Bar Crawler | March 2018

Your Cavs are like a rollercoaster, baby, baby

by Leslie Shirley Nielsen


I don’t much like rollercoasters. I tend to spill my cocktail on the first hill. Rollercoasters are worse when they involve my beloved Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2017-18 season.

The Cavs started the season losing seven out of 12 games. They then won 18 out of 19 until Isaiah Thomas came off the injured list, bringing his ego and no ‘game’ to back it up. This is when everything just went to crap. What transpired over the following weeks was, for a lifelong Cavs fan, downright terrifying. This team shouldn’t get its butt kicked on a nightly basis. I don’t know about you, but I’m not satisfied with just one championship while The Chosen One is still here. So far, this season has been a tough shot to swallow.

This is as crucial a year as any because LeBron’s contract is up at season’s end. (For the love of Joe Tait! Why does he have to hold us hostage like this year after year? Can’t he just sign a lengthy instead contract already?!) If we win ‘the big enchilada’ he will probably stay. If we lose, he might ride out his career elsewhere, trying to win more championships. What can this new Cavs team do?

It takes a lot for a basketball team to be very good: tons of talent, balance, good coaching and the hunger to win. Most importantly, you need rhythm and chemistry.

With the recent trades the Cavs made, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Before the trades, we were playing like Nickleback with a broken chipmunk behind the drum kit. Sorry, Isaiah Thomas. Koby Altman, the rookie general manager, pulled off what I consider a miracle. He got rid of older, uninspired players and brought in hungry, athletic players with three trades involving 10 players that somehow let the Cavs keep Brooklyn’s unprotected (aka – likely lottery) draft pick.

Quite a complex orchestration for a rookie GM, saving the team’s championship aspirations while protecting the direction of the franchise. I’ve never seen a team make more personnel changes in mid-season without it being a fire sale.

Larry Nance, Jr. could be better than his dad. Jordan Clarkson is still raw but can wow at both ends of the floor. Rodney Hood, when healthy, gives us a very long shooting guard who can shoot the lights out. George Hill is one best defensive point guards in the league. LeBron can be the maestro now and these young studio musicians can feed off of his genius and make the Cavs basketball’s equivalent to the Count Basie Orchestra.

At the least, they let us get off that damn roller coaster. Go Cavs!

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Basketball and music lover,

Leslie Shirley Nielsen