On Wednesday evening, the Cleveland Cavaliers will play a basketball game. As of this moments, they have no idea who they will be playing against or where there will be playing it. It will have been 10 days since their last game, and, in the event the Boston Celtics win Game 7 at home, it will be four more since the last time the Cavs played in Cleveland.
Think about this for a second: The last time the Cavs played a game within Quicken Loans Arena, the calendar had just flipped to May, people were still talking about LeBron James pretending to drink a beer, and James and Kyrie Irving combined to score 36 of the team’s 37 third-quarter points.
Snapchat had yet to announce (horrible) earnings.
Corey Kluber had yet to hurt his back.
James Comey was still Director of the FBI.
Marine Le Pen had yet to be shown the door by French voters.
The House had yet to vote on President Trump’s healthcare plan.
Stephen Hawking had yet to give us the news that we only have 100 years left on Earth.
The Cavs, meanwhile, are getting antsy.
“We’re itching to play, literally every time we go through somewhat of a walkthrough we’re ready to compete,” Kyrie Irving said following a recent practice. “You know it’s fun, at the same time, but still we want to get out there and play. You just got to try some new things these next few days in order for us to stay as sharp as we can going into Game 1.”
The team has continued on without scrimmaging since Game 4 against Toronto, focusing on conditioning and film—a delicate balance of both the physical and mental aspects of the game, all while attempting to avoid injury, Ty Lue’s paramount concern. Just this week, in a pickup game following practice, center Edy Taveres suffered a broken hand. It was in practice earlier this year when the team lost Chris Andersen to an ACL, and having a veteran team effectively means shrouding them all in bubble wrap outside of the 48 game minutes they play on a given night. Things are so different right now that Irving took to the post-practice podium while wearing Ugg slippers and socks with strawberries.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) May 13, 2017
Think off-the-glass alley oops or Dortmunder breaks are trolling? How about addressing the media in slippers while your two potential opponents are duking it out in last-second contests?
While the league may have missed an opportunity to feature a Game 7 instead of 48 minutes of illegal screens from the Golden State Warriors, Monday night’s game is one that not only every Cavs fan should be watching, but one that cannot get here soon enough given the layoff that has transpired since the team’s most recent sweep of a conference opponent.
This Week in #ActualSportswriting:
- “The Dictator’s Team” by Steve Fainaru (ESPN/E:60)1
- “The Bloodlines of America Run Through the Kentucky Derby” by Charlotte Wilder (SBNation)2
- “How Jim Kiick Fell Through The Cracks” by S.L. Price (MMQB)3
- “Aaron Hernandez’s Final Chapter” By Kevin Armstrong (NY Daily News)
- “Isaiah and LeBron” by Bill Simmons (The Ringer)
- “All Their Hoops and Dreams” by Tim Keown (ESPN The Magazine)
This Week in #ActualNonsportswriting:
- “Dwayne Johnson for President!” by Caity Weaver (GQ Magazine)4
- “Paris Hilton invented everything you’re doing in 2017, and she knows it” by Emila Petrarca (W Magazine)
- “Is the Gig Economy Working?” by Nathan Heller (The New Yorker)
- “The Startup Industry’s Toxic “Side Hustle” Fixation” by Katie Knibbs (The Ringer)
This Week in Tweets That Will Blow Your Mind:
Miles run in playoffs on avg by top 5:
Avg player of G7 winner will have run 10+ more miles than Cavs.
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) May 13, 2017
This Week in Announcements:
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- Those who wish to keep their politics and sports apart will have a tough time after reading this masterfully reported story. [↩]
- This one’s for Craig. [↩]
- Concussions are the worst. [↩]
- Celebrity profiles are tough to write for a variety of reasons, but this one—on the highest-paid actor in Hollywood—is very, very well done. [↩]