It's 5:03 AM when the symphonic chaos of my alarm clock explodes from beside my bed.
My right hand quickly crashes down on the snooze button and all sanity is restored. Minutes later—as if planned for such moments—the steady chirp from my iPhone begins to celebrate the morning.
The date is March 26, 2014 and it's time to wake up.
The Boston Celtics were in Golden State last night, is the first full sentence that goes through my mind. The Milwaukee Bucks were in Portland, too. Can't believe I fell asleep before each game was over.
It's now 5:12 and before I even get out of bed I am thumbing through the Eastern Conference standings.
Looks like the Trail Blazers held on. So did the Warriors.
That means the Dion Waiters buzzer-beating-three on Sunday is enough to now take sole possession of seventh pla—
Then—almost as suddenly as the Cavaliers had arrived in the postseason discussion—I woke up.
It was March 26, 2013 and the narrative is still incomplete.
The injured list is long, littered with the three best players the Cavaliers employ. The excuses are sounding repetitive and the losing has become monotonous.
I would spend the remainder of my day, however, continuing to dream of playoff basketball in Cleveland as I trudged through the final moments of Kyrie Irving's second season.
After adding what appears to be at least one top draft pick—and maybe even two—the Cavaliers will enter the 2013-14 campaign with at least five players from the top-20 selected by the current regime.
Maybe even six.
That has to be progress, right?
Five players selected by Chris Grant to play for Byron Scott specifically?
Five reasons why the excuses for losing should end at the very moment they become completely unnecessary. That was what I decided, at least. That's what got me through the rest of my day.
Assuming the Cavaliers bring Wayne Ellington and Mo Speights back, they would combine with Irving, Waiters, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, Anderson Varejao and whoever the Cavaliers draft this summer to form an eight[ish]-man rotation that should be in the very least competitive.
If Irving stays healthy for 90 percent of the schedule, the Cavaliers should have a legitimate chance at a .500 record and the No. 8 seed with that group while truly demonstrating a "winning culture" for the first time since 2010.
They will then be in a position to attract a front-line free agent next summer, and give us a reason to dream all over again from there.
Progress, you guys, it really is coming. Even if we can't actually see it right now.