THE WORLD B. FREE ERA

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PHOTOGALLERY: The World B. Free Era
By Matthew K. Weiland

It was Morning in America, the mid-1980s, and the Cavs had rebounded from some tough years and were beginning to stir the Richfield Coliseum into an excited frenzy. With the acquisition of All-Star shooting guard World B. Free, Cavs fans had a new superstar to root for - along with Cavaliers Roy Hinson, Lonnie Shelton, Phil Hubbard, John Bagley and role players Edgar Jones and Mark West - as well as a renewed sense of possibility.

Under the reign of George Karl, in his first season as an NBA head coach, The Cavaliers opened up 2-19 before going on a 34-27 finish, placing 4th in the division and making the playoffs. And while they lost to the Larry Bird Boston Celtics in the first round 3 games to 1, the team nonetheless kept pace with the Celts throughout the short series; the Cavs lost each of their three games by two points each and the point totals for the series each add up to 449.

Nonetheless, basketball was back on the north coast. The Cavs went on a seven-game road winning streak from Feb. 15 to March 6, a franchise record. World B. Free was named Player of the Week (week ending Jan. 13) and George Karl was named Coach of the Month for February. Free scored 45 points at Houston on Feb. 16, the third-highest point total by a Cavalier in franchise history, and John Bagley finished fifth in the league in assists (8.6). Meanwhile, Roy Hinson finished sixth in the league in blocks (2.28) and World B. Free finished seventh in three-point field-goal percentage (.368) and 15th in scoring (22.5).

It was the Go-Go 80s. And Cleveland had the World.

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