By: Danny Cunningham
One of the first pieces I ever wrote was a piece called “Curing The Curse.” In this article I talked about all of the suffering that the City of Cleveland had gone through since our last major sports championship in 1964. My plans were to write multiple pieces corresponding with “Curing the Curse” when each of our teams finally won a championship, however far down the road that may be.
After a five year wait, the Cleveland Cavaliers are finally back in the playoffs, and against a familiar opponent too. It is very fitting that the match-up is the Boston Celtics.
Since the last time these two teams matched up in the playoffs the city of Cleveland has participated in a grand total of 1 playoff game that came in the form of the 2013 AL Wildcard game in which the Cleveland Indians lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0
In the two years before and the two years following that defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, the city of Cleveland has not experienced the playoffs. AT ALL.
For many Cavs fans, the last playoff image ingrained in their heads is LeBron ripping off his wine jersey with Cleveland across the front for the final time in the tunnel leaving the court in Boston.
While fans of each team look to the past match-ups that these franchises have had in the playoffs, the reality is that the scenario is incredibly different now than it was back in the previous LeBron era. Comparing both franchises, there has been an incredible amount of turnover in both organizations.
The days of the Big 3 in Boston are long past. There is no more Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen or Rajon Rondo . Doc Rivers has been replaced, and the roster completely turned over.
This is a different team in Boston, and almost the same could be said for the Cavaliers.
Since 2010 LeBron has gone and returned, and the roster has almost been completely turned over, with the exception of injured Anderson Varejao. The era of Mo Williams, Delonte West, Zydrunas Illgauskas, and Sasha Pavlovic is long forgotten. Mike Brown has been fired, returned, and fired once again.
While these franchises are the same, in many ways they have changed. The Cavs now have the upper hand and the new ‘Big 3.’ Overall the Cavs do have the stronger team, and a player by player breakdown would only further that claim. Sure, the Celtics might have the coaching edge with Brad Stevens, as well as a deeper bench led by Isaiah Thomas, but, Boston, Bill Simmons, and Celtics fans everywhere, sorry, it won’t be enough.
The Cavaliers led by LeBron, Kyrie, K Love, JR, Timo, and so on, are just too strong for the Boston Celtics. That’s just the way it is.
The Boston Celtics will end up being just the first bug on the windshield in the 2015 playoffs for the Cavaliers, and I am perfectly fine with that.
THE PARTY IS JUST BEGINNING.
Flood the streets Cleveland, enjoy this. The Cavaliers return to the playoffs brings us back to the territory where the city belongs to be. While the first round isn’t exactly the level of excitement we are hoping to reach, it is the beginning of our party.
This party that I have been speaking of since the very first edition of ‘Curing the Curse’ is just beginning. The city of Cleveland could not be more electric right now. The weather is turning and the Cavs are back where they belong, enjoy that.
If you haven’t heard, the Cavs are the odds-on favorites to win the NBA Title. How cool is that? When was the last time someone,
other than Sports Illustrated picked the city of Cleveland to win something of this magnitude.
I’m not here to promise you that the Cavs are going to win the NBA Title. Do I personally think it will happen? Yes. Does that mean it will? Obviously not, but I have been saying that they will win the East for awhile, that has to mean something, right?
In Cleveland, we know heartbreak more than anything. Yes, I realize how terrible that sounds, and in keeping with the optimistic attitude I’m conveying here, I will not name all of the heart breaking moments, but believe me I could. Our city needs to start with an optimistic attitude, do yourself a favor and start that now, and this playoff run will be that much more enjoyable for you.
Get downtown, soak up the moment, cheer for the Cavs, and be ready because the party is just beginning Cleveland, and believe me, it is going to get crazy.
Parade Watch: Approximately 7 Weeks away.