With the tipoff to game four just a few hours away, I thought I’d take a minute to reflect on this season’s wild postseason run. This playoff run has truly been a microcosm of what it’s been like to be a Cavs fan for the past 30 years – drama, injuries, buzzer-beating game winners and losers, unlikely heros, cosmic highs and crushing lows. It’s really had it all.
I’ll leave the stats and specifics to the talking heads on ESPN and those with a clearer mind and better memory than myself. But, it seems like every series, every game, we’re taken on a journey that leaves you feeling confident one moment, and desperate the next – cheering in jubilation one moment, and cursing the basketball gods moments later. I’m sure it’s like this for every sports fan of every team, but this postseason the rollercoaster seems to be on overdrive.
Take for example, the Boston series. A predictable sweep going in, but there were some rocky moments where you start doubting that this is “a Championship team.” Then, just when it seems things are clicking a little better, nerves have settled and momentum is back on our side; game four comes around and Kevin Love goes down with a playoff ending injury and JR gets suspended two games. WTF?
Next up, the Bulls. Their brilliant defense at moments looked like it was going to be too much for the short-handed Cavs to handle. These were slow, ugly games. And somehow, miraculously, LeBron’s game four buzzer-beater goes in despite a tragic jump-shooting night. The Cavs grind it out and win this series, but it wasn’t pretty. Serious fans know the Bulls were on paper the better team, so while our confidence builds, we know that whoever comes out of the West is going to be far greater challenge than the banged-up Bulls.
Atlanta. What can you say? Everyone knows Atlanta sucks and was gonna fold like a cheap suit. But, in this series Kyrie re-aggravates several lingering injuries and looks like a gimpy shell of his regular-season self. Delly steps up, but after a few Charley Hustle plays take out some weak knees and ankles, he’s labeled a villain by some, a hero by others – who knew at this moment just how important he was going to be in the finals.
Fast forward to the finals – two overtime games. Double-digit leads blown by the Cavs. Circa 2007-reminsient reliance on isolation ball. Delly treys. Kyrie’s Out. Outback Jesus. Shump’s slump. JR’s brainfarts. Triple-Doubles. Outstanding team and individual defense. Once again, I’m high. I’m low. I’m confident. I’m optimistic. I’m cautious… I’m #ALLin #ThisIsCLE