The schedule for the NBA Playoffs is out. This is the year Cleveland Cavalier fans get their vengeance on all the Michael Jordan memories that were thrust upon them.
Game 1 – Saturday, April 17th, 3pm at Cleveland
Game 2 – Monday, April 19th, 8pm at Cleveland
Game 3 – Thursday, April 22nd, 8pm at Chicago
Game 4 – Sunday, April 25th, 330pm at Chicago
Game 5 – Tuesday, April 27th at Cleveland (if needed)
Game 6 – Thursday, April 29th at Chicago (if needed)
Game 7 – Saturday, May 1st at Cleveland (if needed)
Bring it on!
Back when this site was on the SBNation network, we made a concerted effort to stick to all things Buckeyes, and not write about other teams, college or pro. The network had blogs from just about every team/sport out there, so we thought that writing about topics that weren’t related to Ohio State would be the equivalent of stepping on someone else’s turf.
Three things have happened since we agreed to that stance.
1) We’re not on the network anymore.
2) It’s spring, and there’s less OSU topics to cover daily.
3) I have an exclusive contract with Fox Sports Ohio and can’t discuss Buckeye football here, and I wanna write, dammit.
So I hereby change that policy. The BBC is a Buckeye-centered blog, but we’ll discuss whatever the hell we want from now on. When the Buckeye news hits, we’ll be all over it….but we’re going to expand the horizons a bit, too.
With that, comes discussion of the Cleveland Cavaliers (yay).
Tonight, the Cavs take on Atlanta is a virtually meaningless game. Cleveland has secured the #1 seed, and there is nothing left to gain. Same thing goes for the Hawks and their #3 slot being solid. This is the time for the main superstars to get some rest and prepare for Game 1 of the first round.
So, even though Shaquille O’Neal is activated and ready to play again, we won’t see him tonight. Same thing for LeBron James. I’m willing to bet that the rest of the starters get about 20 minutes in before they hit the bench.
The only genuine interest in the NBA tonight comes from two other teams. If Chicago wins tonight at Charlotte, the Bulls get the 8th seed and will be our first-round playoff opponent. If Chicago loses, and the Toronto Raptors win at home against the Knicks, we’ll play Toronto in the first round.
If both Chicago and Toronto lose, we get the Bulls.
The playoffs begin Saturday, but we’ll see when our first game is sometime tomorrow. If it’s against Chicago, expect a Sunday 1pm or 330pm tipoff. More potential viewers will give us the prime Sunday time slot.
Frankly, I want the Bulls. The perfect playoff run is being setup for us, and I want it.
Round 1 – Chicago. Revenge for all those Michael Jordan nightmares
Round 2 – Boston. They’re the 4th seed and in line to face us in the Conference Semifinals. Revenge for two years ago.
Round 3 – Orlando. Do I need to explain the revenge factor?
The Finals – L.A. Lakers. Let’s settle this once and for all.
The Finals – San Antonio. Revenge for 2007.
Either way, this weekend begins the quest for what Clevelanders deserve. A championship.
While you’re waiting….here’s a present for Cavalier fans everywhere. Rasheed Wallace scored on his own basket last night with nobody around him. Savor it. Nom nom nom.
Yesterday I posted a quick blurb about the Cavaliers and their fresh legs, but I think I need to go into a little bit more detail now.
A lot has been made about the Cavs potential for being “rusty” going into the next round of the playoffs, especially since they so quickly dispatched the Atlanta Hawks. I’m not buying it for a second.
These same people (Jon Barry, Charles Barkley, anonymous Cavs-haters online) told us that Atlanta would bite us hard in Game 1 because the Hawks had momentum, and the Cavaliers had been sitting around doing nothing for 9 days. I thought it was a bullshit argument then, and it’s a bullshit argument now.
For starters, it’s insulting to believe that the Cavs are “doing nothing” right now. Do you honestly think that the players are feasting on potato chips on the couch, watching Dr. Phil reruns? No, they’re practicing, watching game film on both Orlando and Boston, and fine-tuning their game (and dammit, they’d better be shooting free throws a LOT).
But the exercise they are completing today is enough to keep the body and mind motivated, but not to exhaust it. The same cannot be said about our next opponent, whoever it may be.
Tomorrow night, the Celtics and Magic will take the floor in Orlando for Game 6. Both teams are battered by a consistent string of long, intense games and they’ll have at least one more to endure before the Eastern Conference Finals begins. The Celtics, short-handed already, had to maneuver a minefield against Chicago (which included 7 overtimes), and the Magic, despite what their fans will tell you, had a rough go against Philadelphia until the Sixers realized they suck in Game 6.
This has led to a massive overage in minutes played.
Here’s the total number of minutes played by the starting fives for Orlando and Boston;
|Players name||Min played||Age|
And meanwhile, how many minutes have the Cavaliers’ logged in the playoffs?
The three top Celtic players will be over 500 minutes by the end of Game 6, and if Orlando somehow pulls out a series win, they’ll have their three best players with at least 400-450 minutes.
As for Pierce and Allen…..these are guys in their 30s, and they’ll have posted over 500 minutes each. That is GOING to hurt them by the time they have to visit Cleveland.
Which leads me to my next point – mileage. These teams have been on the road a LOT and that too wears a team out. The Cavs have had it easy in that category too;
Using Google Directions for mileage stats, I came up with the following numbers
Adding up the number of trips each team has had to take, here’s the total mileage that everybody has had to log;
Those are NOT small differences. If you’ve ever traveled long distance, you know like I do that it does not shake off easily. These teams have put in a LOT of traveling and that too will wear on them as the playoffs expand.
Yes, it’s true that these stats might not matter in the end, because for 48 minutes players can shake off anything. But it’s yet another example in a long laundry list that points towards the Cleveland Cavaliers becoming the 2009 Eastern Conference Champions.
The first point in that list being, of course, that the Cavs are a superior team.
Yesterday, my brother and I were getting ready to go to the game, having a bite to eat at Winking Lizard (I barely could eat….nasty stomach pains all week), when his friend (a Bulls fan) sent him a text message;
“Today is the 20th Anniversary of ‘The Shot’. Think they’ll have a ceremony?”
My brother’s reply was simple;
Of course, with the way the Cavaliers are playing in 2009, nobody in town is really thinking about that shot unless they’re being reminded of it by somebody whose team isn’t playing anymore. But this morning, I got to thinking about it. I did some research and came up with a very strange coincidence.
The only real box score I could come up with had the game starting at 7pm. My personal memory had put the game at 330pm (I was covering that game as the Cavaliers beat reporter for a now-defunct Cleveland newspaper), but it appears I’ve been overruled. That box score also says the game took 2 hours and 12 minutes to play.
If this box score is correct, then “The Shot” took place around 9:16pm that fateful night (I give about four minutes for tipoff, there wasn’t often a very lengthy pre-game show on TV back then.
Fast forward to the same exact moment 20 years later….last night.
This is what happened at 9:16pm last night;
I KNOW! Weird!
The only real difference is that LeBron acted like he’d been there before, and Jordan went into hysterics like he’d just gotten his first boner. That, and LeBron’s shot was 20 feet further out than Jordan’s.