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The Other Side: Cleveland Cavaliers


This is what I'm going to do when the Wizards fans start to boo me. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)


Wasn't it just perfect that LeBron James christened his "crab dribble" in an area known for its crabs? James's infamous three-step jaunt to the basket -- and the subsequent traveling call by gutsy referee Bill Spooner -- added another chapter to a rivalry that has been quite one-sided, in Cleveland's favor, in recent years.

Two teams that were separated by just two games last season now find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum, with the Washington Wizards having the worst record in the Eastern Conference and praying for some lottery luck and the Cleveland Cavaliers having the league's best record and focused on winning the first NBA championship in franchise history. That hasn't kept each of the two games this season from being decided by less than five points, with each team winning at home.

Cleveland comes to town riding a season-high and franchise-record 13-game winning streak. Here's what else you should know about the Cavaliers as they prepare to play the Wizards tonight at Verizon Center:

1. LeBron James Is Making a Strong MVP Case
Is this thing really supposed to be a race? The Cavaliers recently created a Web site, LeBronIsReallyReallyReallyReallyReallyReallyGood.com, to support the could-be King. He's putting up incredible numbers, his team has the best record, and who else is sitting down with Steve Kroft for interviews on "60 Minutes"? His hometown of Akron is also delivering the message that LBJ is MVP.

2. Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert Is Committed to Winning
The Cavaliers aren't good just because of LeBron James. They also have an owner in Dan Gilbert, who is trying to spend money to win a championship. Cleveland has a $91 million payroll this season. Guess who is the highest paid player? You're right if you said ... Ben Wallace.

3. The Cavs Are Cleveland's Best Hope for a Championship
The pre-game rituals have been entertaining, but behind all of the clowning is a serious team. Cleveland has not won a championship since the Browns won the NFL championship 1964. The past 45 years have been filled with misery and pain, but the Cavaliers have finally given its fans legitimate hope for a title.

By Michael Lee  |  April 2, 2009; 4:23 PM ET
 
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Next: Proof That LeBron Is Human

Comments

MVPs aren't cry babies, and cry babies don't make MVP. Kobe should win the MVP this year, although Wade has a Jordanesque will to win.

And please tell Mike Brown to stop fawning over Lebron.

The one dude on that team that can make them champions is Ben Wallace, which is why he is paid the most.

I suspect Lebron is the one superstar that has the largest following rooting against him.

Posted by: Izman | April 2, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Now just think about this Wiz fans and fellow bloggers this use to be a rivalry i mean back in the day before LaTravel it was Jim Chones,Bingo Smith, and Austin Carr against Elvin,Wes, and Bobby Dandridge and the like, playoff basket ball now after the GM has ruined the season,we have the nerve to criticize our teams first round exit the last three years at the hands of the Cavaliers two of those exits without Gilbert!! and now all we have to look forward to is the ping pong ball championship!!! my how times have changed.

Posted by: dargregmag | April 2, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

i know we're all wiz/bullets fans here, but we can't be delusional "homers" all the time. Lebron avgs 28, 7 and 7 and heis team is first in the conference. Don't hate on him cuz we're terrible. Barring a 60 point 20 assist game by Gil tonight, Lebron will be the only thing worth watching during the game. Go wiz

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | April 2, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

according to wilbon's article the Big "O" was also fawning over Lebron. He sure didn't say ben wallace could avg a triple double.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | April 2, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

lebron is a monster but he is not a likable guy for any hater, he cries incessantly, and in response the league is even considering legalizing his signature move, the travel or crab dribble, the league kisses his ass because he makes everyone money not just himself, it makes sense but is maddening to see over and over again, nothing new in the nba though, additionally he stole garnett's pregame chalk throwing/clapping and acts like it's his move, the pregame picture deal is ridiculous and for a physical beast like himself, he lets contact get to him and often starts the theatrics to get referee help, pretending he got hit in the face or laying on the ground to highlight the no call, it's too much but it will never be anything but what it is, his sense of entitlement is ridiculous, but people have constantly been scapegoating these kinds of things from him for forever so it's hard to even blame him. In sports, everyone needs someone to hate.

Posted by: bford1kb | April 2, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Eff the Cavs!

Posted by: MEssex | April 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

eff the Cavs!!!

Posted by: MEssex | April 2, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

I HATE the Cavs! And LeBaby...

Posted by: MEssex | April 2, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

bford1kb wrote:

(Lebron) pretending he got hit in the face or laying on the ground to highlight the no call...

Not to dignify your comment, but if you took a beating like LBJ about 110 times a year not counting national team games, my guess is you wouldn't be able to type with more than one finger if you had one left that wasn't broken!

And by the way, the hits to the head, nose and eyes happen the most with teams where thats all they got as an answer to the King!

Posted by: gradya3 | April 2, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

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