For the first time in a long time, the start of the NBA season has held no attraction for me. Even pre-LeBron I was always excited when the season started and looked forward to watching games.
Not so much this season. I figured it was a hangover of sorts and a realization of the truth that is the NBA. After such a long and ultimately crushing baseball season I wasn't really ready to invest so much time and energy in another long campaign. Plus now that the Cavs are a legitimate NBA playoff team- the regular season is not that important anymore.
In football, you have one game a week and you can invest everything into those three hours. Each play is important as each game is worth so much. There are only 16 and you have to bring it each game.
In baseball basically they play everyday. You can count on there being a game. And while the schedule is twice as long as basketball, every game means something because at the end of the season, the playoffs can come down to one game.
In basketball- eight teams in every conference make the playoffs. While playoff positioning is worth something-- the truth is your seed doesn't mean too much. Home field can only mean so much in basketball. If you have a talent like LeBron- you have a chance to win four out of seven games against just about any team. Individual games really don't mean as much. Especially in the early season. Don't believe me- last season the Mavericks and Suns started the season 0-7 and ended up with the best two records in the league. And then Dallas lost in the first round and Phoenix lost in the second round. The best two teams did not even make to the conference finals. The NBA is all about the months of May and June.
So I while I have watched Cav games this season- most of the time I have surfing the net, playing Wordbattle on king.com or even reading with the game in the background. LeBron has been amazing but even with triple-doubles galore I have not got that excited.
Of the Cavs' 10 man rotation from last season's NBA finals run, the Cavs have playing playing with basically six of them. Anderson is a on beach in Brazil, Larry as usual is injured, Marshall is banged up and Snow is just starting to get to back on the court. This is not the Cavs team that will be playing at the end of the season so it has been hard to get too worked up.
Until tonight. The Cavs were taking on the Boston Celtics which has the best record in the league. In fact since game five in the ACLS, the Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox were a combined 28-1. God I am really starting to hate Boston.
I started looking up from my computer in the middle of the third quarter when Gooden started draining jumpers. By the start of the fourth, the laptop was put away. And the start of the fourth got me excited about basketball for the first time since June. Gooden and Z were getting every rebound. Sasha was making shots. LeBron was well LeBron.
And then the team went scoreless for four minutes. And I was like-- oh. And then the Cavs rose to the challenge and matched Boston's intensity. It was a playoff atmosphere for sure. And for the first time this season, I started to yell at the TV for a basketball game.
I yelled at Sasha's foul on Ray Allen. I gloated when Allen missed both and I groaned along with Austin Carr when LeBron held on to the ball and hoisted a three at the buzzer rather than run a play.
But in the overtime, the team and I mean the team and not just LeBron stepped up and won an important ball game. It was fun. And it might have been enough to wake up the fan in me.
Of course then when I check the boxscore and all five starters had to play well over 40 minutes with a game at Detroit tomorrow. That makes for a tough night but if the Cavs can pull off that win-- I promise not to tug on LeBron's cape for the rest of the year.