Blog Entry

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Posted on: December 5, 2010 1:19 am
Edited on: December 5, 2010 1:23 am
 
Posted by Royce Young



Leading up to LeBron James' return, the talk in Cleveland was all about how a player quit on his city. How he betrayed them. How he was a traitor. Cavalier fans brought signs to let him know. They chanted it at him. They yelled it at him. They wanted LeBron to know that he quit on them.

Well, they might want to give the current team the same treatment when the Cavs return home Dec. 18.

Following a 28-point drubbing by LeBron's Heat where the Cavs trailed by as much as 38 and pretty much let down a city ready to rally behind them, the Cavs went on the road to play the 4-15 Timberwolves. Not necessarily a sure thing win by any means, but a game you'd expect the Cavs to bounce back in. I mean, they had to still be stinging after the beating they took at the hands of the Heat and ready to rinse that blood off their hands.

Instead, the Wolves beat down the Cavs by 34, possibly sending the franchise to maybe its lowest point ever. Think about it - LeBron returns and instead of being intimidated by the animosity thrown at him, he drops a cold-blooded 38 points and leads his new team to a blowout win. Ouch. And when the Cavs take the floor the next time, they don't even come close to competing. After one quarter, Cleveland trailed by 13 and it just got worse and worse and worse, eventually snowballing into their worst loss of the season.

  Following the game, coach Byron Scott was pretty honest and candid with reporters. "We played like the word that starts with an s and ends with a t," he said. "To me we're playing like the worst basketball team in the NBA right now.''

Hard to argue, really.

LeBron blew the Cavs out twice. Once in Cleveland and then again against the Wolves. Whether it was because the team didn't have any fight in them and backed down or because there was some sort of emotional hill they couldn't get over, the fact is, these two losses look pretty bad.

(An aside here though: Props to the Wolves. They set a new franchise record with 18 3-pointers and shot nearly 70 percent from deep. Kevin Love was 5-5 from 3, Wesley Johnson 3-4 and Wayne Ellington 4-6. This of course wouldn't have been possible without the soft Cleveland defense, but the Wolves still had to make the shots, which they did at a ridiculous rate.)

You can almost - I said almost - excuse the loss to the Heat. A superior team with superior talent that was absolutely ready to annihilate the Cavs to stand up for their guy.  But taking an absolute beating from the Wolves? I don't know where you come up with an excuse for that. The only explanation really is that the team stinks, the players didn't play with any heart and basically, they packed it in pretty much after the opening tip.

There's still plenty of time to bounce back for these guys though. The Cavs are 7-12 and have 63 games left to re-inspire themselves and act like they're playing for something. But what was supposed to bring them together and give them something to feed off of in LeBron's return has had the opposite effect. They crumbled faster than Rich Rodriguez at a Josh Groban concert. Instead of rallying with a city and adhering by the "All For One" motto they go by, the Cavs just didn't respond. Again, the season is still young and Byron Scott is a good motivator. But these past few days are some of the darkest in the franchises history, no doubt.

The Cavs play their next two on the road with a game at Detroit Sunday night. All of a sudden, that matchup has become extremely important for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with the standings. Cleveland needs to bounce back and do it now. The team, the fans, the city, the franchise can't afford to continue to sink down into this hole. There's no time to pout. There's no time to think about LeBron.

The city is still feeling the sting from the whipping Heat administered and there's real potential here to do lasting damage to the fanbase if the team doesn't show some heart and guts from here on out. Cleveland fans have shown they're willing to fight for this team. But they haven't seen anything similar from the team. No doubt there isn't a ton of talent on the roster anymore, but that doesn't mean the Wolves are 34 points better than you.

When LeBron left, a lot almost felt like professional basketball in Cleveland followed him. The depression caused by The Decision was so heavy that there was a fear that the fanbase might feel so jilted that they gave up. But they didn't. They rallied behind their guys, showed up in force and were ready for vengeance when LeBron returned. Except their guys completely let them down. And then to follow that up with the embarrassment that was Friday night in Minnesota, well, how do you explain that to your fans?

Maybe it was all the hoopla surrounding LeBron's return. Maybe the team was distracted by all the outside noise and was over-focused and over-hyped for the game against the Heat and it carried over to Saturday's game in Minnesota. Or maybe these guys have followed their leader from last season and pretty much just quit on the city. They absolutely have time to redeem themselves, but hopefully it's not already too late.
Comments

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:02 am
 

Cleveland Bashers are Morons!

How many of you morons posting negatives about Cleveland have ever lived there?  None?   I lived in Cleveland for 8 years and I can tell you that you are dead wrong!  Any major city is going to have it's unique problems.  The main negative with Cleveland is the lake effect snow.  The rest of the year however, the climate is moderate.  Cleveland is a modern city with all of the shopping, restaurants and work opportunities of any other major city.  The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, which is a great attraction.  There is an incredible park system, not to mention a great beach that also runs for miles along Lake Erie.  The cost of living in Cleveland is less than many other major cities.  The education system is better than most other places.  Nearly every major concert tour stops there.  Sports is just one small part of the equation, but at least they have major sports teams.   How many of you bashers live where there is no local pro sports???  Sure, Cleveland has had it's sports heart breaks along the way, but look at how long the Red Sox went without a championship, not to mention the poor Cubs in Chicago.  You don't hear anyone saying Boston or Chicago are losers, do you?  Cleveland got a bad rap from late night TV hosts bashing it, trying to be funny.  Cleveland is a great place to live. 



Since: Jul 27, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2010 10:40 am
 

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

F U



Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2010 9:26 am
 

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Plainly put, everything about Cleveland sucks.  Have a great day.



Since: Sep 26, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2010 1:37 pm
 

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Well, clearly, Lebron is the biggest "quitter" in the history of the NBA and Cleveland sports.  However, I understand the points of the article's author.  Here is the thing though.  The team hasn't so much quit as realized that it has no scoring what so ever.  So, once they get down, they know that it is a foregone conclusion that they will lose.  There is talent on that team, especially defensively.  However, you have to score points, and the Cavs can not.



Since: Jul 19, 2009
Posted on: December 5, 2010 1:13 pm
 

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Maybe the Cavs can win the draft lotery.



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2010 5:22 am
 

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Did anyone expect anything different? The entire Cleveland roster is made up of player's that are on there in the first place because they were put around Lebron to create a winner..So all you have left is a bunch of role players without a leader.They need to go back & start from scratch from the most part...Keep your young guys around like Hickson, dump Williams,Parker,Moon,Jamison,Varajeo & maybe even Gibson & bring in some more young talent or some draft picks.Getting rid of those players even, scratch that..even just Williams & Jamison would save them like 22 million & clear some cap space.Varajeo isn't worth 7 million a year either! Take a page from The Raptors book (though they have a long way to go) to re build on the fly!



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2010 5:21 am
 

The real quitter in Cleveland? The current team

Did anyone expect anything different? The entire Cleveland roster is made up of player's that are on there in the first place because they were put around Lebron to create a winner..So all you have left is a bunch of role players without a leader.They need to go back & start from scratch from the most part...Keep your young guys around like Hickson, dump Williams,Parker,Moon,Jamison,Varajeo & maybe even Gibson & bring in some more young talent or some draft picks.Getting rid of those players even, scratch that..even just Williams & Jamison would save them like 22 million & clear some cap space.Varajeo isn't worth 7 million a year either! Take a page from The Raptors book (though they have a long way to go) to re build on the fly!


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