Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Call me nuts

It is the eve of the Cavs final regular season game. And call me a sadist, but I have been secretly pulling for the Cavs to match up with the Heat. I want no part of Washington without Arenas. What fun would that be? I know the safest route is what most would prefer, but the Cavs would either sweep the bulletless Wizards or under achieve and scare the crap out of us. Neither sounds like fun to me.

If we have learned anything about LeBron and his team, it is they need a challenge. Showing up on the court is just not enough. Blame whoever you want-- the coach or players-- but the evidence has been on display all season.

Thirty-two losses heading into tonight's finale. Fourteen of those losses can be labeled as competitive losses to playoff teams. On six other occasions we were blown out by a playoff team. For the most part against good teams, the Cavs were always at least close which has made the season extremely frustrating with what could have beens. It does not take a great leap to say that despite all of the teams flaws, this could have been easily a 60 win season. The other 12 losses can only be labelled as "bad" losses-- 11 of those to lottery teams plus the debacle to Orlando at home after the West trip. (I counted the first loss to Orlando as a competitive loss since Orlando was actually a good team then). Only one other of those losses was a blowout and that came at the hands of Golden State.

The Cavs are close. And for me, I think the best tonic for LeBron and this team in their growth is to throw them into the deep end. Bring on the Heat and the Pistons and let the chips fall where they may. Let the national media declare the Heat the favorites and lets find out if LeBron is actually who we dream him to be.

I want every game to mean something right from the start. Let Chicago take the waltz, I want to slam dance my way through the playoffs. Because it would not surprise me to see Toronto in the Eastern Conference finals against whoever survives this side of the bracket.

It's the playoffs, let's bring it right from the start. It is finals or bust anyway. Let's find out how real the King and his court are right away.

To be the best you need to beat the best. Let's try.