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.
- LeBron James' heavy workload not likely to change if Cavaliers want to get past Raptors
- Tristan Thompson ready when called, comes through with double-double in win over Pacers
- Ingraham: Cavs simply own the Raptors
- Better late than never: Cavaliers don't get first lead until overtime, still manage to beat Raptors in series opener
- Jim Ingraham: LeBron James gets an assist from his teammates for a change
- Jim Ingraham: It's Game 7 and it all comes down to this: Can LeBron James beat the Pacers?
- Crushing blow: Cavs facing Game 7 after falling flat with a chance to finish series against Pacers
- Lebron James scored 45 points, gets plenty of help as Cavaliers hold off Pacers in Game 7 showdown
- Cavs' season on the line today against Pacers
- Ingraham: The King's reign soaks Pacers in Game 5
- Cavs finally have strong third quarter in win over Pacers
- LeBron hits winner as Cavs down Pacers in Game 5
- Ready to take his shot: Cavaliers sharpshooter Kyle Korver won't be afraid to let it fly, but he also doesn't want to force anything
- Rick Noland: Cavaliers remain impossible to figure out
- Cavs hold off Pacers to tie playoff series
- Cavaliers suffer second-half collapse against Pacers, blow 17-point lead to trail series 2-1
- Kevin Love: Cavaliers not feeling down, but know they can't afford to fall behind 3-1 to Pacers
- Jim Ingraham: The stage and stakes are looking overwhelming to every Cavalier not named LeBron James
- Noland: Current Cavs roster conjuring ghosts of bad supporting casts past
- LeBron James takes control early, scores 46 points to lead Cavs past Pacers
- Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith step in and up in Game 2
- Jim Ingraham: Cavaliers use a whole lot of LeBron to win Game 2, even series
- Cavs: Kyle Korver ready to go after trying times
- Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says All-Stars LeBron James, Kevin Love have to be more aggressive
- Cavaliers can't overcome rough start, awful shooting, drop playoff opener to Pacers
- Cavaliers' new lineup lacks aggression, execution in loss to Pacers
- Cavaliers Playoffs: LeBron James owns openers and is ready for new challenge from Pacers
- Jim Ingraham: Someone should tell the Cavaliers the playoffs have started
- Commentary: A slogan's real purpose -- Whatever It Takes for teams to take more money from fans
- Cavaliers Playoff Preview: LeBron James the lone constant -- and the reason for hope -- in a season of upheaval
- NBA Playoffs: What the Cavs need now is Love, Kevin Love -- he must pick up the slack in the postseason without Kyrie Irving
- Cavaliers Commentary: The secret to success is simple -- a whole lot of LeBron James
- Going deep: Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue plans to use 10 players in first round of playoffs against Pacers, adjust if necessary going forward