The opposite, I’ve decided, of “listlessness,” which was something distressingly evident in last night’s thrashing by the Blazers. Joe Smith, previously a Cleveland Cavalier, traded to Oklahoma City this season, now a Cav again, remembers this sort of thing:

“In Oklahoma City, we had a great group of guys, enjoyed each other’s company in the locker room, but on the floor, things weren’t going as planned. It was a big debate because I felt we dug that hole together… I’m not the kind of guy to give up or quit on any team regardless of what the situation is.”

What makes the Cavs different:

“The difference between here and Oklahoma is that … we go out there with an attitude of ‘we’re supposed to do it’. There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it… That’s the type of confidence and attitude we take into every game … the good thing about it is what this team has a chance to do. After a long career, that’s kind of what can make my career a good one. To have a chance to win the title.”

The Thunder will have to “do it” a few more times, or a lot more times, to get into that mindset. It’s easier for Joe Smith: he’s spent as much time in this league as all of last night’s Oklahoma City starting five combined. (Nenad Krstić is the old man: this is his fifth season. Smith’s in his fourteenth.) With time, experience, and (eventually) wins, they’ll become listful — I hope.

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