As the Cavs finish up this regular season, the team seems to have a collective attitude towards these meaningless games: “Been there, done that. Wake me when the playoffs begin.”
Last season, the Cavs took us on a beautiful ride during the regular season. I remember never being so excited to be a Cavs fan. LeBron was in full force while the offseason addition of Mo Williams was proving to be a steal for Cleveland. Huh? Cleveland never gets the Laker-style highway robbery deals.
Yes sir, that team was going to re-write the way we looked at Cleveland sports. We had won 66 games, and tied a record for the best home record in NBA history. During that regular season, we had experienced a ride exhilarating enough to have Cedar Point engineers drooling more than Pavlov’s dogs.
And as exciting as that regular season was, after the post-season had come and gone without a LeBron handshake, I had come to realize how truly worthless the regular season is to a contender. No one cared about the 66 wins. No one cared about Danny Ferry going all Danny Ocean on the Milwaukee Bucks for Mo Williams. No one cared about the home court record.
All I cared about was ignoring SportsCenter for the next month until the NBA Finals were over and I was finally safe from hearing another Sports Illustrated “Order your L.A. Lakers Championship DVD!” commercial.
Obviously the regular season is not unimportant. Of course, it’s necessary to first win enough games to even get into the playoffs and then after that obtaining the higher the seed, typically the better.
But for the Cavs purposes, after securing the top overall seed, they had nothing else to play for. At this point, they all have one simple question: When is the first round?
If we thought we were pissed about how empty the regular season felt after the post-season loss to Orlando, the team had to have been feeling emptier than Antoine Walker’s bank account.
People can talk all they want about how them not playing is ruining their chemistry. Sorry, I’m not buying it. Because if LeBron and company are out there playing with a “this is just a glorified practice” mentality, then that’s no good either. Plus, they should have two rounds to get back into the groove of things before facing a quality threat. And if LeBron says he is tired and would prefer to run on fresh legs for the playoffs, who are we to say no?
Sure, if I bought a ticket earlier in the season for this Orlando game today, I would have been pretty pissed. Let’s face it, I would have paid to see LeBron and the Cavs take on another Eastern power – not watch our third string in practice mode for the fourth quarter.
But I can promise you this: I would care less about that wasted ticket than Craig Sager cares about his classic black suit if I get to see just one Sports Illustrated “Get Your Cleveland Cavaliers Championship DVD!” commercial.