I’m posting this from a plane! I know no one cares about media travel, especially media travel complaints, but I missed a flight today. Mostly it was due to my own stupidity. I figured I had enough time to post an amazing Leandro Barbosa (“We … are … championship”) video before hitting the road, but that wasn’t the case, due to road construction and Hertz delays. I should’ve left earlier, but it’s hard to be all that mad when I made it onto a flight two hours later (exit row seat after waiting on standby, no less) and got to witness (get it … witness?) what I saw last night. Or was it two nights ago? My senses of time and place are all messed up.
Anyway, the drive from my hotel to Pittsburgh featured just as much Cleveland sports talk radio as the previous morning, but nowhere near as much bravado as I heard yesterday. Instead of talking about the game we saw last night, Baskin & Phelps spent most of their airtime discussing how great the Cavs’ season was, how great they would’ve been without all of those injuries, and how they want almost every player to come back.
Kendrick Perkins, James Jones, Matthew Dellavedova, you name it. Whether they’re set to be unrestricted or restricted free agents, these hosts are still “ALL IN” with the current roster. The only one they weren’t so high on was J.R. Smith, who’d probably be crazy to opt out after playing the way he did in the NBA Finals.
Overall, the hosts’ takes were lukewarm. But they were still rather amusing.
— Here we go again. One of the hosts talked about how the Warriors are a “jump-shooting team,” and suggested that the Cavs DID THEM A FAVOR BY SLOWING THE PACE.
Why, you might ask?
Something about jump-shooters needing to have their legs fresh to make those jumpers, and supposedly the Cavs’ slow-it-down, iso style of offense allowed the Warriors to rest. Silly, I know. In fact, this is perhaps one of the dumbest bits of basketball analysis I’ve heard over the past couple months. Even Mark Jackson is shaking his head at this.
The Warriors played at the No. 1 pace all season. The Cavs slowed it down because they had no choice — with their decimated roster and lack of offensive talent other than LeBron, getting into a track meet with the Warriors would’ve meant four straight losses by 20+ points. Plus, this came from a guy who called for David Blatt to play Timofey Mozgov 24 hours earlier. Hopefully that same host secured one of those straws he was trying so desperately to grasp.
— The sports update guy broke in with the news that David Lee’s representative(s) and the Warriors are already working on figuring out a way to deal Lee to a team that’ll provide a bigger role. Just minutes after chastising a caller for questioning Kevin Love’s durability, one of the hosts talked about how he might fit in well with the Cavs.
“I like David Lee,” he said.
“I do, too,” said the other host, with the tone of someone confessing to eating ice cream for breakfast on a regular basis.
“This is a guy who was getting 20 and 12 just a couple years ago.”
So, if Bob Myers has it on good authority that the Cavs follow the advice of local sports talk hosts, he might want to call David Griffin.
And that was about it, as reception wasn’t as strong today for 92.3’s signal and the hosts weren’t in a mood to rip Oracle’s crowd like that one blowhard did yesterday. That might’ve been because the fans at The Q weren’t anything special. The hype man, who yells a bit of nonsense before the game and during every timeout, tried his hardest to get the fans going (“Alright Cavs fans, we need everybody to get back in the game right now … we are running out of time!”), but most of them knew what was happening.
With two minutes remaining in his team’s season, LeBron knew it too:
The people who run things at The Q are very, very good at reminding everyone that the game is being played in Cleveland, but even when James did exciting stuff to bring the Cavs to within two or four points, there was no time during the game where I couldn’t hear myself think. There wasn’t one instance where I felt like the crowd noise was punching me in the chest. That’s a regular occurrence during regular season Warriors home games. My dad thinks I should bring earplugs to games I cover at Oracle. He wouldn’t have that same concern if I was Cleveland Sports Guy.