I am really looking forward to this Cavs season because I prefer to watch a team that is not a figurative ball of garbage we shot towards the sun after giving up on figuring out better ways of waste management. That's just me, though. Perhaps some other people like their teams to resemble a ball of gross and boring space garbage on a course for the kind of certain doom only the plasma-fueled furnace of our closest star can provide.
Even though the Cavs are no longer space garbage, (if we are sticking to my nonsensical garbage metaphor, they're a mix of recycling and those really nice landfill parks, but I have no idea what I'm talking about anymore) I am not at all going to enjoy some of the increased criticism that will surely crop up throughout the season in the most predictable ways. I embrace intelligent, well-reasoned opinions on these Cavs -- good or bad. That isn't what's going to annoy me. What I dread are the easy story lines that should clearly be burned immediately in a glorious, smelly tire fire. I dread these story lines because they are equal parts inevitable and idiotic.
So to prepare myself and the Fear the Sword audience for this, I have assembled a list of the some of the most annoying mid-season story lines that will definitely make the news cycle. If I catch any of you taking these stories serious, I won't do anything because this is America and you have the right to express your opinions. But I will be super disappointed in you.
1. Dion Waiters Should/Shouldn't Start
This story line is fun because it is currently a bit of a story line right now. I am actually okay with this being a current story. One of the main goals of the pre-season is to figure out who will start. David Blatt should exhaust all his possibilities until he figures out a regular rotation that will work. Right this minute, Waiters starting or not is a worthwhile discussion.
Later in the season, when Blatt has already picked whatever he's going to do with Waiters, this discussion is going to be so annoying. I can imagine it now. The Cavs are going to lose a few games in a row at some point, and whether or not those loses have anything to do with Waiters, moving him to or from the bench is going to be the easy solution.
"Waiters just doesn't fit within the starting lineup."
"What this starting lineup needs is the team's five most talented players, so Waiters should be starting."
I can see the argument cutting either way without even a single thought about why the Cavs actually dropped a few games and whether Waiters' role on the team had anything to do with that.
2. ________________ is the Miami HEAT All Over Again (Said like it's a Bad Thing)
It doesn't matter what _____________ is. ____________ could be ____________ OR it could be ___________. More than once this upcoming season, something will remind someone of the Miami HEAT, and that that someone will say what that something is in a way that implies the HEAT sucked. (Guess what? They didn't.)
LeBron James used to play for the HEAT. So did James Jones and Mike Miller. Do you remember that? The HEAT built themselves around three all-star players. These are all things that are true of the Cavs this year, too. They're pretty much the only obvious similarities, but don't worry, some jerkface is going to point out some obvious or vague similarities this season like it matters. And he's going to say it as if the HEAT weren't wildly successful.
That jerkface is most likely a Chicago Bulls fan, so you can disregard everything he has to say. They're delusional.
3. LeBron's Ability to Opt Out After this Season
This is self-explanatory for why it's going to be annoying. I don't have to explain how stupid it is for anyone to suggest LeBron will be leaving Cleveland again -- especially after one season, do I?
Nah, you guys are smarter than that. Moving on.
4. Tristan Thompson's Probable Restricted Free Agency Next Off-Season
Assuming Thompson doesn't sign a contract extension and truly does head down that long, lonely road to free agency, this is going to be a very annoying talking point by mid-season. This is going to be a very particular kind of annoyance, too, because Thompson's free agency next year is actually a pretty interesting situation.
So why/how is this going to be annoying? Simplicity. It's going to be annoying because of the way these things often get simplified. There are two scenarios with Thompson:
1. Thompson plays out of his mind. He's exactly what we always hoped he would become. He's a defensive beast. He's swatting away shots. He's dunking like crazy. His mid-range jump shot actually exists -- regardless of shooting hand.
2. Thompson improves just a little bit or not at all or he gets worse. Basically, he doesn't blow us away with his play.
In the first scenario, the story about Thompson's contract will be that David Griffin should have locked him up with a extension over the summer when the team could have signed him for a lot cheaper. All the talk will be about getting him at or below market value and how stupid the Cavs were for leaving that contract up to chance -- whatever that even means.
In the second scenario, the story will be about how Thompson is not worth a giant contract, but he's going to get one anyway because Rich Paul. People will say, "I guess that's the price for getting LeBron," and then they will go on to berate the idea of overpaying for him anyway.
Both scenarios are equally annoying. Unless Griffin can predict the future (let's not rule this out), there is a high probability of people saying "I told you so" about Thompson even if they never did "tell" anybody "so."
Let's say Griffin signs Thompson to an extension instead. It could still happen -- although I doubt it will. In that case, there is still the possibility of nit-picking at whether or not he is worth whatever contract he gets. Few players are as picked apart as he is.
5. Cavs Should Have Kept Wiggins
I don't think anybody but crazy people will say this one, but I wanted to end on a clearly psychotic one. No explanation needed. Obviously the Cavs would have rather traded for Love without using Wiggins, but that wasn't going to happen. Now the Cavs have Love.