Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, June 09, 2007


The bar where I watched game one of the Finals basically cleared out at the end of the third quarter. After the game, those who remained looked like they were at a funeral.

I don't get it.

San Antonio is a great team with veteran players. It isn't out of spite that every national writer has picked the Spurs to win their fourth title in nine years.

Obviously the best case scenario was to win game one. But if short of a win, what happened was the next best thing. If you have to lose a game, let it be one when all of your faults are exposed. No false hope. But an eye opening slap to the face that tells you what you are up against.

The Cavs are playing with house money. So are we as fans. Those cursed losses of the past have nothing to do with this series. We are supposed to lose. The Spurs are the better team. Does that mean that I or the team are satisfied with just being happy to be here. Hell, no. But now the Cinderella dream of destiny is burst. If the Cavs are to win this series, they are going to have to work for it.

Z and Gooden will play much better. Both are emotional players even if only one shows it. Both will relax and focus and make our one true advantage-- rebounding return the rest of the series.

LeBron learned a lot last game. Sure, he did not play his best but the Spurs had a lot to do with it. If we have learned anything about this young man is that he plays better when he is doubted. He will not quit and he will not let his teammates quit.

To win this series, the coaching staff will have to make adjustments. Unlike early in the season or playoffs-- there is not time to wait and let injuries force the staff into making changes. Now is when Mike Brown has to grow up and shake his critics. He needs to use his knowledge and trust what the game is giving him rather than wait to see how it plays out.

He knows more about the game then I do. But even I can see that Larry is too injured to guard Parker. That Andy because he loves to rebound is a bad match-up for Duncan. The Cavs need Duncan's defender to stay at home and box out rather than chase rebounds as weird as that may sound.

That loss should snap the stars out of our veterans eyes and prove to our youngsters that they can only win if they play out of their minds. So rather than trying to force it, relax and just take the open shot and on defense play all out.

The Cavs can beat the Spurs. They just have to prove them can beat them four out of the next six games.

Monday, June 04, 2007

On to the finals

Before the playoffs started- I said that I was slightly disappointed that the Cavs got the easy road to the conference finals. And while that was insane- I feel somewhat justified.

You can read on the Internet how Washington would have beaten the Cavs if they were healthy. You can read on the Internet how New Jersey believes they should have beaten the Cavs. And the truth is the Cavs team that played those two teams is not the same team that will now play the Spurs.

All season this team under-achieved against inferior competetion. Part of it may have been youth. Part of it may have been LeBron saving himself until the moment he was really needed. Being down two games to the bully Pistons was the punch in the mouth, that LeBron needed to rise to the next level. And that greatness provided the confidence the Cavs needed to finish off game six.

Eight days ago- the national media threw LeBron under the bus for being a teammate. In fact other than criticism of LeBron, you had to struggle to see the Cavs mentioned on any of the national tv shows or websites. Now you have Duncan saying I hope they mention us being highlights of LeBron. While all picking the Spurs to win, the national media is hyping up LeBron so they can knock him down.

Championship experience counts but so does belief. The Cavs believe they have the best player in the world and that hero believes his teammates are good enough to win.

And while the Spurs have three titles, they are also the West team the Cavs are best suited to match up with. I have said this all playoffs during every game-- get me within 5 points with 5 minutes left and I will take my chances with LeBron. With the type of games the Spurs play-- we are suited to play this style.

And thoughts of the curse are gone for this series. Every painful loss of the past came when we were the better team. We were better than the Raiders before Red Right 88. You can't tell me the Broncos ever had a better team than we did. They just had Elway. We were better than Bulls the year of the shot but never after. We were better than Marlins and probaly even the Braves in 95. But now, this is playing with House money. I am not going to say it is good enough to be here-- although it feels so good-- but the Spurs are supposed to win. And we have a puncher's chance-- and a good chance because LeBron gives us a chance to win every game.

This should be fun.