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Ghosts of Cleveland Past

If I’m Dan Gilbert, there’s a bit of a problem going on in Quicken Loans Arena these first couple games. The ghosts of the heavily-favored, highly-touted 2007 Cleveland Browns team appears to have invaded my building and are still lurking as the team has lost as many games this year compared as the same all of last year.


Not since the 2007 NFL training camp and the echoes of “Super Bowl” that very first day have there been higher expectations for a Cleveland sports team. Sure, every year LeBron James dons the wine and gold there is a chance. But this year’s expectations have reached unseen heights compared to the past six years.


However, Mr. Gilbert can breathe a little easier knowing this start will undoubtedly not foreshadow what is to come. It was more of a wake-up call correctly identifying the obvious notion that this regular season is not the same as last year and numerous kinks still need repair. The issues thus far are candidly prevalent in finding a way to mesh with three new players all expected to play vital roles on this team. In addition, there are the ever lingering effects from Delonte West, whose worth proved to be invaluable in last year’s playoff run and even in his first game back.


But here’s the thing. The Cavaliers have an owner whose priority is not a “futbol” team across the Atlantic Ocean while his team in Cleveland is floundering week by week. No, Dan Gilbert has always possessed a strong belief in what he desires, and unlike Randy Lerner actually possesses a clear vision in order to achieve the end result.


The hard part for Cleveland fans will be the length of the regular season and the patience that will undoubtedly be required. As fans, we’ve done this before, and no doubt still have that dire “magic” taste still relatively fresh from last years premature playoff exit.


Sitting at the Q during a playoff game is vastly different from the regular season, with the exception of games against Boston. But patience must be a virtue this regular season, where the puzzle of this new roster comes together well before the word playoffs is even uttered.


What needs to be established is the same loose, but oh so tight basketball team that not only won games, but made a point to savor every aspect of each win, as starters rested throughout the fourth quarter and appeared as though they were at a comedy show as opposed to the remaining minutes of another Cleveland blowout.


That aura began to make its appearance against Washington as LeBron began the fourth quarter on the bench while the team completely took over the game. Certain aspects of the game, when in sync, make the Cavaliers nearly unbeatable.


  • Daniel Gibson shooting the three above 50% while at the same time amping up his perimeter defense to an unseen level
  • Anthony Parker taking over the role of Damon Jones and patiently awaiting a LeBron dime in the corner—yet Parker is able to grasp this amazingly complex concept called defense.
  • Mo Williams seemingly taking over the game while LeBron is able to grab an extended spell throughout the fourth


These are just three things that are noticeably clicking during Cavalier victories. You’ve got to believe this will only get better as the year goes on. It’s difficult to expect another regular season as fun as last year, but the game against Washington allowed everyone to take a breath and realize we still have almost every specific component from last year from which 66 games were won. There will still be off-games (i.e. Chicago), but the track to the playoffs is on the correct path and will only strengthen as the year progresses and the roles of each player are concretely established.


Patrick Fischbach

patrickfischbach@gmail.com

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