Are we going to see a sweep tonight?
I like to think that I can accept when I’m wrong. And, man, was I ever wrong when I predicted that this series would be competitive. Before the series began, it was totally logical to think Cleveland would win at least two or three games and possibly even win. The furthest thing from my mind was a sweep.
But after Game 3, I have to confess that I drastically underrated the Warriors.
Even a Finals breakout performance from Kyrie Irving wasn’t enough to win the game. LeBron James gave it all he had—he said it himself, and the stats prove it. Whether it was a clutch block from Andre Iguodala or a clutch three from Kevin Durant, there was just nothing that the Cavs could do to stop Golden State. For a minute or two, I really thought Cleveland had the game in the bag. After all, they were up by four points late in the fourth quarter. Golden State just refused to accept a loss.
So, yes, heading into Game 3, I’ve changed my tune. Golden State is just too dominant. That being said, here’s how Game 4 look tonight in Cleveland.
Something to consider: Of the two previous Finals matchups between Cleveland and Golden State, neither of the series winners won on their home-floor. In 2015, the Warriors won in Cleveland. In 2016, the Cavs won in Oakland. And, from the looks of this series, the same thing will happen this season.
Game 3 proved that Cleveland just can’t match Oakland’s firepower. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a team play as hard as Cleveland did in that game. It was a must-win, and they played like it. JR Smith’s shots fell in, giving a little more room for Kyrie to create. Speaking of Kyrie, he went off for 38 points—the highest of the series. LeBron put up 39 points and was just one assist shy of a triple-double.
It all just wasn’t enough to match Golden State’s firepower. The Warriors had almost three guys with 30 points. Kevin Durant dropped 31, Klay Thompson had 30, and Steph Curry was on the verge of joining their club with 26 points. When you have three guys scoring like that, a loss is very unlikely. And, heading into this game, history is one Golden State’s side. While no team had overcome a 3-1 lead last season when the Cavs came back, a 3-0 comeback is unlikely. The Warriors have gassed the Cavs, and they're undoubtedly in Cleveland’s head. I’m seeing another championship for Golden State this season.
Warriors win, 115-101.Filed under: Sports, NBA Basketball, Playoffs, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Finals