Can the Cavs bounce back in Cleveland?
This may sound redundant, but don’t count the Cavs out just yet. Though I said those exact words on Sunday, it needs to be repeated. After the first two games of last season’s Finals, nearly everyone dismissed the Cavs. Remember what happened? LeBron and Kyrie led Cleveland back to a series victory, allowing only one more win from Golden State.
Don’t get it twisted—Golden State looks better than good. They look fantastic. Kevin Durant is making up for lost time outside of the Finals. Steph Curry is finally playing at his full health. And, after a playoff run of poor shooting, Klay Thompson finally came out of his shell in Game 2. The Warriors look unbeatable and have a great shot at finishing this playoff season undefeated. But I just would never count out LeBron James and Cleveland after two games. There’s still plenty of basketball to be played, and the Cavs will certainly reassess their game plan.
Tonight, we’ll see if they’ve made the right corrections. Here’s how Game 3 of the NBA Finals look as the series heads to Cleveland.
Oddsshark.com has this game going a little closer than the previous two. However, they still have Golden State taking a 3-0 lead in Cleveland, winning by a score of 112-110. They aren’t alone in this prediction. Many analysts and odd-makers pegged the Warriors to win. Durant and Steph are both playing at an MVP level. When you have two guys like that on your squad, things get difficult for the other team.
However, I’m going to make a different prediction than the odds-makers. If you were paying attention, Cleveland hung tight in the first half of the game. Sure, there were a couple of runs from Golden State that nearly put the Cavs out of the game in the 2nd quarter. But the Cavs kept coming at the Warriors. It was in the 3rd quarter that Golden State started to click and put Cleveland out of reach. That’s what they’ve done all season, all postseason, and so far with the Cavs in the Finals. They run the other team to the point of exhaustion, leaving stars like LeBron James completely out of gas by the time the 4th quarter begins.
The Cavs’ role players have to figure out something. As of right now, what they are doing just isn’t working. Guys like Tristan Thompson and JR Smith—both of which have had extremely disappointing performances so far—have to fill in the gaps. Klay Thompson is shutting down Kyrie Irving on defense, so those role guys have to do their part in order for this game not to become too lopsided.
And, to be honest, I think that a home-floor is exactly what those guys need. If they feel confident, that 3-0 lead doesn’t happen. We’ll see another big performance by LeBron because that’s just what LeBron does. Kevin Love will get his stats on offense. Kyrie will create opportunities for himself if the rest of the team clicks. All in all, the Cavs may actually outplay the Warriors tonight.
Cavs win, 112-108.Filed under: Sports, NBA Basketball, Playoffs, Finals, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers