It Just Might be Dynamite Time for Dan Gilbert, Cavs… Unfortunately

Driving home from the Q on Thursday night I began this conversation with myself.

“Don’t be irrational,” I thought. “It’s just one game.”

You’ve been saying all summer long that you hope to see this team play their way into the playoffs this season, only if it is for a few nights.

On paper, I really thought they could win 41 games.  Maybe I was just trying to make myself believe that.

Maybe I thought that if they did respond that way on the basketball court this season, after all that’s transpired off it,  the Cavaliers organization would send some type of message about Cleveland.  A message sent by actions as opposed to words, which reads: we’re still here, we’re still fighting.

For some reason I thought that would matter.  Only this team doesn’t fight, and it’s tough to believe that bothers them.

Once upon a time, long, long ago this season, the Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics.  I expect Vegas would favor the Celtics over the Heat if they were to collide in these playoffs this season.  Meaning I think Boston’s a better team, objectively.

The Cavaliers beat that better team this season, and did so without Mo Williams that night.  So don’t tell me it was impossible for Cleveland to go into the 4th quarter on Thursday trailing by EIGHT POINTS.

I mean let’s be real here.  Nobody was really even asking for a win.  Just hang around for a while, give the fans their money’s worth for an hour?  And for the love of World B. Free, don’t hug and pal around with him all night long either.

Worse yet, if you do chose to do that, you really better play hard enough to not trail by a ‘diff’ that needs more than two hands to calculate by halftime.

Oh, and simply please fellas, if you are going to get blown out of the gym, while making the on-court environment as warm and friendly as possible for the guy’s return, do not come out the next day and attempt to send the collective message that you all really weren’t being as friendly as it seemed to the guy.

That’s insulting.

By no means am I singling out the only guy who scored 20 points here either.  The only guy with enough stones to speak to the media the next day.  That comment is directed at each and everyone of the huggers and wannabe best friends wearing Wine and Gold, desperately hoping to catch an invite to his next South Beach sock hop.

Which brings us to an ironic juncture that leaves Dan Gilbert asking that same question Nike did.  What’s he supposed to do about all this?

I think he genuinely wanted to send the type of message I mentioned earlier heading into this season.  Sure there’s an assortment of marketing reasons why he would need a season like that right now,  waning interest to name one.  But I’m not going to be so naive as to think that Dan Gilbert doesn’t believe sports can mean more to a community than simply games played by world class athletes, making world class dollars.

I think he wanted to put a collective group of players on the floor that stood for and demonstrated teamwork, courage, and hard work moreso than any other team in the Association.  I think he wanted to do that for Cleveland, a city I think he genuinely loves.

I also think he’s addicted to winning though.  In sports, in business, in life, it’s all he knows.  I don’t know that he’s ever made decisions in life that he knew would result in losses.  He might have to now though.

After watching the worst regular season performance in Cavaliers history on Thursday, he has to know now that he can’t win with the majority of the players he currently employs.  They don’t resemble any of those things he wanted to stand for either.  It must be a pretty painful realization to come to for the guy, I’d imagine.

Fact is, Maurice Williams is his best player.  It was a playoff atmosphere to be sure on Thursday, and Maurice Williams played the way he typically plays in the playoffs.  Awful.  Every other player followed his lead.

The time has come to get much worse before we can ever think about being better again.  Trade everybody, cut them too if you have too.  Rebuild this thing from scratch.

Photo Credit:  Brendan Bowers / WFNY

  • Timothy

    I felt the same way once the game ended. I would definitely hold onto a couple of guys, but Andy, Antawn and, as much as I love the guy, Mo will all be well past their primes by the time the Cavs are ready to contend again. If we can get draft picks/prospects for those guys it might be time to cut bait and start over. I hear there will be some good small forwards in the draft this year…

  • Jason

    I completely 100% DISAGREE!!! They got outplayed by a better team with a huge motive to win! If Miami did not win that game The Big Three would have never lived it down and they knew that! We have no Big Man to shut down the paint and they took advantage of that!! Gibson played well and sessions verajo and Jamison had spurts but by no means should we have won that game other than Miami having a bad night! Fans take things way too far be a fan cheer for your team nobodys asking u to dedicate ur life into these players that come and go! Be happy for what we have and just saying trade him or trade him is the same thing from a fans standpoint as Lebron did to the city turn his back on them!! Chill out it’s a game to bring entertainment!!

  • Chris

    Before the season I was on the fence. I know blowing up the team and drftting is the best way for us to get a contender of a team, but my pride for my city and my team made me want to get that 8th seed playoff spot.

    The celtics game cemented that. I thought “these guys have a chip on their shoulder, they’re out to prove that they’re not some basement dwellers and they are going to fight hard”. Well, this was the biggest game we will have this season. Even IF we make the playoffs, it will still be the biggest game of the year. This was the time for the players to show the nation what they were made of.

    Oh, they showed us alright, it’s just not what we wanted to believe here in cleveland. They just universally bent over and let #6 have his way. You’re right, it’s like they heard he was having a pool party down in Miami and they wanted an invite.

    I’d have taken a loss by ANY margin if someone just knocked LeBron on his backside just once and sent a message that cleveland doesn’t lie down. Instead we look like a doormat. Thanks, cavs. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • WayneEmbrysKids

    I expect a bounceback tonight in Minnesota. I wonder how chummy Ramon Sessions will try to be in his return.

  • Desert Wahoo

    I just don’t see Hickson, Andy, and Mo doing their jobs. Disapointing for sure. Time to send them off.

  • Jack

    Did someone forget to send out the memo explaining that this was “bizarre delusions and even more bizarre realizations and subsequent disillusionment” week?

    First, players don’t care as much as fans and now the Cavs are really bad.

    So confused…

  • tsm

    I was at the blow it up stage before Thursday. Now I am done with the Cavs, and by extension done with the NBA. Why would anyone spend one dime to attend a game or waste time watching this team when they made it clear that they are only picking up a check and care not a whit about the fans? No effort, no knockdowns of Lequit and they even embraced him. I love basketball and want to see the teams I root for actually care. From this point forward it is my sons high school team, and my college team.
    The players in the NBA are one large team, and just separate into different uniforms for the games. Think back to the days of Mahorn, Barkley and Oakley, and try and imagine what one of them would have done to Lequit. In the paper today, they are talking tough and making excuses. Actions speak louder than words, and I have had enough of the actions of pro basketball players. I simply will not suppoprt the NBA with my money any longer.

  • tsm

    I was at the blow it up stage before Thursday. Now I am done with the Cavs, and by extension done with the NBA. Why would anyone spend one dime to attend a game or waste time watching this team when they made it clear that they are only picking up a check and care not a whit about the fans? No effort, no knockdowns of Lequit and they even embraced him. I love basketball and want to see the teams I root for actually care. From this point forward it is my sons high school team, and my college team.
    The players in the NBA are one large team, and just separate into different uniforms for the games. Think back to the days of Mahorn, Barkley and Oakley, and try and imagine what one of them would have done to Lequit. In the paper today, they are talking tough and making excuses. Actions speak louder than words, and I have had enough of the actions of pro basketball players. I simply will not support the NBA with my money any longer.

  • WayneEmbrysKids

    One game doesn’t change my opinion about anything. 1/82ndth of the season is all it was. I know it was more important to the fans than the players, but its a long season and it’s one game. DG and the fans may be freaking out, but Chris Grant needs to be level headed enough to stick to the plan. I’m following Byron Scott’s lead now.

  • Chris

    @#5: read #6. Some of us remember a time not that long ago when those guys on the court would have taken lebrons actions as a direct insult and would have been out for revenge. Maybe the writing has been on the wall fire a while that none of the players care too much, but to this degree?

