Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 at 12:53 am  |  49 responses

Cleveland… rocks?

Does it? I’m asking a question here.

By Sam Rubenstein

It’s the night before the second leg of The Finals begins. NBA Finals veterans Lang and Ben have been all over the coverage so far, and now it’s time for me to join in. This will be my first ever trip to an NBA Finals game, and I’m looking forward to it. So first, let’s get the negative talk out of the way.

This has been the worst NBA Finals ever ever ever ever ever so far. Some people say Knicks-Rockets was worse, but because the Knicks are my team and I was young and ready to go to war for them back then, I disagree. Ditto for Knicks-Spurs. Games one and two of this series have not been particularly enjoyable to watch.

The venue. Well, at least its the first Finals game for a city. That is exciting. LeBron’s introduction should be over the top. Will the fans be able to overcome the sense of doom that comes with cheering for, let’s call them lambs headed to the slaughter? Hope so.

The city and the trip. Okay… my last road trip for SLAM was All-Star Weekend in Vegas. There is absolutely no possibility on this earth whatsoever that this trip will live up to that one. I will not compare the two, but I will say that it is quite the indictment of an NBA season when the championship round could struggle to live up to what the exhibition break established.

Those are the negatives. Now, will it be a short 3 day business trip of Spurs smackdowns, perhaps a close game 3 and coronation game 4? Do the Cavs have one big LeBron performance in them that could keep me and Lang there until Sunday night, forcing us to have a two-man film festival with Ocean’s Thirteen as the headliner? Is Daniel “Thanks for that nickname mom” Gibson going to be allowed by the powers that be to help out the aforementioned LeBron? Will Tony Parker cement his NBA Finals trophy by repeatedly blowing by someone who looks like his sneakers are made of cement? Will Popovich order his men to lay down and give Mike Brown a sympathy win? How will the refs try to extend the series and how big will Tim Duncan’s eyeballs get when he is staring in shock at a foul being called on him less than 3 seconds into game 3? Is there anyone else on the Cavs worth mentioning? So many questions. I was thinking about making a case for Cleveland here, and I’ve even got a whole paragraph with a ridiculous parallel to some events in Greek Mythology, but maybe I should just keep those thoughts to myself. It’s a little bit too, um, it’s just reaching.

And so on that note, it’s time to rest up for a trip to The Finals.

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  • http://yahoo.com DP

    First. I have to say Lang that no one but Boobie Gibson is worth recognizing over Lebron. Spurs will win the series, Tony will be MVP, and I hate to say this but they will be on your cover in the next two months. play wit it.

  • sixthman6

    The rockets-knicks finals wasnt a bad finals. It wasnt flashy or high-scoring, but it was competitive for 7 games. These finals are not competitive at all and thats why its the worse ever.

  • Drolfe

    At least if TP gets the MVP it will be a little unexpected/different. I’m rooting for the little French bastard in lieu of the Cavs, because i have given up hope. Any hope i did have has been squashed by the refreshingly negative posts on slamonline.(Daniel ‘thanks for the nickname Mom’ Gibson is excellent).

  • Chou

    Shouldn’t Kobe feel bad if Tony wins the Finals MVP over T-Robot?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    As someone who’s been to a bunch of both, I can attest that All-Star Weekend is often better than the Finals (unless it’s a Game Seven or one in which Michael Jordan plays a major role). I believe Ryan and Lang and Ben would agree with me here.

  • Nadav

    every post should end ubruptly from now on

  • Dillan

    The Frenchie is doing well because the rest of the team is playing well. Especially Tim Duncan dominating. Even defensive assignments become easier when the whole team is performing and Tim Duncan guarding your back. Shooting becomes easier when you know someone can rebound. Especially Tim Duncan taking up residence under the rim.

    As far as the finals is concerned, Only reason i’m watching is hoping for Lebron to make Great plays and for the Spurs to show what team ball is all about. Cleveland can have some Finals experience which should do them well in building for next year. Home court usually means at least 1 win and calls coming your way to help you.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    Just a simple question. I know that the Spurs (somehow?) deserved a cover.. but will it be good for the magazine sales?
    I mean I’m not hatin’ here because I loved good basketball but how about those casual fans?

