The NBA regular season is over and now the real season begins. The Cavs have struggled down the stretch and it raises some questions about how far they can go in the postseason. Back in February, the Cavs made a bunch of moves which they were hoping would make them a better team for the playoffs. The new look Cavs got off to a great start by crushing the Memphis Grizzlies in their first game together. Since then, it’s been anything but smooth sailing. But the idea behind the trades was always about the playoffs. Better defenders, tougher guys, experienced veterans: That’s what the Cavs sold us on. Now it’s time for them to live up to it.
I fully believe the trades/moves the Cavs made will result in another long playoff run. They made the right moves. Delonte West, Wally, Ben Wallace and Joe Smith are better players than the ones we gave away. However, those are not the moves I’m talking about. Before the season finale last night, the Cavs made their smartest move of the year and it shocked and inspired every Cavs fan across this great nation. Midway through the third quarter against Detroit in a game which neither team cared about, guess made his triumphant return to the Wine and Gold. That’s right. BILLY FREAKIN’ THOMAS!!!!
The hero of this blog has been signed for the rest of the year, the playoffs, and get this, all of next year. This is the smartest move made by Danny Ferry since he took over as GM. BILLY is an inspiration who never gave up on his dreams. He can be the emotional power this team needs to rally around. During his two ten-day contracts at the end of February and early March, the Cavs went 4-2 with him on the team. Without BILLY, the Cavs were 11-11. In the playoffs, all you need to be is one game over .500 for the series and you move on. BILLY can make that happen.
When I saw BILLY THOMAS enter the game last night, I felt like had I just seen Santa putting my presents under the tree. My phone wasn’t on me so I ran upstairs to get it so I could send a message to dedicated blogger Rosie. He beat me to the punch. He was at the game and at 9:06, this is what he sent me: Holy FUCKING BILLY THOMAS! WHERE DID HE COME FROM. I GAVE HIM A STANDING O WHILE THE PEPS NEXT TO ME SAID WHO THE F IS THAT?
Two things can be derived from that text message. One, true Cavs fans are as excited about this as they were when the Cavs won the Eastern Conference last year, and two, the guys next to Rosie aren’t true Cavs fans.
If, and when the Cavs win the East again, much will be made about how LeBron did it with a mediocre cast and all the same boring story lines from last year. Some talk will be about how the trades finally paned out and the team gelled together when it mattered. All that will be true, but the real reason behind the Cavs repeating as Eastern Conference champions will be the presence of BILLY THOMAS.
You loyal readers who have come to hang on my every word and who’s daily dose of J Beanie is your heroin, will have to make due without me for tomorrow and Monday. J Beanie will be out of commission. Sorry. And since the playoffs start this weekend, I better make my always right-on-the-money-Seal-is-jealous-how-good-I-am-at-predicting-things picks.
I’ll start with the Cavs, obviously. Besides the BILLY signing, the one thing the Cavs have going for them is they have the best player in the NBA (with respect to Kobe). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you can’t bet against this kid. He led the Cavs to the Finals last year with a team that wouldn’t even win the NBDL championship without him. This year’s team is better. Say what you will about the chemistry but one thing can easily overcome that, a superstar.
This is the third year in a row the Wizards and Cavs meet in the first round. I’ve heard people say it’s hard to beat at team three years in a row in the playoffs. Why? The winning team knows what it takes to beat the other team and they hold a psychological edge over them. As much as the Wizards try to play the “we want the Cavs” card, in the back of their mind they have to be thinking “oh God, we can’t lose to these guys again.” That little bit of doubt, or playing not to lose instead of to win, is stronger than any motivation talk you give yourself. Plus Washington still has to stop LBJ. You think LeBron is going to let DeShawn Stevenson stop him. Give me a break. I have a better chance of winning a Pulitzer for this blog than that happening. Every time someone talks smack to LeBron he responses. Remember that Toronto game, the Knicks game, even that Wizards game right after the trade. He won’t let the Cavs lose. Especially not the Wizards. Just won’t happen. Oh, and the Cavs have BILLY THOMAS.
Did you forget BILLY played on the Wizards? Think he might want to get them back?
IN THE EAST
Boston over Atlanta in four.
Cleveland over Washington in six.
Orlando over Toronto in six.
Detroit over Phily in five.
I like the Cavs-Celtics match-up. LeBron always plays well against Boston and the Cavs actually match-up well against them. If Ben can control KG, the Cavs will win the series. I think he’ll at least bother KG enough so make an impact an LeBron will do the rest. Cavs over Celtics in seven.
Detroit over Orlando in six.
Back where we were last year. Cleveland and Detroit. The way it should be in the East. This will be much tough match for the Cavs but I can’t pick against them. They split games in Detroit and when the Cavs go up 3-1 at home, Detroit just can’t recover. Too many memories of last year.
IN THE WEST
Lakers over Denver in five.
Utah over Rockets in seven. (How can you pick T-Mac to win a playoff series.)
San Antonio over Phoenix in seven.
Dallas over New Orleans in six. (I want NO but they are 0-11 in Dallas.)
Lakers over Utah in five.
San Antonio over Dallas in six.
As much as I hate it and don’t want it to happen, San Antonio over LA in seven.
equal NBA’s worst nightmare. A rematch last year’s finals. This time I think Cleveland will know what it takes. Cleveland in six.
OK, so that may be picking with my heart and not my head, but come on. You knew this was coming. When this happens, we can all thank… BILLY.
See you all Tuesday. Enjoy the weekend and the start of the playoffs.
One more BILLY photo for you. You know how hard it is to find him in a Cavs uniform? This is why the post is up so late today.