Links To The Present: February 1, 2011

February 1st, 2011 by Colin McGowan

“[LeBron] basically told me to keep getting better every day. Coming from a player like him and his caliber it means a lot. Everything he said was right; keep playing every day and help my team get better.” [Manny Harris via Mary Schmitt Boyer]

I mean, the streak wasn’t going to end in Miami. As WFNY’s Scott Sargent points out, the Cavs have a legitimate shot at stopping this skid against Indiana on Wednesday. Their schedule also gets considerably easier this month, with games against Memphis, Detroit, and Washington on the horizon. None of those teams are particularly good, but does anyone else look at those matchups and think to themselves “the other squad isĀ still considerably more talented than this Cavs team.”

Rob Oller writes about what he has coined “The Derision,” and the idea that the Cavs’ completely abhorrent play has gone largely unnoticed by the national media throughout the season, but given that, in any given game, an intelligent NBA fan probably wouldn’t give the Cavaliers more than about an 8% chance of winning, the Philadelphia 76ers’ infamous 9-73 is in play. He’s the first reputable writer of whom I am aware that has mentioned this possibility, but if the Cavs continue to sputter into oblivion for the next few weeks, he won’t be the last.

One of the running subplots of this season has been, in light of the Cavs’ futility, how long are fans going to stand by this team while it completely retools and starts enacting a plan for success some three or four years down the road. Bill Livingston talks to a Cavs season ticket holder who, like many, is incredibly frustrated by team as it is currently constructed. What I’m drawing from articles like this and a general sense of where Cleveland basketball fans are at emotionally via Twitter and the blogosphere, the Cavs desperately need to acquire an exciting young talent in the draft this summer. We’ve all been talking ourselves into Manny Harris and Christian Eyenga, but I think even the most optimistic Cavaliers supporters don’t see either of them as the engine of a playoff or championship team. We need Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams or Perry Jones and we need them to be good; even more importantly, we need them to exhibit the potential to be exceptional. If you’re a Wizards fan, sure, you hate seeing your team lose as regularly as it does, but at least John Wall has shown some baffling athleticism, solid point guard instincts, and you can envision a universe in which, through some success in the draft and a smart free agent signing here or there, the Wiz can enter into NBA relevance followed by years of title contention. Cavs fans’ eyes need to be aglow with the same glimmer if the Q is going to quake as it did for the past seven years.

On The Twitters

“Can this be right? Only 4 times in the past 25 years has the team with the worst record in the NBA won the draft lottery.” [realcavsfans]

“Even though I’m starting to sound like Dan Gilbert, but I’m becoming a big Manny Harris fan. This kid can play.” [Bob Finnan]

“Gotta say, every game Eyenga plays, he looks better and better.” [Jason Lloyd]