By Matt Noonan
He’s coming back for one more visit and certainly it means nothing to the casual or overexcited NBA fan.
LeBron James and the Miami Heat will make their final stop in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday evening, as they face the Cavaliers for the fourth and final time this season, but again, this game means absolutely nothing, nada.
Most likely, Miami isn’t even concerned about this particular contest, but instead, they’re continuing to keep their attention on Boston and Chicago, who currently remain ahead of them in the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat will be playing in the playoffs in April, but the Cavaliers won’t.
It certainly has been a tumultuous year for the city of Cleveland, who not only was forced to watch the struggling Browns finish yet another NFL season with a losing record, but also, continue to remain haunted by James’s absence. Not a day goes by that Clevelanders don’t think about his obnoxious “decision,” which allowed LeBron to humiliate the city that he once loved, so he could tell the entire country, as well as the world that he was trading in his winter jacket for a surfboard in Miami.
Against the Cleveland Cavaliers this season, Miami has won all three meetings and with a win on Tuesday, they can make it a clean season sweep, but again, who really cares about this game?
Watching Miami play against Cleveland is pretty demoralizing, especially since the Cavaliers are experiencing one of their worst seasons in franchise history. Does anyone remember the 26-game losing streak that occurred this past season?
With just 14 wins, Cleveland should certainly be awarded the NBA’s “biggest flop of the year,” which would give the people in Ohio something to cheer about, right? Yet, that maybe a “slap in the face” to a city that continues to face economical challenges.
At certain times this season, the Cavaliers lost games. Although, they didn’t just lose games, they pretty much quit after the opening tip-off. In some ways it almost felt as if Cleveland fans were watching a local freshmen high school squad take on Duke or Ohio State, night after night, which most likely wouldn’t be pretty or fun.
Without James, the Cavaliers have averaged 94.7 points per game, which is 27th in the league and have allowed opponents to record roughly 105 points against them, which is 25th in the league. Yet, while these numbers may seem staggering, it is certainly safe to say that the Washington Wizards aren’t in too much trouble after all, right NBA fans?
LeBron has also made it his personal goal to humiliate his former team. Through three games, he has complied a stat char that features 86 points, 22 rebounds and 21 assists.
If you also look at three meetings between these two squads, the end score may seem close, but in reality, they weren’t.
* December 2, 2010 – Won 118- 90 @ Cleveland
* December 15, 2010 – Won 101 – 95 @ Miami
* January 31, 2011 – Won 117 – 90 @ Miami
Cleveland fans have the right to feel snubbed or even, forgotten. The Cavaliers may possibly end their regular season with less than 20 wins, which obviously hasn’t happened in quite some time, but what can be remembered is the fact that James clearly “broke their hearts” and this particular American city will never forgive him.
The city of Cleveland has not had the greatest luck most recently, especially in the 21st century with winning franchises. Fans need something to feel good about, but when the last championship arrived in 1964 during a NFL championship game between Cleveland and Baltimore, the drought will remain until one or two players can come rectify the situation.
Will Cleveland experience another episode of LeBron James through someone else, who knows, but for the meantime, a win on Tuesday against the Heat may actually make the state of Ohio smile a little wider on Wednesday morning.