Ahh. Breathe it in people. Behold our nation's capital. Washington D.C in late April and early May.
So many sights; like the cherry blossoms in full bloom which are just gorgeous to see everywhere you turn.
So many sounds; you can almost hear our country's powerful government humming along at full speed.
So many scents; why, in May you can actually start to smell the bodies of those killed and discarded over the winter starting to thaw as they pop up from shallow graves.
The nation's capital is always among the league leaders when it comes to homicides. So what better a place for the Cavaliers to finally give that knife currently stuck between the Wizards' shoulder blades a final violent twist and turn? Knock them to the ground, kneel on their throats and shut them up for good. D.C.-style. What's one more death in the ‘Detroit of the Mid-Atlantic'?
Alas, I'm just not sure these Cavaliers are cut out for violence or killing. I still don't know whether they have it in them. I was pretty sure this series was over on Wednesday night until only the Wizards showed up and displayed anything closely related to fortitude and desire. There are days when these Cavs are like the kid who prefers singing in the choir to playing football with his friends.
Consistency in effort and in intensity would be terrific. But you know what? We've all gotten accustomed to hoping and wishing for that and settling for the Cavs to just ultimately get the job done.
We hoped for 50-plus wins and #1 or #2 seed in the playoffs. The Cavs delivered 45 wins and one of the top 4 seeds. Never looking like they were ‘all-in' at any time, they just got the job done and did what they had to do to secure the home court advantage in the first round. They never pushed until they were backed into a corner. Philly and Washington getting too close for comfort for that 4th seed? Let's beat Philly in Philly by a point. After time had expired. After the officials brought the 76ers back on the court due to a foul call.
That's the way this club does things. It's frustrating, it's maddening and it's inefficient. But at the end of the day they've simply gotten the job done. This is the defending Eastern Conference champion. This is a team that battled more injuries than a DC trauma unit and still did what they had to do (and nothing more) to secure home court for this series. They have some markers out there from the fans. A little something we owe them called faith and trust.
I have no idea if the Cavs will end this series tonight. They've shown no killer instinct at any point this season. It's typically not until they've allowed their beaten and bloodied foes the opportunity to scramble for and regain their guns that the Cavs have eventually gotten the job done. Your Cleveland Cavaliers could literally walk into the Verizon Center at 7pm tonight and walk out 3 hours later with either a 30-point series clinching victory or a 30-point Game 6 blowout loss and I wouldn't be able to force myself into being surprised. Right now, with this club, one is as likely as the other.
The good news is that tonight's ballgame is not a do-or-die situation for the Wine & Gold.
The bad news is that tonight's ballgame is not a do-or-die situation for the Wine & Gold.
I've learned to roll with it. This club hasn't failed us yet this year despite multiple opportunities to quit. They still have the game's best closer, despite his failure to close out Game 5 at home. There's still a chance they could come out with a sense of urgency tonight and take care of business in a hostile environment like they did last year in New Jersey in another Game 6 situation.
So relax Cavs fans. Take heart. There are very few teams as experienced as the Cavaliers at coming out and looking like Jessica Alba just days after you would have sworn they were Rosie O'Donnell.
I don't want to see this series go 7 games any more than you do. I don't want to see a hot, confident Wizards club back in ‘The Q' on Sunday after they just won there Wednesday in what amounts to a coin flip game to move on in the postseason. I don't want to think about Deshawn Stevenson celebrating at half-court with the rest of his ‘halfass-badass' teammates, all of them pounding their chests, holding out their jerseys and dancing on the Cavaliers logo.
But I think we're more worried about it than the Cavs are. I think they feel like they got this. It's under control. If not tonight, when it would be easier on everyone, then certainly on Sunday when their backs are to the wall.
I'm not sure they understand any other way.