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For the last seven NBA seasons, ESPN’s Zach Lowe has ranked each team for their watchability on NBA League Pass. In the 2018-2019 edition, the Cavs are ranked 29th, ahead of only the Kings.
Remember, these are not his power rankings. This has nothing to do with where he believes they will finish record-wise. Do not tweet Zach Lowe and call him a moron for doubting the Cavs. I do not condone that behavior and you’ll be the one who looks like a moron.
Here’s the criteria he uses for his watchability rankings.
“This is a watchability ranking based on a complex algorithm Bill Simmons and I unearthed while rifling through Dr. James Naismith’s archives. These are not power rankings. Louder: These are not power rankings.
Teams are awarded between one and 10 points in five categories:
Zeitgeist: Will normies care about this team? Will talking about them get you anywhere at parties?
Highlight probability: Does any player make you linger just in case he does something special?
Style: Are they fun to watch? Do they embrace any unconventional strategies?
League Pass minutia: When choosing between blah matchups on a Tuesday in February, when a third of the league has been effectively eliminated, pleasing uniforms and commentary can win the day.
Unintentional comedy: Blame Simmons.”
Before I dive into a breakdown of the Cavaliers, I’ll list off his bottom five.
30th. Sacramento Kings (17.5 points)
29th. Cleveland Cavaliers (18 points)
28th. Atlanta Hawks (18 points)
27th. Orlando Magic (20 points)
26th. Memphis Grizzlies (21 points)
Are triggered yet? Because I am!
I agree the Kings are the least interesting team in regards to his rankings. But, can you name a player on the Hawks other than Trae Young? You seriously have that team tied with the four-time reigning Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers?
It’s not the most appealing roster to non-Clevelanders without LeBron, but they’re not 29th. Even if you factor in his Boston and Bill Simmons bias, the Cavs should not be that low on his list.
As a journalist, it’s my job to remain completely impartial at all times. My body of work clearly showcases my ability to withhold my fandom from ever presenting itself in any of my articles. Since I have no reason to skew results in the Cavs favor, I will now provide you with a new Cavs score, based on his ranking system.
(For reference, I don’t know his scale for how many points he uses in each category. Seeing that this isn’t serious, he probably just assigns random numbers. So, I’ll be doing that too.)
No, I didn’t have to google the definition of Zeitgeist, in case you’re wondering.
Out of all the categories, this is where the Cavs will score the lowest. Normies either love LeBron or love to hate LeBron. Both reasons would lead to a higher rate of interest, if he was still around. Knowing Rodney Hood’s offensive efficiency statistics for this season won’t help the average person at a party. This Cavs team won’t be drawing any attention from the casual NBA viewer this year.
Two words: Cedi Osman.
Zach Lowe’s article came out on Monday. It’s too bad it came out before the Cavs brutal beatdown in their extremely meaningful first preseason game against the Celtics. Cedi dove for a loose ball in the first quarter! The man has the heart of Matthew Dellavedova and the shooting stroke of Kyle Korver.
Highlight City, Population: Cedi Osman.
JR Smith has “SUPREME” tattooed on his calf. Kevin Love’s Banana Republic collection is fire flames. Zach Lowe wouldn’t know style if it hit him in the face.
Also, Lowe said they have a boring court and boring jerseys. Have you seen their jumbotron? Have you seen the flamethrowers shoot out fire during the team intro? The Cavs will also be adding TWO new jerseys to replace the atrocious grey city jerseys from last season. You at the very least can’t dock points for boring jerseys until we see what those look like.
Austin Carr is Cleveland’s lovable grandpa, who’s a little senile. Fred McLeod is one of the best play-by-play guys in the business. I had to ding a few points here though for the departure of Allie Clifton from their broadcast team.
The real question is, will Cleveland boo that traitor Allie Clifton in her first game back at the Q after leaving for the Lakers’ Fox Sports affiliate?
See: The Style Category
JR Smith has Supreme tattoo on his leg and will be fined by the NBA for every game he doesn’t cover it up. He also released a children’s book last month. If there’s one category JR leads the league in, it’s unintentional comedy. There are plenty of other characters on this roster with a plethora of personality as well. This is one of the top unintentional comedy teams in the league.
This is a much better score. 26.5 points would place them 17th on his NBA League Pass rankings.
Definitely check out his article, it’s a great read, just ignore his Cavs score and use mine.