I’m not even going to lie, even though I wrote about how I was possibly warming up to LeBron, I’ve been loving this series. Watching Kevin Durant just crush the souls of LeBron, Kyrie, Ty Lue, and the boys is a magical thing to watch. Warriors are truly the most exciting offensive team I’ve seen in my life and they’re also one of the most underrated defensive teams ever. Everyone in the media and all of my friends are pretty convinced this series is all but over, with most people saying Warriors in 5 and even some saying a sweep is in the future. If you asked me on Monday if I thought this game would go 6 or 7 games, I’d call you an idiot. But now…LeBron is scaring me.
LeBron has ENDLESS options of his own signature shoes to wear. He also could wear any number of Kyries. But down 2-0 in an NBA Finals that could drop his Finals record down to 3-5, LeBron decides to wear Kobes. The Black Mamba’s shoes. As Kyrie said last year, he credited the “Mamba Mentality” of his idol/mentor Kobe Bryant during The Shot over Steph Curry in the closing moments of last year’s game 7. Kyrie Irving using the “Mamba Mentality” is one thing, but the possible greatest of all-time channeling his inner Mamba? Spooky. And not only that, but LeBron is getting all snippy with the media and their dumb questions. Usually when that starts happening, LeBron enters Beast Mode. It was only last year when this happened (followed by the Cavs winning three straight to win the Finals).
So here are the facts. Cavs are down 2-0 and need to win 4 out of the next 5 games to become champions. They got murdered in those two losses, but LeBron played amazing. It’s pretty easy to say “LeBron is playing like Playoff LeBron and Cavs still can’t win, they’ve got no chance”…but…
Let’s hypothetically talk about how Cavs could win this series.
-LeBron is playing great, but 29/11/14 still isn’t LeBron at his playoff best (which is an absolutely WILD thing to say about a basketball player). He dropped 41/16/7 and 41/8/11 in games 6 and 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, respectively. It’s not the craziest thing to say LeBron could average 40-50 points per game for the rest of the Finals (especially with the powers of the MAMBA). If he does that, well then the Cavs’ chances obviously increase.
-Kyrie had a great game 1, with a bad game 2. Kevin Love had a bad game 1, with a great game 2. For the Cavs to win they need their “Big 3” to be producing at the same time. You know LeBron will put up numbers, but will his sidekicks follow up with their own numbers? At the same time? He will need them to.
–I said a few weeks ago that Tristan Thompson is the key advantage that the Cavs have over the Warriors. Well he’s been rendered useless by a pretty good game plan from the Warriors involving Pachulia and an extra person keeping him off the glass. Tristan has only had FOUR REBOUNDS in each of the two games. In the 4 wins the Cavs had in last year’s finals he averaged 11.75 rebounds per game, and never had less than 5 rebounds in any of the 7 games. If Cavs want to win he’s going to have to get tougher down in the paint.
-JR Smith. Deron Williams. Iman Shumpert. Kyle Korver. Channing Frye. Richard Jefferson. One, if not two of these people has to step up every game for the Cavs to win this series. Other than Richard Jefferson who has had a decent two games for his standards, the rest of those names have scored 29 points…not in game 1…not in game 2…29 POINTS BETWEEN 5 GUYS IN TWO GAMES. JR Smith, a starter, especially needs to step his game up but the Cavs will also need a 12-20 point game from one of their bench players to keep up with the Warriors scoring.
-Other than that, all the Cavs can hope for is either Steph/KD/Klay to have an average offensive night each game. Klay was struggling coming into the playoffs, but has found his stroke, causing any real defensive effort from any team to be futile. The Warriors actually had a bad all-around game on Sunday, committing 20 turnovers to the Cavs’ 9. With that being said, you can’t beat the Warriors no matter what they do or you do if all three of those guys are hitting their shots.
So…with that being said…are the Cavs going to come back?
It’s pretty easy to say “no”. And that’s what scares me. Last year the Warriors won the first two games by a combined 48 points. It’s not like the Cavs weren’t getting whooped last year, and we all know how that turned out. Obviously it’s different this year. Coming back down 3-1 against Steph/Klay/Draymond is far easier than coming back against KD/Steph/Klay/Draymond. Cavs are going to need all the situations I stated above to happen, but crazier things have happened (see NBA Finals 2016). Like I said, everyone on the Cavs need to step their games up, offensively and defensively. And don’t forget…you always have a chance with a certain someone…
Cue the Vine.