Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the tag “LeBron James”

Can the Cavs avoid another Cleveland moment?

lebron james finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers did the improbable on Thursday night in forcing a Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors.

Tonight, they have the opportunity to do the seemingly impossible in delivering Cleveland its first major pro championship since 1964.

On that December afternoon at Municipal Stadium, the Cleveland Browns defeated the supposedly invincible Baltimore Colts – a similar situation facing the Cavs against a Warriors team that many were calling the NBA’s best ever after a 73-win regular season.

Tonight’s game will be just the second time since 1964 that a Cleveland team has been in a title-deciding game and, again, the situation has a familiar feel to it.

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Cavs four wins away from something special

When the NBA Finals tip off tonight at 9, it will mark the beginning of the end for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs entered the 2014-15 NBA season with raised expectations after the return of LeBron James, but even the most hardcore Cavs fan knew that tonight was far from a certainty. The team had a new coach who, while not a rookie in the true sense, was new to the NBA, and a roster full of players who had never been tested in the meat grinder of the NBA Playoffs.

“Anybody talking about us winning it all, I think they’re being unfair to those great NBA teams that are out there that have either won it or have been there to win it, and also to us as a team that’s talented but new,” head coach David Blatt said a few days before the season opener. “We have a lot of work to do before we can start claiming anything before it’s time.”

A large part of why the Cavs are one of the two teams still playing is due to the changes the squad made during the season.

There is probably no way the Cavs would be in the finals if Dion Waiters was on the team rather than Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith. And while general manager David Griffin may still have made the trade for Timofey Mozgov if Anderson Varajeo hadn’t suffered a season-ending injury, there is no way of knowing for sure. As good as Varajeo is, Mozgov brings a different dimension to the defense and the post-season may have played out differently if Varajeo was on the floor rather than Mozgov.

Even with a dominant presence like James on the roster, the Cavs are a team in just about every way you want to define that word, which is part of why the looming end of the season is a touch bittersweet.

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LeBron James realizes that there is no place like home

lebron comes homeTwo days ago when we wrote about how much had changed with the Cleveland Cavaliers over the past four years, the biggest unanswered question was just how much had changed for LeBron James.

We learned the answer today as James announced that he is indeed coming back to the Cavs in free agency.

“I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.”

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Four years has changed a lot for the Cleveland Cavaliers

lebron changes everythingFour years is a long time in the world of sports as players come and go; managers and coaches are hired, fired and rehired; and games are won and lost.

But sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same, especially when it comes to Cleveland sports.

Four years ago at this time, the Browns were embarking on yet another regime change. The Indians were meandering through another disappointing season.

And the Cavs were facing the biggest decision (pardon our word choice) in franchise history as they were in a fight to retain the services of free agent LeBron James.

Fast forward to now. The Tribe is stumbling through the season, currently sitting 6.5 games out of first place in the A.L. Central Division. The Browns are rebooting once again, with a new coach, a (mostly) new front office and a (probably) new quarterback.

And the Cavs once again find themselves working overtime to acquire James in free agency.

But this time it just feels different, especially for the Cavs.

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