Cavaliers-Wizards: NBA Playoffs First-Round Preview

Scott MilesSenior Analyst IApril 18, 2008

Is it playoff time again?

It’s a weird feeling for me as a Cavs fan because the last two seasons, I’ve basically expected them to make the playoffs and knew that the regular season was meaningless. Even though the team has struggled throughout most of the season, the 45-37 record was only five games behind our marks of the past two seasons.

Counting all the games missed due to injury – particularly the seven by the King, where I was more likely to win the lottery than the Cavs to win the actual games – and this team isn’t really as far off as most Cavs fans think.

(I’m trying harder and harder on a daily basis to convince myself of this fact. Ignorance can be bliss as a Cleveland sports fan.)

Anyway, I already gave my rundown on the Cavs’ hopes this postseason in an article posted last week, which you can read right here. However, here are some other things that I’m looking forward to as the Cavs prep for their series opener at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow against the Wizards at the Q.

1.  Sasha on the Shelf: The “shooting guard” – a term I use loosely for a guy who made 36 percent of his field goal attempts this year – is reportedly out for two-three weeks with an ankle sprain. This is great for two reasons – it takes a weak link off the court and likely shortens Mike Brown’s rotation. Basically, the less Mike Brown has to think, the better I feel our chances are at winning.

And at this point, isn’t it better just to say, “Sasha, let’s just shut it down for the year and give it another go next season”? He left his jump shot in Serbia last summer, and right now he might as well go back there and try to find it.

2. The Smack Talk:Does it get any better than LeBron James comparing himself to Jay-Z and DeShawn Stevenson to Soulja Boy? The best part is reading about it as the Cavs and Wizards beat writers have to explain the analogy EVERY TIME they write about it because 80 percent of NBA fans over the age of 30 couldn’t tell you who or what a Jay-Z is.

Finally, just go to LeBron’s page on nba.comand click “Compare Players”. Then select the Wizards and DeShawn Stevenson. I have almost as much right to call out LeBron as Stevenson does.

So we’ll see how this series plays out. I still don’t know if the Cavs are any better or worse off than they were at this time last season, but we’re here all the same in the same spot, facing the Wizards in the first round. And that LeBron guy is still pretty darn good.