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A survival guide for Cavs fans as a new season tips off

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So the Tribe tanked, and the Browns will be lucky to win two games. But hope springs eternal in the hearts of Cleveland sports fans, which makes the Cavaliers' season opener next week even more welcome than usual.

But don't get too excited yet. Much as we love coach Byron Scott's hard-nosed optimism, there are plenty of reasons to be cautious about the upcoming season. And lots of painful history to be recalled.

We've dredged it all up while we can still laugh about it.

Win or lose, it's going to be a long season. Here are seven tips for surviving it intact, or at least without losing your sanity.

Enjoy Anderson Varejao, because he won't be around for long.

Guessing when Varejao will be shipped out has become a seasonal ritual. But this is likely to be the year when the Wild Thing goes for good. He's a provable asset on the court entering the last year of his contract, which in plain biz speak means he's a tradable commodity. Considering that GM Chris Grant's game plan has always centered on fire-selling current talent for draft picks, draft picks, and more draft picks, the odds on a Varejao trade fly high. Andy, it's been fun.

We have the first Israeli NBA player.

Although his stat line doesn't spell this out, Cavs small forward Omri Casspi is already something of a big name. He's the walking, talking vindication of all those East Side street ball regulars who can dunk a mean three without inching a yarmulke out of place. For Casspi, this is his first real shot with the team; an injury slowed him down last year. He's performed well in the preseason, knocking down 8.7 points on average with a 3.7 in the rebound column. That's probably not enough to win a starting spot, but watch for Casspi to be an important element coming off the bench.

It was sad when that one player left, right?

You don't have to remind us. There was that special way he could electrify a play. Just when the Cavs seemed like they were running low on gas, he'd touch the ball, jolting his teammates with unmistakable new life. And then he was gone. We were angry. We had every right to be. All that swag — the jerseys, the headbands, the Fatheads — wasted. It was harder still to see the emotional investment squandered. But now it's time to put it away, once and for all. Time has healed the wounds. One day, you'll be able to wake up and look in the mirror without that painful thought crowding into your head: J.J. Hickson is no longer on the Cavs. He's gone. Let's get over it.

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