Three Things: Can The Cavs Save The NBA Season, Plus A Hot Scott Googins Take, And Mick/Mack/OSU

Every day there are three things, here are those three things. 

My main Scooter Gennett reaction is here. I've been lucky enough to be at most of Great American Ballpark's signature moments - Dunn's walk-off slam off of Bob Wickman '06, Bailey and Arrieta no-hitters, two division-clinchers, the time a beer vendor put down his case so he could go take a leak, etc. - but I wasn't in attendance for Scooter Gennett's four-homer game.  And while I was happy to be tending my new duties as the father of a newborn, I watched last night's developments with small tinges of envy for those who were there.

If you were at the ballyard last night, consider yourself lucky.

1) Can the Cavs save the NBA Finals, and thus, the season?  Few basketball fans appreciate the greatness of the Golden State Warriors as much as I do, and I've written in my head a lengthy blog about how truly great and historically significant they are that I'll put to a screen near you when they win this series.  In a day and age when it seems like we're more interested in combing through the deficiencies of losers, I hope people appreciate what they're watching when they watch Golden State.

That said...

From the moment last year's Finals ended, we knew that it was a matter of 12 months before we saw the Cavs and Warriors play for the title for a third straight year.  That belief was affirmed when Kevin Durant left for Oakland as a free agent, and nothing throughout the regular season or the playoffs did anything to make us feel like a third installment of Cleveland v. Golden State was inevitable.

Which was fine. 

Except that the Finals needed to be good.

So far, they haven't been.  The Cavaliers haven't necessarily played poorly, although their bench looks lost and they've erred in trying to play at a fast pace, but they've still been no match for the Warriors.  And while every Cavs fan I know, including the only Cavs fans I know who actually paid attention to the team when LeBron was on it, has reminded me that last year's series was where this one is, with the Dubs up 2-0.

But for history to repeat itself, the Warriors need to be as complicit as they were last year.  With Durant on the team, Steph Curry looking refreshed and healthy, and Draymond Green keeping his emotions in check, there's little to suggest that Cleveland can win, much less make it a series.

Which, after 12 years of knowing that this would be the Finals we'd get (and with the strong possibility that we get Part IV next June), would be bad. If not for the NBA, for those of us who are fans of it.

2) Scott Googins.  I don't have any real take on UC hiring Xavier's baseball coach, but when the news came out, I noticed on social media that a lot of people do.

I wonder...what if everyone who has a hot take on Scott Googins changing jobs actually supported UC or XU baseball? You know, by actually going to a game? 

3) College hoops. News came out yesterday that the Bearcats will play Florida in lovely Newark next December.  To date, UC has scheduled road games against UCLA and Xavier, a neutral tilt with Florida, they're in an event in the Cayman Islands with Iowa, and they have Mississippi State at home. Throw in two tilts with Wichita State and that ain't a bad slate.

Now if the lower end of the AAC could get it's act together....

I touched on the Ohio State gig as it relates to Chris Mack and Mick Cronin yesterday.  The Ohio State job is a damn good one, potentially lucrative with plenty of on-court upside.

That said, I think it'd take a lot to peel either coach away from here.  I don't believe that either Mick or Chris thinks that their current programs have plateaued, and I believe that if money was either guy's number one concern, they'd each have come closer to leaving than they already have.

There's upside to both programs, neither of which operates in the shadow of a football program the way OSU basketball does, and the profile of both programs suggests that the success that each has enjoyed can continue, and perhaps be expanded upon. 

Coaches crave appreciation, and Mick and Chris - to different degrees - have had to fight for it here. Thad Matta - a guy who coached the Buckeyes to two Finals Fours after taking over a program that wasn't eligible for postseason play his first season - surely felt appreciated as he was taking the athletic director's knife out from his back on Monday.

I said yesterday that I wouldn't blame either Chris Mack or Mick Cronin if they embraced any overture by Ohio State.

At the same time, I'd understand why both coaches would prefer to keep the jobs they have.

Recommended link of the day: Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are literally wearing out the nets

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Mo Egger

Mo Egger

Mo Egger delivers his unique take on sports on Cincinnati's ESPN 1530! Read more


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