during the last few minutes of the Bulls lost, he said “Shaq has directly affected the NBA Championship the last eight years; winning or losing it.” So when San Antonio beat the Nets in 2003 and the Knicks in ‘99, some how, some way, even though Shaq wasn’t playing in the Finals, he directly affected the outcome. Interesting philosophy Bill.
Could you imagine a broadcast team of McLoud and Walton. Dear God, that would be awful. I rather listen to Ace of Base for days in a dark with the only light coming from a slow blinking strobe light. Thank goodness they will never team up.