CHRIS GRANTLAND: NO DYNGUS DAY IN ATLANTA

 

On Dyngus Day in Atlanta, the Cavaliers showed signs of life, but could not overcome the weight of the 8 game losing streak which became 9.  Danny Ferry’s Atlanta Hawks somehow withstood the cantankerous bitching of Daniel Boobie Gibson and a shove by bench stalwart Luke Walton and extended the Cavs streak. 

There’s only 9 goddamn games left.  It’s like watching a fuse burn down to the rest of your life.  More than three quarters of this roster could be gonzo by the time you see the Cavaliers again.  You are about three weeks from realizing your irrational emotional attachment to Daniel Gibson and perhaps even Luke Walton.  You are still stinging from the loss of Samardo Samuels and his dog Fluffy as they wander in the D-League desert. 

But purge is good for the soul.  And ultimately, this roster is still terrible, the coaching is subsistence level.  The pieces that have to fit together are, for the most part, being assembled only in the most amorphous and theoretical way.  85% or more of what you own and what you watch in these games probably means nothing, and the boxes that you pack with things you think you want could disappear or crumble before they are even unpacked without meaning or any real sense of regret.  

In a 9 game losing streak, in the moment there’s still no sin in applauding ultimately meaningless effort.  No fragile Kyrie Irving, but from Shaun Livingston more drive than ever.   The unreal shooting touch of Mo Speights down the stretch.  It’s not hard to see the value these pieces could have in complimenting another and much different stage of life.  One where they belong.

When the Cleveland Indians open the season tonight, the memory of Byron Scott waiting 73 games (and after Dion Waiters struggled to adjust from a zone defense in which he had been highly effective at Syracuse) to try Cleveland Cavaliers “Spider” zone defense will likely be less memorable than anything that happens from inning one on.  Scott complimented the efforts of his players after the game, as if to backhandedly say that “even at maximum effort”, which seemed to be the case “this group of players cannot compete at a level which would allow them to defeat the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracketing.”

They don’t actually celebrate Dyngus Day in Atlanta, probably because there aren’t that many Polish people there.  They may have defeated the Cavs and made every critical shot down the stretch, dropping bombs and throwing lobs, eliminating a passionate display of effort by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they will never know the joys of a perfectly prepared potato cheese and bacon perogi in Atlanta. 

That’s where they left us last night.  Sipping Polish vodka in a Tremont bar, fresh memories of the sounds of polka music.  9 games into their losing streak.

 

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