Tuesday, October 23, 2018 Medina 43°

Cavs Notes

Rick Noland: Nothing left to do, Cavs fans, but sit back and enjoy the ride

  • Pacers-Cavaliers-Basketball-11

    Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, right, celebrates with Cedi Osman, from Turkey, after James shot a game-winning three point shot in the second half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 98-95.



I’ve had the privilege of covering the Cavaliers for 32 consecutive seasons, so I’ve seen my share of NBA basketball, be it good or bad, terrific or lousy.

In this, the most confounding of those 32 seasons, I have but one piece of advice for fans: Enjoy every moment of it.

Don’t worry about how long it’s going to last or how it might end, because it’s going to end poorly for all but one team.

Don’t worry about what LeBron James may or may not do when the season is over. Instead, enjoy his greatness every second of every game he plays for the Cavs, because when he’s gone — whenever he’s gone — there’s a pretty good chance you’ll never see another like him.

In a nutshell, go crazy, figuratively, enjoying the craziest Cavs season I’ve seen since taking over this beat in 1986.

Your fourth-seeded team is up 3-2 on the fifth-seeded Indiana Pacers heading into Game 6 tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and your team has won an NBA-record 13 straight close-out games.

Even if that doesn’t go to 14 tonight, regroup and enjoy Game 7 at Quicken Loans Arena, because there’s nothing better in sports than a Game 7, no matter how nervous they make you.

Go ahead and scream at the television if you wish. Even throw something — preferably something soft, like a pillow — at it if you must.

Yell so loudly at Tyronn Lue for the coaching moves he does or doesn’t make that you wake up the kids.

Unleash venom at Kevin Love, who would be taking the power out of the power forward position if he weren’t playing center.

Question whether J.R. Smith will ever make a shot, because he just went a full game without doing so while taking all the shooting out of the shooting guard position.

By all means, wonder why the NBA doesn’t have better officials, and openly ask out loud — like so many in Northeast Ohio did Wednesday night — why James’ turnover on the baseline while battling Thaddeus Young with 26.3 seconds left didn’t warrant a video review.

Then be eternally grateful James’ block of Victor Oladipo could not be reviewed, because it was definitely goaltending, as the NBA confirmed Thursday.

Then again, LeBron made a 3-pointer anyway, so what’s the diff? Plus-3 instead of plus-1, Cavs, on the scoreboard at The Q, is all you ultimately care about, right?

It’s crazy, I tell you (in my best Rodney Dangerfield voice).

In fact, this Cavs team is so wacky, I’ve totally given up trying to figure it out. I suggest you do the same, for the sake of your own sanity.

Don’t think about the fact top-seeded Toronto, up 3-2 against No. 8 Washington, is having its own struggles.

Don’t look ahead to a potential Eastern Conference semifinal meeting with the Raptors.

Don’t think the Cavs are automatically going to win that series just because they’ve owned Toronto, because the series with Indiana isn’t over yet.

By all means, don’t look even further down the road, to a possible meeting with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the upstart Philadelphia 76ers, because it might not ever happen.

The Sixers might get eliminated prior to that.

Or the Cavs might get ousted.

But don’t think about the latter.

Just watch — and totally enjoy — as LeBron does things that have never been done on the hardwood.

Pray, if you wish, that Love wakes up and starts playing like an All-Star. Pray that George Hill’s back spasms go away. Or that Jose Calderon recaptures his magic. Or all the above.

Hope Kyle Korver continues to make shots. And that J.R. starts making shots, any kind of shots.

If you’re the superstitious sort, watch Game 6 at the exact same place, with the exact same people, as you watched Game 5. Eat the same breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Wear the same clothes, preferably freshly washed.

(I’m not the only person who does these kind of things when it comes to sports, am I?)

Cross your fingers that guys like Jordan Clarkson, Jeff Green, Rodney Hood and maybe even Cedi Osman and Tristan Thompson — remember them? — either make bigger contributions than they have so far or simply get a chance to make any kind of contribution.

Yell, scream, laugh, cry, rejoice, high-five a friend — or a complete stranger — and, above all else, enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Otherwise, you might end up the same as this season.


Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Follow him @RickNoland on Twitter.

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