  • Heri

    What’s sad is LeBron won’t see another Finals in a long time. The Eastern Conference teams will make moves in the next few months (Pistons, Bulls, Heat) and I don’t see the Cavs making it to the Finals in the near future. LeBron’s teammates have showed their weaknesses on the offensive end (Gooden, Ilgauskas, Pavlovic, Varejao, Hughes even if playing on one foot). Gibson on the other end might have a bright future, but at some point LeBron will have to ask for a trade if he doesn’t want to be another KG!

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    Man, at some point I’d really like to see Sasha Pavlovic in Lakers jersey.
    I don’t know why but I think he’d really be a good player alongside Kobe and Jermaine.
    Wait, did I really say Jermaine? Is it a done deal?

  • H to the izzo

    Does anyone have any information as to the wherabouts of Larry Hughes because I don’t think I’ve seen him since the playoffs(or the season for that matter)started

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jake Appleman

    You need to get the Polish sausage with french fries in it sandwich. I forget what it’s called. Go to an Indians game if you can. If you want to get lost drive south to exit 204 on 71, get some fast food at Burger King and try to find your way back to the highway. I nearly died once that way.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jake Appleman

    Oh and if you meet Jeff, Darrell and/or Larry, tell them Jake says hi. Also give a pound to any security guards for me.

  • Rod Strickland

    Is it me or does Boobie look like a non-inbred version of Rich Boy? Discuss.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    I’ve simulated game 3 on my NBA 2k7. The results are 102-101 Cavs win. James had a 10 assists but had 7 turnovers. LeBron scored 24 points on 8-19 shootings.
    Spurs were led by Manu with 27 points. I guess he took exception for that elbow. I just wanna jinx this game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    All-Star is definitely more “fun” than the Finals, though a thrilling Finals game more exciting. Sesa, our Finals issue sells well no matter who is on the cover, probably because people like the keepsake of the champion and like reliving their favorite sport’s title series. That said, my guess is that a LeBron Champion cover would sell better than another Duncan/Ginobili/TP version. We’ll see…
    BTW, Cavs are winning tonight. And Sam, when are you changing your blog name? I can hardly stand the suspense.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    @Ben Osborne.
    Maybe it’ll sell but will Pop allow those 3 to graze the SLAM cover? I also believed Cavs are winning tonite.

  • http://www.btnhboard.com Gambino

    I’m hoping the cavs win, I keep putting money down at the bookies in the hope they win something at least. I truly do believe they will win at least 1 game in this series

  • Joel O’s

    Why wouldn’t Pop allow them to grace the SLAM cover? He let Duncan sit on a throne of ice, haha.

  • Rod Strickland

    @Sesa the cover would probably be action shots from a game. Like the cover from ’05 with all three Spurs on it. The best Finals cover was from ’97, Pippen dunking on the Mail Man with the caption BOW DOWN!. Yeah, I’m old school, b-tches.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    Pop thinks that a champion should be humble and that’s why I think Elson won’t be with the Spurs next year because he pounded his chest and screaming after the dunk on game 1.

  • Boing Dynasty

    Sesa dont you think there should be a limit? Only one Sasha per team.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    @Boing Dynasty.
    Maybe Vujacic will be called Sasha, and Pavlovic will be called Al as in Aleksandar.

  • gelly

    I would go to war for the Knicks. In a second.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    @any columnist.
    How about givin’ me a nod should ever my prediction based on NBA 2k7 comes into a reality? or maybe just gave the video game some credit?

  • Dblizzy!

    I was young too, but from what I remember the Knicks-Rockets series wasn’t bad at all, you had marquee names in a competitive series. Not to mention that New York was involved. I guess i didn’t pay attention to ratings and such back then but I watched every game, even hung on while OJ was going crazy!

  • ForzaMilan

    I’d just like to point out that the Cavaliers have always been just a little bit better than people generaly give them credit for.

    I noticed that you have a flash advertisement for FREESTYLE ONLINE on the right side of your screen. Here’s a review. Concept: 10. 1v1 to 3v3 basketball, guilds, customizable player skills and appearance, short and addictive gameplay (5 minutes a game). If you compare it to console basketball games, which have been developing for a long time, it falls short (graphics and features and all) because the focus is on interactive street basketball gameplay. If you compare it to other casual online games (gunbound, o2jam, et al for those who know) it is superior. It might have limited appeal to girls. The game is tight. It’s not classic or groundbreaking, but it’s extremely well executed. an 8/10.

