It was a showdown of what would become a bitter rivalry. But on Feb. 3, 1974 at the Cleveland Arena, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Bingo Smith- and Austin Carr-led Cavs 108-94. The Bulls, who made the playoffs that year, had similar results 14 of 15 times against the fourth-year NBA franchise that had yet to post a winning record. But the following season, the team in wine and gold went 29-12 in the newly built Richfield Coliseum and finished 40-42 overall, just one game shy of the playoffs. The Miracle of Richfield season followed, with a first-round playoff win against the favored Washington Bullets. But Jim Chones broke his foot in the next round and sunk the team's championship hopes.
LeBron James' mad dash to South Beach is all but forgotten, and the stacked-with-talent Cleveland Cavaliers are the favorites to end our 51-year championship drought. The team — missing starters Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert — ripped out to a 8-2 record early this season to prove their legitimacy. The hottest tickets in town, Cavs games draw a who's who of local, national and international celebs to Quicken Loans Arena. Television loves them too, with more nationally televised games than any team but the defending champion Golden State Warriors.