  • Alex

    Trade EVEYONE but JJ. He is young enough to play for many years to come, and isnt a large strain on salary. Andy gone, solid role player but that’s not really what we need now, and he makes big dollars for a goon. Jamison, obviously should be first to go, makes lots of money, is old and doesnt have much left.

  • Mike

    Right now the only players on the team I would definitely want to keep are Gibson, Andy and JJ. I would keep Andy around regardless unless blown away by an offer, he would be exactly the vet presence I would want around. If your oldest player hustles on every play and always is running the court it will be much easier to motivate the rest of the young players to follow. Reminds me a lot of Rodman, probably be able to play a long time just out of sheer stubbornness.

  • jim

    Of course this team has to be blown up. That has been obvious since the day after the Debacle. The Cavs, as currently constructed, have a team full of solid contributors; it’s why their bench leads the league in scoring. At best, this will lead to a 7th or 8th seed in the playoffs and quick playoff exit. This also leads to the untenable situation we faced in the mid to late 90’s with the Cavs; mediocre teams with little chance to improve because of draft slotting.

    The best chance to improve is through the draft. That means getting as high a pick as possible which means losing. No one enjoys losing, but in the NBA it’s the best shot we have at becoming relevant again in 3-4 seasons.

  • WayneEmbrysKids

    I disagree that the 90s teams collapsed because of bad overall planning as opposed to short sightedness by Fratello when he wrestled power away from Embry, who had a longer term plan. Kemp was a bad move and everyone else knew it when it happened, and is a perfect example of what can happen if you base trade value on prior performace, but it doesn’t mean there is no trade that could be made that would improve the current roster enough to compete. I’m open to blowing up the team in conjunction with a plan, but not to changing the long term philosophy based on one game or even one month of games. Yes, they let the fans down Thursday, but weigh it for what it is and let’s not seriously suggest that emmotional decisions be made.

  • stin4u

    “Oh, and simply please fellas, if you are going to get blown out of the gym, while making the on-court environment as warm and friendly as possible for the guy’s return, do not come out the next day and attempt to send the collective message that you all really weren’t being as friendly as it seemed to the guy.”

    This, in heaping, HEAP-ING buckets full. Not buying any of the garbage any of these fools are spewing after that game.

  • Omar’s Magic Glove

    Well said two times WayneEmbry’sKids. There are a lot of basketball games left in this season and I actually think (hope) the team will get better this season as it progresses. I am not a supporter of dismantling the roster, but am hopeful for a trade that could improve the current team.

  • Dave

    Alex, I understand trading a lot of the guys, but I’d keep Boobie Gibson. He’s done everything the Cavs have ever asked him to do.

  • Shamrock

    This team was never as good as people thought around here it’s a shame it took you know who to deliver the wake up call but I’m glad because the delusion is over. This roster has noone of value other then maybe Mo Williams and I’m not sold on him. Everyone would be on the block if I were Chris Grant. Add to the picks they have and shed salary cap space for when basketball returns after the strike.

    Cavs down 50-31 in 2nd to Minnesota – enough said.

  • Chris

    @13: Man, if our players can’t even get up for big games, what’s the point in keeping them?

  • brownsfan019

    Team full of role players w/o a leader.

    Get a leader or ship ‘em out.

  • EdgewaterJoe

    The only way you get better in the NBA is to get superstars. The only way you get superstars in the NBA – especially in a city like Cleveland – is with lottery balls. The only way you get lots of lottery balls is to have a bad team. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s the only chance.

    So for all of the above, I say hit the detonator button and restart. I have no problem with it whatsoever …

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Blow it up. KaBoom. I think it will work out best for everyone. The fans get a new star, the players get new (playoff bound) teams. Not even a question to me.

  • Rich

    So the people saying we need to stick with the plan in this thread….still after getting destroyed Minnesota and handled by Detroit? Plan A is dead. Plan B needs to be in full-effect.

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