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It's been a disturbing pattern since even the LeBron James era, something happens during halftime that causes the Cavaliers to come out incredibly tepid in the third quarter. Today, we examine the possible reasons why.
While Conrad was in town this past week, we talked about many things. Things like Twitter, how he doesn't know who Janet Reno is, how weird it is to bump into Greg Oden multiple times in the same night. But there was one topic above all that got me really thinking. He mentioned that during Friday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies that the Cavaliers came out to start the third quarter and immediately got blown out of the water. Then I thought back to Monday night's loss against the Knicks where the same thing happened. And that of course brought about memories of games stretching back even into the LeBron James era where the Cavaliers came out to a crappy second half start.
So that got us thinking, what the hell are they doing during halftime? This isn't a Byron Scott thing. This isn't a "team full of young talent" thing. It's something else. Something more insidious. Even when there when the Cavaliers were posting 60+ win seasons, you could pretty much anticipate a slow second half start. But why?
Well, let's look at some possibilities:
- The Cavaliers are getting half-time catering from Hot Sauce Williams or Melt. Perhaps The Onion was right. Perhaps the Cavaliers are struggling to get over a bit of a food coma to start the third quarter. I know that many of you outside Cleveland (and likely most of you that are here), probably have never been to Hot Sauce Williams, but the BBQ there is incredible. When I lived a mere 10 minutes away, I became a huge fan of their drive-through window and subsequently had to buy new jeans pretty shortly thereafter. And Melt? What can I possibly say about a place that serves a three pound grilled cheese sandwich? Perhaps someone hasn't yet realized that the Cavaliers shouldn't be eating such carb heavy meals during a break. I mean, this is the same team that diagnosed Anderson Varejao with a bruised knee that later turned into quadriceps surgery and a potentially life-threatening blood clot. Would you put it past them to serve their athletes pulled pork and grilled cheese sandwiches with pierogies on them? I wouldn't.
- The tunnel leading back to the Cavaliers locker room is actually a Japanese obstacle course. Not familiar with the kind of obstacle course I'm talking about? Here's a quick primer. Crazy stuff, no? It also looks like a ton of fun, which is exactly why I could see someone like LeBron James demanding that an obstacle course like this gets built in the Q. And, since we all know that the Cavaliers bent over backwards to appease James in his tenure with the Cavs, they probably caved and built the stupid thing. Why is it still there, you ask? Simple. He's coming back in 2014. Haven't you heard the rumors? Duh, guys. Duh.
- Zydrunas Illgauskas has a bizarre ritual where he wrestles the team during halftime to "keep them fresh". In case you forgot (or are Conrad's age), Big Z came stateside during the height of Seinfeld's popularity. In one of the more popular episodes, George Costanza reveals that his family refuses to celebrate Christmas and instead celebrates a holiday of their own creation called Festivus. One of the pillars of the Festivus celebration is the "feat of strength" in which the entire family wrestles the eldest until he is pinned. Big Z, being the eldest Cavalier during the LeBron days and having recently come back to the Cavaliers as assistant general manager, has made the "feat of strength" a cornerstone of his halftime ritual due to his Seinfeld fandom, continuing it to this day. He's a pretty weird dude. As for that year when Z was in Miami? That was just the team they were playing. Seriously, Christian Eyenga and Manny Harris starting for a professional basketball team? Yikes.
- The Cavaliers locker room is covered with quicksand. You ever try to get out of quicksand? Shit's hard, man. This one's just speculation but maybe Conrad can leave a comment since he's now stepped foot inside to confirm/deny this one. My bet's on this one.
- The Cavaliers play a team-building game of "The Floor is Lava" during halftime. Remember when you'd do that when you were a kid? You'd jump up on the couch and try to get around your parents house without touching the floor while your parents yelled at you? It was pretty awesome. Which is exactly why the Cavaliers do it during halftime. Only problem is, they're not five years old anymore. That game really takes a lot out of you.
If you have any ideas or theories, feel free to leave them below. We must get to the bottom of this. The first step to fixing a problem is identifying the problem, after all.