You try to hide your neuroses. You tell yourself that this time it will be different. That the SI cover means nothing. That the rust doesn't matter. You tell yourself that the past is irrelevant. All those little catch phrases of defeat are just empty words. You tell yourself that LeBron and the Cavs are for real. You allow yourself to trust. You replace hope with faith.
And then that happens.
Sure it is only one game. It takes four to win. But the first half went so well. And then the second half was nightmare. The Cavs quit playing defense. The bench was useless. The offense reverted to 2007. It was LeBron and four men watching.
And yet the game was still there to be won in the final seconds. But they lost. LeBron had 49 points and they lost. LeBron's 49 was part of the problem. He did it all himself. The offense was just him at the top of the key. While everyone else just waited. Not good.
The worst case scenario happened. The Cavs lost home court and now that pressure --the pressure of an entire city and its 45 years of built up stress in now directly on the Cavs shoulders.
Is all lost? No. But man has it gotten a lot harder.