The Cavs are waiting...

The Cleveland Cavaliers are waiting to play basketball, and this is a good thing.

It means they've rolled through their first two rounds, dominating two teams they should have dominated, in the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks.

It means they are healthy and rested, unlike last year's crushing first 2 1/2 rounds in which Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were treated like injured members of the show Survivor, voted off the island long before the finale.

It means they're playing their best basketball of the season, which many questioned throughout a 2015-2016 season of "turmoil," as last year's Eastern Conference representative in the NBA finals tried to find the cohesion to compete with last year's NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.

But the waiting is never easy, is it? Especially for fans who have been waiting for so damn long...

But you all know how this works. In the week since the last Cavaliers' playoff game, the mind starts to wander a bit. Will the Cavs get rusty? Will they lose games they shouldn't lose? Will some sorta wacky scenario happen in which the Miami Heat utilize some sorta Cuban voodoo to get into the Eastern Conference Finals, and exact odd revenge on LeBron leaving? When the Cavs get past whoever they are going to beat up in the ECF, will it allow Golden State the time to get healthy, when/if they blow through the Oklahoma City Thunder? If Golden State somehow loses to Oklahoma City...well...Dion Waiters.

Oh sure, there are some of you that are sitting there, all pious, on your thrones thinking, "No Jim, I don't think that at all." For all of you sanctimonious few, I give you Dion:
We're from Cleveland. This is what we do. We worry. We worry about everything. It's all this damn waiting...

So when I start off an article mentioning waiting, and it being a good thing, I kinda want to punch myself in the face. The only problem is, I believe it.

This has been a truly strange basketball season for Cleveland Cavaliers' fans, and we might as well talk about it while we're waiting. This is a team that went to the NBA Finals, with two of their three best players on the shelf, and then won two games-to-one against the vaunted Warriors. This is a team that fired their second year coach while in first place, and replaced him with a rookie head coach. This is a team that seemed off balance all year, first, without Kyrie Irving, who was still recovering from his broken knee-cap, suffered in last year's playoffs, and then with Irving, who just couldn't seem to find it.

On top of all of that, we had the typical social media fodder all season long, pondering Kevin Love's fitting in, team chemistry and LeBron James subtweeting. I mean, c'mon, it's the 21st century NBA.

Through it all, I couldn't help but ponder LeBron's "Chill-Mode," and his somewhat "mastery" of social media...even if it's just in his own eyes.

You see, it always seemed to be a waiting game for the Cavs and LeBron James. Why expend the energy during a regular season that was already pretty much written, when the real games would be in the playoffs. Sure, the team looked flustered and frustrated throughout the year. Waiting until the playoffs to kick into gear isn't some sort of *pause button, freezing the competitive nature of competitors.

That's utterly ridiculous.

Players want to win, even if the team dichotomy is to "wait."

Now this is generally where one of the pious steps in and says, "there's no way teams, on purpose, wait until the NBA playoffs to win basketball games."

I agree.

But there is nuance to any discussion. Shaquille O'Neal was a big proponent of not putting forth a 'full season' effort prior to the playoffs, and the San Antonio Spurs, behind Gregg Popovich has made it an art form over the years. It has its faults for sure, but one could make a case that the Cavs attrition last year was a clear-and-present thought in a full court press throughout the season.

Things aren't black-and-white, and whatever you believe, it's clear that what the Cavs are doing now is vastly different from what they did all year long. Maybe that was just jelling with new head coach, Tyronn Lue. Maybe it was a causation of Kyrie feeling comfortable with his knee, so that he could do Kyrie things. Maybe it was Kevin Love waiting for his "dropping dimes" commercial to hit the airwaves.

This isn't to ignore the talented West, but it's clear that Golden State is learning a bit about attrition. It's also equally important to note how talented Golden State truly is, watching them plow through teams without Stephan Curry.

Regardless of whether or not the Cavs were just figuring things out during the regular season, or waiting to put it all together in a purposeful manner, here we are, biding our time until the good guys open in the Eastern Conference Finals this coming Tuesday night in Cleveland...rested, ready, and hungry to win a championship.

In the meantime, the worst playoff series will end today, when either Miami or Toronto lumber their way towards the North Coast, while Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook work on unlocking Steve Kerr and his Golden State Warriors. The Cavs, in the meantime, are just in a holding pattern, doing their best to blend into the background...


Waiting...because they are sweeping teams.

Waiting...while they have time to prepare for the next series.

Waiting...while everyone else is busy beating the hell out of each other.

Waiting...and staying healthy.

We're all waiting....

...I think I can live with that.
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