We've recruited ESPN the Mag contributing writer and Crooked River Burning author Mark Winegardner to help us cover the 2015 NBA Finals — maybe our best chance in 51 years for that elusive title. But he's not #AllinCLE. Not yet anyway.
After a 108-100 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1, the Cavs lost Kyrie Irving for the season with a fractured knee cap. Things looked bleak. Has anything changed Winegardner's opinion since Friday?
Steve Gleydura, editor: Pregame thoughts?
Mark Winegardner: You mean aside from creeping dread and grim resignation?
SG: So you haven't softened any?
MW: That is actually one of those big philosophical questions.
MW: Do I want to talk myself into some scenario in which Cleveland has a genuine right of hope (and risk being a pathetic homer or a chump)?
SG: Funny, because that's where I am. Resigned for the worst, but with a creeping theory that to exorcise 51 years it's going to take something spectacular.
MW: Maybe you're right. I sure wish it were enough just to have an excellent and healthy team, though.
SG: The Red Sox had to come back from 3-0 against the Yanks in 2004. Maybe this is that for us. ... Or we'll be put out of our misery early.
MW: Man, only in Cleveland would a one-game lead seem insurmountable. In fairness, if Klay Thompson and Steph Curry were out and Kyrie and Kevin Love healthy, we would surely sweep them.
SG: The only reason we're even discussing this is because we have LeBron. I can't think of another player you can say that about.
MW: Agreed. Sam, my 26-year-old, just texted me. He's cautiously optimistic.