Cavaliers faithful, I have some awful news. It’s breaking, hot off the presses. Bruce Drennan doesn’t even know about this – we’re going to leave Windhorst, Broussard and Adande scratching their heads. It’s a revelation, biblical in scope and size. Big news, really.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are not going to make the playoffs.
Take a moment to collect yourselves. It’s shocking, I know – who would have thought? Don’t worry, though – this isn’t a cliffhanger. I’m going to tell you what it is in the hatch. What’s the next step? I feel your pain, man. I’m a hoops junkie too. I’ll watch whatever. Without our regular dose of Cavs post-season drama and (inevitable) disappointment, what do we do? Watch old tapes and cry?
No. We watch the playoffs. Why? Because the NBA playoffs are awesome. It would be a silly gesture of self-deprivation to not watch them just because the Wine and Gold are awful. However, we need not forsake our collective identity as Clevelandites just to watch the playoffs. There are some choices to be made, though. Obviously, you’re going to need a team to root for – but choosing that team isn’t something to be done lightly.You have to keep your loyalties in mind. Thus, without further adieu:
A Cleveland fan’s NBA postseason power rankings
(or, anyone but LeBron, dammit!)
Three things before we start: For brevity’s sake, I’m only doing the top 8 teams Clevelanders should root for. They’re in reverse order: eight being the least deserving of the group, one being the most. Also, these rankings are based on the playoff standings as of approximately 1:00AM on 4/12/2011.
8. Chicago Bulls
Why? They have a shot to win it all. It could therapeutic for all of us to watch a team we’re rooting for (even temporarily) go all the way. Moreover, they also have a good shot and kicking the crap out of the Heat in the Finals – and that would be awesome.
Why not? Two words: Benedict Boozer.
7. Boston Celtics
Why? First and foremost, you have to respect Boston to some degree. Sure, the Cavs had some vicious games against them in the past, and sometimes their behavior was questionable, but regardless: these guys play the game the right way. Dirty, ugly, and nasty. Rondo, who I’m predicting will come around when it is winnin’ time, is a joy to watch. They are the antithesis of the Heat in both culture and play. Not to mention, they have one of my all time favorite Cleveland players: the inimitable Delonte West.
6. San Antonio Spurs
Why? The Spurs are similar to the Celtics – sure, they villainously defeated the Cavaliers in our lone finals appearance, but damn, they are good. Moreover, they are a great franchise and they play the game the right way. Deserving of praise, certainly – and also a beacon of hope for the Cleveland faithful. With any luck – maybe a miracle – we can watch the Cavs grow into a juggernaut franchise like the Spurs.
Why not? They’ve won it enough, man! Spread the wealth.
5. Portland Trailblazers
Why? No one thought they could do it. They’ve had a season riddled with injuries – I’m sure it has been quite the roller coaster ride for the people in Portland. If Cleveland can love one thing, let it be the underdog.
Why not? To be honest, they probably can’t go all the way. No need to set yourself up for heartbreak here.
4. Dallas Mavericks
Why? Dirk. He is as loyal, lovable, and passionate as you can ask for from a superstar – everything that LeBron wasn’t. Dude is from Germany, but you’d think he was born and raised in Dallas.
Why not? Simple: Mark Cuban.
3. Indiana Pacers
Why? They’re not really that good of a team. They’re huge under dogs. They lack a bonafide, true superstar. What’s not to like!?
Why not? They’re probably going to lose in the first round. Same thing as the Blazers: no need to set ourselves up to fail.
2. Denver Nuggets
Why? They are our kindred spirits. This is another franchise and fan-base who was seen their superstar up and leave. Denver, I think, faired a little better than the Cavaliers – but still, the wound is similar. It is our moral duty to support this team! They understand our pain like few others. Also, the George Karl story is a very, very inspiring one. Seeing him bring home the trophy would make it all the more poignant.
Why not? John Elway played for Denver.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
Why? It’s easy math: Kevin Durant > LeBron James
Why not? I’ve got nothing. GO THUNDER!
This article originally appeared on LandLoyalty.com