In the heart of July, my sports editor's heart turns to things like fencing and enjoying some downtime.

Of course, there is no such thing as downtime for my inner fan, especially considering all the rumblings coming out of the NBA and the fact the Indians are playing pretty well for the second straight year.

Considering what happened in June, my inner fan wasn't too upset -- but I wasn't about to mention Draymond Green by name

Journalist Michael: Well, you told me to let you enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, that ride didn't last that long.

Fan Mike: I know. I have serious doubts whether the '72 Lakers, '86 Celtics or '96 Bulls would have beaten this year's Warriors squad. I never doubted they were the more talented team, but

JM: But you'd love to have the last minute of Game 3 back?

FM: You have no idea. If Cleveland could have gotten back to Oakland tied at 2-2, all bets would have been off. The fact the Cavs needed to set a record for postseason points in a game to beat those guys speaks volumes about what they were up against.

JM: That dominance seems to be the reason the NBA is going crazy this offseason.

FM: I'm not surprised. There's a lot of franchises looking at the Warriors right now the way they did the Celtics in the 1960s. The only way to beat a "super team" is with another super team -- or at least that's what they're thinking. There's only about 10 players on the planet that seem to influence the title race now.

JM: It's that kind of thinking that's basically killed parity in the NBA. I would prefer the Association not turn into Major League Baseball.

FM: It won't happen. The Knicks are the antithesis of the Yankees

JM: You know what I mean. What do you really say to the fan base of the bottom 20 franchises -- or as my man Jonah Rosenblum noted, the bottom 27 franchises -- who have no real chance at a title? "Thanks for playing, but now it's playoff time, so let's let the big boys have a turn?"

FM: After the NBA Draft, some pundits are saying the top challenger to the Warriors' dominance in the West is the Minnesota Timberwolves? Sorry, not buying that.

JM: Me either. Yes, the T-Wolves "won" draft night by getting Jimmy Butler off the Bulls for basically nothing. They do have a good young core. But a team that was 20 games under .500 last year and hasn't sniffed the playoffs in a decade isn't challenging the Warriors anytime soon.

FM: I'll admit it's kind of weird to have the Cavs viewed as one of the "evil empire" teams, at least in the Eastern Conference.

JM: I imagine those feelings vanish when everyone from the Lakers to the Clippers to the Warriors are mentioned as a destination for LeBron James when he becomes a free agent next summer.

FM: Behold, the endless cacophony of voices wanting to spring LeBron James from Cleveland -- again -- because well, because a lot of national pundits still feel like Cleveland is basically Northern Alaska.

JM: I agree. I think the Cavs should have extended the contract of David Griffin, though. The GM worked a lot of magic to try to improve the Cavs on a shoestring salary cap budget.

FM: I hope Dan Gilbert knows what he's doing. But then again, after everything he's done for the team, I'll give him leeway.

JM: When you open the back account the way Gilbert has and help the city end a 52-year title drought, the well of goodwill runs pretty deep unlike Larry Dolan.

FM: Not so fast. The Dolans actually opened the checkbook and got the biggest bat available in Edwin Encarnacion.

JM: You're defending the Indians' owners? Man, the Cavs ending the drought has made you much more forgiving.

FM: Look, the Dolans and Chris Antonetti saw what happened last year and did exactly what you're supposed to do when you're one run away from a World Series title: Do everything you can to win right now.

JM: You didn't panic over Encarnacion or the Tribe's slow start, which is admirable. The fact people were calling "Edwing" a bust in early May was laughable.

FM: Check the history. Both Encarnacion and the Indians never start fast. Heck, the run to the American League championship last year didn't start in earnest until well, right about now.

JM: Having a healthy Corey Kluber and Carlos Carassco certainly helps. I don't think the Indians are winning 100 games this year, but they don't need to. I'd much prefer 93 wins, a division title and a healthy pitching staff heading into the postseason.

FM: Oh, I can't wait to see Kluber and Andrew Miller take on Aaron Judge

JM: Good to know the unmitigated hatred of the Yankees is still there. Some things never change including the dread of facing another football season?

FM: Don't even start, pal. I'm going to do the same thing your high school kids do: Try to enjoy summer until two-a-days start.

JM: That's another thing. The dates seem to keep coming sooner. The OHSAA allows two-a-days to start on July 31 this year. Seems like summer gets compressed all the time.

FM: We've been out of high school for 22 years and you still feel that way?

JM: Turning 40 makes you yearn for those days.

FM: Right.


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