The Cavs have an incredible opportunity as they face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals starting tonight. It’s an opportunity to achieve greatness, and this is what most athletes crave more than anything.
Forget the 52-year championship drought in Cleveland. Forget about what happened last year. This is about an extremely talented Cavs team led by one of the all-time great players going up against another great team chasing history.
How things have changed. Several weeks ago we had guys like Colin Cowherd stating that Kevin Love would be leaving Cleveland, that Lebron James had to be reconsidering his decision to return and that David Blatt was a dead man walking.
Bill Simmons seemed to lose all perspective as he questioned whether Lebron was still the same player and whether this team could ever play together. He freely took shots at Love and Kyrie Irving. With Love there were obvious struggles (hardly surprising) while with Irving he was completely ignoring how Kyrie had embraced playing defense along with Blatt’s leadership.
Smart analysts, however, looked at the trades made by David Griffin and realized that they had made some very smart adjustments.
The journey begins tonight, and Nike kicks it off with a pretty awesome Lebron James commercial focused on the city of Cleveland.
Lebron has been all business so far and has focused more on the challenges ahead versus the idea of being home. But with this ad he reiterates the ultimate goal – a championship for the city of Cleveland.
Bill Simmons returned from his ESPN suspension with his annual NBA rankings, and this comment caught my attention:
[E]very 2015 Cavs home game is going to be appointment viewing. Even the ones against Philly and Utah. Everyone forgets how fantastic their home games were in 2009 and 2010, how much energy ripped through that building every night, and how LeBron always seemed to feed off his hometown peeps. They went 39-2 at home in 2009 with inferior talent, a clueless coach and a roster that couldn’t do 40 percent of the stuff that this 2015 Cavs team can do. These LeBron 2.0 home games are going to be a borderline religious experience. I really believe that. It’s just one of many reasons why they’re our 2015 League Pass champs.
The “clueless coach” line cracked me up. I still can’t believe I actually supported the idea of Mike Brown coming back here in 2013. While he was clueless in 2009 as Simmons pointed out, some of us didn’t realize just how bad Brown could be as a head coach until last season, which is one of the worst coaching jobs I’ve ever seen in Cleveland (and that’s saying something!).
In his article, Simmons also raves about David Blatt, so let’s hope he’s right about that one. So far Blatt is living up to his reputation as an innovative coach.