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Ballsy: Exorcising the Cleveland Demons (& The Knicks Weekly)

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By CJ Aquilino
February 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm



The 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers have seasonal depression. This a pun (and not a very good one), and I apologize for it. The Cavs have been worse. Much worse. And I’m waiting on my apology.

Two days after the Cavaliers lost their record-setting 25th game in a row, their stink is still emanating around the NBA. It smells like my college roommate after he ate the Wednesday night, dining-hall Quiche. It smells like that Halloween, when my buddy decided it’d be a good idea to depict his “Garbage Man” costume by stapling actual garbage to his clothes. It smells like…oh wait, this game is gross (sorry). It just smells bad.

We all know the source of this stink: their incomplete roster. They were built as a supporting cast for a leading man that left, like if Jerry had ever left “Seinfeld.” Unfortunately, we saw what happened there (in both cases). And in both cases, it’s just been depressing. (I just said a small prayer that “The New Adventures of Old Christine” has been canceled by now. And then I watched that YouTube clip. And then I threw up.)

At the same time, and more importantly, we all know the solution. Dan Gilbert has got to clean house. It’s time to get rid of anyone currently affiliated with the Cleveland Cavaliers that LeBron James was friendly with. After that, it’ll be time to get rid of anyone that LeBron ever associated with. Then it’ll be time to axe anyone that ever spoke to him.  (And I’m talking everyone. The kid that used to get his coffee. His personal ass-wiper. Booby Gibson.)

Listen, the logic is clear. You’re not going to win fewer games. And honestly, it’s not like you had anyone to sell to your fans anyway. In the beginning, you were selling “suck it LeBron.” Now LeBron is sucking it — don’t you go gutter on me, kids — but now “it” is a yard-glass Margarita on the porch of his South Beach home. People just aren’t making the trip to the arena see Ryan Hollins. Because no one goes anywhere or does anything for the sake of Ryan Hollins. I am positive of that.

Either way, my message to Mr. Gilbert is simple: Don’t be proud and don’t be stupid. Gut. That. Team. Get whatever protected picks and 2011-12 expiring contracts you can (it’s called “collecting assets” — as in Wally Sczerbiak’s 08-09 expiring contract. You didn’t recognize this at the time, and it began a chain of events that ultimately lead to a late-night, drunken public rambling. (I know this, because NOBODY uses Comic Sans sober…and I mean nobody.) Your letter to the “so-called-King” would have absolutely looked like my Twitter account at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night (@thebigcdilly), if my Twitter account was run by a 15-year-old girl that had been sleeping with LeBron James for the past 7 years. Boom.)

The kicker: I just checked the weather in Cleveland. The forecast for today used the phrase “dangerously cold.”  Brutal. Oh, and football’s over. Oh, and they don’t have a hockey team. I only feel okay talking about this because I am, in fact, a Knicks fan. And we had (past tense), in fact, been terrible for the last 10 years. So suck it Cleve. And remember: the last team you beat, on December 18th (almost 2 months ago), was the New York Knickerbockers. Relish it. 

And while you do, enjoy a much-ballyhooed Knicks Weekly:

‘Melo & L.A.: Now I’m not the best gauge for these kinds of rumors (I didn’t buy that LeBron would share the spotlight in Miami, nor did I buy that Chris Bosh didn’t star as the Predator in the first “Predator” movie), but I’m just not buying this. It just so happens that the same day Denver says they want more from their Knicks deal, that a Bynum trade magically appears. Of the 3 things Denver apparently wants (savings now, young assets, and draft picks), L.A. can only supply one of them. Let us be reminded that Bynum is an extremely injury-prone big man that makes 13.7 MILLION DOLLARS this year. I’m assuming that our straight O.G. G.M (Mr. Donnie Walsh) sees right through this and will act accordingly. This probably means that someone’s about to get whacked. Cue The Godfather music.

Filthy-delphia: If the Knicks lost both games of this home-and-home against Philly, I was going to start plotting strategic non-violent attacks against the city of Philadelphia (Mental attacks, that is). Like most home-and-homes, they split…and I’ll take it. Philly plays hard and is our biggest threat to that 1st round playoff match-up against the Bulls (I think we can at least bring it to 7). Not to toot the enemy’s horn, but Iggy’s behind the back pass in that second game was effing phenomenal. I would love to have that guy on my team, as long as we had a provision in his contract that required my written consent for any shot he’d like to attempt from over 4 feet away. And if he took a pay cut. Either way, a solid Knicks win on Sunday.

Amar’e – The New Yawk Post’s back-page headline, after his PHENOMENAL 41-point- performance at home versus Philly was “Super Amar’e-O”. He was super, but it’s getting difficult to think about anything other than that headline.  My headline for that headline would be “The Day The New York Post Sports Section Just Stopped Caring.” In closing, Do Your Push-ups.

Mozgov Mojo — At this point the numbers don’t support it, but these past few games I’m slowly becoming convinced that Knicks play better when he’s on the floor. He occupies a man down-low, has gratefully accepted his role as a shot-blocker/rebounder/garbage-man-putback-dunker, and has continued to show limited signs of being an absolutely awesome post defender (emphasis on limited). I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a piece of him that you simply must respect. I can’t believe I already said that they might be a better team with him on the floor. I am so drunk right now.

What’s next: The Blake Show and then the Lake Show come to town. I’m EXTREMELY excited to see what Blake Griffin has in store for MSG (so excited that I passed on tix for tonight’s game, only to buy them to Blake’s visit to the Prudential Center on March 11th. Yes you read that correctly, I consensually purchased tickets to a New Jersey Nets game.  It has been my worst recession concession yet.) The rest of the weekend sees KoBe come to town, and then an “away” game in New Jersey. I predict that all Blake Griffin dunk-faces received by Knicks players tonight will be swiftly transferred to Brooke Lopez on Saturday. What a beautiful game.

Knicks Vid of The Week: “He Finished At The Rim”

NYK Record: 26-24 (6th in Eastern Conference)

CJ Aquilino is a guy who likes basketball more than any out-of-shape young white man should. He currently has two years left of NCAA eligibility.

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