April 24, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Cavs/Wizards “Rivalry,” HBO Hard Knocks, and Kobe/LeBron Dreams

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

lebron-deshawn-fight

View from the Nation’s Capitol: “I’ve tried to watch Cleveland play this postseason, but it’s been unbearable. It’s been unfair to classify their games as competitions, they’ve been so lopsided. I cannot figure out if the Cavaliers are that good or if their opponents are that bad. I’m sure it’s somewhere in the middle. They got a uninterested Pistons team that already had vacations planned to start after Game 4, and now they have a Hawks team that has already lost five playoff games by double-digits and is decimated by injuries to starters Al Horford, Marvin Williams and now Joe Johnson, who sprained his ankle in the third quarter last night. 

I can only give the Cavaliers their props because they are incredibly focused and have been handling their business in a major way, eliminating all suspense before halftime of all of their games. But I get the feeling that James and the Cavaliers are pretty bored and wish that they had the Wizards to challenge them — or at least offer some entertaining fodder. [Michael Lee/Wizards Insider]

Needed more leaders: “The point is, the winning was preceded by the assertion of successful player leadership.  Too much of that veteran leadership was not in place nor as effective in 2008. In fact, too much of it was subtracted before the real games could even commence. [Joe] Jurevicius, [Ryan] Tucker and key defensive performers Daven Holly and Antwan Peek were unavailable for all but one regular-season contest between themselves, directly impairing four separate positional units.” [Mark Leonard/The OBR]

Both Lakers/Rockets and Celtics/Magic will be playing Game 7s.  Tell me that you are loving this…

How fitting is this? “If you’re HBO, it’s hard to think of a team you’d rather have on “Hard Knocks” more than the Cincinnati Bengals. You’re guaranteed to have at least one Chad Ocho Cinco meltdown, it might explain what Mike Brown does, or doesn’t do, for his general manager’s bonus and with this roster there’s likely to be some Andre Smith man-boob action. And that doesn’t even count the possibility of a Bengals’ arrest–which is always a pretty good possibility.” [JJ Cooper/NFL FanHouse]

I said it on Twitter last night, I’ll be shocked if Grady Sizemore isn’t moved down the order at some point in this Rays series: “I don’t blame Wedge for Grady Sizemore’s slump, but I do fault the manager for keeping him at the top of the lineup when it has been obvious for a few years that Sizemore is evolving into a power hitter.  I do blame Wedge for making excuses about his team’s excessive strikeouts. He knows they are damaging with runners on base, and it’s odd how a team that stresses seeing a lot of pitches and getting ahead in the count tends to dismiss the strikeout issue.” [Terry Pluto/Plain Dealer]

Not that I’d mind if the Lakers didn’t make it: “Thus, while it may pain us all to admit it, the showdown of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant wouldn’t just be ratings bonanza and epochal event. For die-hard fans, it’s the last best hope for these playoffs to produce something truly memorable. [...] I know that basketball isn’t theater. That it’s a team sport. And that those of us who do things like writing basketball blogs are supposed to be above things like hype. But even if you’re immune to mass culture, or favor J.R. Smith when it comes to pure fandom, you can’t deny the buildup.” [Bethlehem Shoals/TSB]

  • Alex

    Silly Rabbits … Trix are for Wizards fans …

    Championships are for the Cavs

  • Chris M

    “It’s a tired cliché to say that a rivalry cannot exist if one team always wins. I contend that a rivalry is very much alive so long as both sides continue to share hatred and contempt for each other.”

    Says a fan of the team that consistantly loses.

  • jimkanicki

    I agree with the Wizards blogger. Even this year with their win percentage at like .250 the Wizards played us tough and with more heart than anyone else. Including the Celts.

  • Chris M

    Also, as an afterthought, There probably needs to be animosity on both sides of the ball for this thought to be accurate. Unfortunately, I doubt that the Cavs actually “hate the Wizards.

    I would submit that the Wizards are nothing more than a nuisance.

  • Humboldt

    @Chris – speaking of tired cliches, can we please discontinue the use of the “opponent had vacation plans” metaphor to describe an underachieving playoff team? It’s annoying when these memes take root and find their way into every sports writer’s lexicon.

  • Chris M

    Agreed, 100%. I’ve seen it in every single Detroit series recap I’ve read so far.

  • Boomhauer

    I wish the Celts had won last night. I’m ready for some Cavs basketball again!

  • Swig

    But I get the feeling that James and the Cavaliers are pretty bored and wish that they had the Wizards to challenge them — or at least offer some entertaining fodder.

    Quality entertainment. Such as comments like this one.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig

    Ok fine. The Pistons didn’t have vacation plans…

    BUT THEY DID HAVE TEE TIMES!!!!

    (raises hand and searches for high five partners…)

  • Brendon

    Nah I have a softball game on Monday night. So I’m glad the Cavs play Wednesday. Man if we play the Celts, they are gonna have played 6 more games than us. That’s an extra series!

  • Oppie

    Man, talk about bitter, but it is enjoyable to hear them talk about getting back at the Cavs next year, “IF” they can stay healthy, which they’ve shown they can’t for the past couple years. However, I would say they were one of the best teams ever with the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Sure, the series had some interesting drama, but it’s hard to call it a rivalry when it’s been pretty one sided and will be even worse now since Lebron actually has a supporting cast.

  • The Other Tim

    The Bulls put up a good fight in “the greatest series ever” and Joakim Noah looks like he had some pretty sweet vacation plans.

  • Louis

    what’s terry pluto’s twitter name? this is driving me nuts

  • mendy

    @2:
    so the browns/steelers isn’t a rivalry? osu/michigan isn’t a rivalry? pretty lopsided battles as of late (over 5,000 days since there’s been a different winner in each match up as pointed out yesterday) and i don’t think anyone would argue that these aren’t rivalries.

  • Jay

    @ Craig – I’ll high five that one-good stuff.

    I think at this point the Cavs are bored of beating the Wizards in the first round. It was a nice change of pace to play the Pistons, who as a team had members who were pre-booked at Auto-Rama’s.

    @ mendy – excellent point. I work with a couple Squeeler fans, and although they disagree, I contest that Browns/Steelers rivalry is one of the best in the NFL.

  • TampaBrett

    lol @ the wizards..