    Oh, in addition, it’s a free-to-play game.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    gunbound? o2jam? Are you going to say Ragnarok Online next?

  • http://slamonline.com mutoni

    if any of you happen to say that you enjoyed visiting cleveland, ichiro will punch you in the face. just so you know…

  • thomas

    haha! mutoni i was about to post that ichiro quote. classic.

  • Kiyan

    Z needs to step up, specially in the first half when he does most of his damage. He’s averaging 5.5 ppg so far …

  • http://www.myspace.com/mikebone Simmy Sosa

    Look guys, I like Tony Parker as much as the next guy, and he is playing very well but there is no way he is the MVP of this series. Tim is the key both offensively both scoring and dishing, and he’s our defensive anchor. Duncan is the reason Lebron has not been able to take flight this whole series. We are witnesses alright. Witnesses of a Cavs good ol’ fashioned donkey-stomping. Anyone who knows basketball knows Tim Duncan is THE GUY in San Antonio.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Just got to the hotel. The guy at the check-in desk kept on calling me “Brother Rubenstein.” That’s a new one.
    You will have to wait for the blog title/banner change Ben. It’s going to be an event. I’m guarding the secret.

  • hartadi

    damn i really hate duncan, but to think that no other power forward/center is as good fundamentally as duncan sumtime make me respect him. i think the nba should draft more “SKILFULL” power forward like him cause DONT YOU REALISE that there are actually plenty of good guards but very few power forwards. those good ones like KG are getting old and USA will be in trouble if they dont have strong inside player.

  • Holiday

    @ Hartadi, I think your definatly right about that, but at the same time a lot of our best players don’t go and play for us! I understand Wade opting for surgery but the last couple of dominant seasons for Shaq he wouldn’t play and I think they need to stick to one group of coachs and keep a team that stay’s together so they no each other real well!

  • http://espn.com Reggie Evans

    This series is not over by a long shot.

    Also, Ryan Jones told me that Tony Parker would not play half as well in Cleveland as he did in San Antonio.

  • Boing Dynasty

    Ya, Ryan Jones also told you Greg Oden would be a Buckeye next year…

  • Peter E

    Hey Y’all, Isn’t anyone showing some faith in “King James” and the King’s men??? Dudes, the Finals’ have only just begun;”Sumthin’s About t’happen”…Watch this space, because I believe We all are about to withness true “GREATNESS”.,,

  • rob stewart

    The worst Finals was Spurs/Pistons a few years back. Both teams played horrible and San Antonio won by default. Duncan was MVP and didn’t play well. It was as boring as this years finals has been thus far. It even lasted 7 games I think. I doubt this finals will take that long. Clevland 79 San An 88

  • Mike C.

    Have the Spurs ever closed out a championship series on their home court?

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    The Spurs won that game 7 against Detroit in San Antonio.
    They have been getting all of the calls ever since the Joey Crawford debacle. And now, the best chance for the Cavs is if the NBA calls phantom fouls on Tim Duncan – the other party in the Joey Crawford fiasco. I personally find that interesting.

  • thomas

    look if manu couldn’t win the finals mvp back when the spurs beat the pistons then tony parker is not going to win it this year end of story.

  • Chukaz

    There is no f*ckin’ way Tony gets the finals MVP! Manu couldn’t get it when he destroyed the Pistons in ’05 and Tony won’t be able to get that award either because the voters will come up with some lame reasons to why Timmy was more valuable.

  • Chukaz

    @Sam – No, cleveland doesn’t rock. No need to thank me for answering your question, it’s just common knowledge.

  • Grim Reaper

    Hey how many playoffs have the first two rounds been way more exciting than the last two? This sucks.

  • sixthman6

    Lebron just tried to pull and MJ and strip the ball from TD on the post…TD just shrugged him off..too cold..that last posession by the Cavs was horrible. How do you not call a timeout instead of settling for a broken play by Varejao?

  • Grim Reaper

    When can we start talking about the draft?

  • Analboy

    At least watching MJ loose was fun, with Lebron it’s just boring.

  • http://Slam.com Dan Schoedel