I just remember…

The anticipation, the nerves mixed with excitement. A heartbeat that quickened more and more as the evening went on.

The 2014 NBA Playoffs have been absolutely unbelievable. Almost every single series has been closely matched, and they’ve all had their fair share of thrilling finishes as well. From Vince Carter’s game winning fade-away three for Dallas, to Portland’s Damien Lillard winning the series with a shot from what seemed like a different area code, this postseason has been quite a treat to watch.

But my Cavs aren’t in this act.

Nearly four years ago, our superstar Lebron James left us for the Miami Heat. However, the five years before that were filled with magical runs deep in the playoffs, led by Lebron, that always seemed to fall just short. Those games were amazing. Truly the epitome of basketball.

I loved it. The crazy crowds, the amazing atmosphere, the rumbling roar. I just remember annihilating Deshawn Stevenson and the Washington Wizards every single year with ease. Of course, reaching the NBA Finals after a gusty come-from-behind series win over Chauncy Billups and the Detroit Pistons has to be my favorite Cavs memory of all time. Remember game five? It’s one I will never forget.

Alright, strictly as a basketball fan, these NBA Playoffs have been 1000% more than I could ask for. However, from a Cavaliers standpoint they’re as disappointing as ever. We see teams that have regrouped so much faster than the Cavs since 2010, such as the aforementioned Wizards and even the Indiana Pacers (although they’ve struggled in the first round).

It’s obvious that a playoff birth for the Wine & Gold has been long overdue. Truthfully, I think we all thought the Cavs were practically going to waltz into this year’s playoffs especially with how poor the eastern conference was shaped out to be. Moreover, our core nucleus of Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson were expected to finally gel together. Well, that clearly didn’t happen as the Cavs only won 33 games. It was a season with many ups, but just too many toxic downs.

So as I watch the playoffs, I get this bittersweet feeling. Yes, the entertainment is amazing, but I wish it was my hometown team that I was watching slug it out against the other great squads around the league.

Thankfully, the future does look promising for the Cavaliers. With free agency and another offseason for our youngsters to work on their games, I expect the Cavaliers to be in next year’s playoffs. Hopefully, it’ll be Irving or Waiters hitting one of those jaw-dropping buzzer beaters!

I want that feeling back.

-Zach Shafron


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