Byron Scott was reminded before the game that Yahoo! Sports' Kelly Dwyer predicted the Cavs will win 12 games this season. "That's funny," Scott said. "Seriously, I look at it as kind of a joke. He's out of his mind."
Perhaps I was out of my mind when I took the time to add up win/loss totals for each of the league's 30 teams, went over and over and changed and re-changed and cross-checked and tried to prepare for just about every eventuality possible between last July (when my predictions were due, for Yahoo! Sports' NBA Preview magazine), and next April.
And, with a roster like Cleveland's, it is very possible that a slow-down coach like Scott (and he is a slow-down coach, despite what he tells the media every fall) could eke out a 30-win season from these guys. Possibly more.
But this is my kind of "out of [my] mind."
Because I much prefer being out of my mind in predicting a 12-70 season for Cleveland as I am the sort of "out of his mind" that allows for a singular player's entourage to essentially run an NBA franchise for a half-decade. The sort of "out of his mind" that sees that player off to another team as he reacts to a half-decade of poor personnel decisions, and follows that news up with a ridiculous letter promising to win a championship before a team featuring LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes), or Chris Bosh(notes) ever will.
I like this "out of his mind" a lot better than the one that tells himself, "hmm, I just promised my team would win a championship before LeBron James ever does, and LeBron James now plays on a team with two players that led their positions in PER last season, how shall I follow through on that boast? I know! I'll trade for Ramon Sessions(notes), and do absolutely nothing else!"
My "out of his mind" has the Cavaliers winning 12 games, because I don't think anyone could be daft enough to go through an entire season thinking that a team featuring Mo Williams(notes), Anderson Varejao(notes), and Antawn Jamison(notes) as its core (yes, yes, I know -- J.J. Hickson(notes). We're all very impressed) has any sort of future, and I assumed that the Cavaliers would finally get right, trade the LeBron-era leftovers, and start over with a rebuilding season. That's my "out of his mind."
I like my veer from the realm of the sane far better than the one that is wasting an entire fan base's year, telling it that things aren't that bad, that they just have to stay the course, and that Joey Graham(notes) and Jamario Moon(notes) really have promise in LeBron's absence.
I might be wrong about my prediction, but it was only made because I at least have a shred of hope that Cleveland will come to its senses, finally, and try to rebuild. Which necessitates one terrible, terrible season in what is shaping up to be a very good Eastern Conference.
I may be wrong. But at least I'm not delusional. Wrong can get better. It can get right, at some point.
Delusional is a whole different story.
- Byron Scott