Remember how excited we were before the NBA Finals started, how we felt we were on the cusp of witnessing a clash of the titans between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors? Through three games that excitement has turned into complete and utter disappointment, sorta like…
We’ve seen back-to-back-to-back blowouts with the home team winning each game. This time the Cavs, after possibly reading our guide to getting back into this series, were the ones doing the molly-whopping with a 120-90 win on Wednesday. I understand the concept of home-court advantage, but this is disgusting. The way these two teams seemingly are completely incapable of translating strong performances like they have on their home floor, or simply adequate performances, on the road is not indicative of what an NBA Finals series should be. These are the two best teams in the league we’re talking about, and you’re telling me they can’t compete in hostile territory?
It would’ve been one thing if it was a close game, but the Warriors lost by 30! We’re talking about a 63-point turnaround between Games 2 and 3. Game 3 wasn’t competitive from the opening tip as Cleveland came out intent on smacking Golden State in the mouth. And it’s not like the ‘Dubs didn’t expect that; the Cavs were obviously going to come out strong with a sense of desperation to avoid going down 3-0. But for the Warriors to go down 33-16 at the end of the first quarter is just baffling considering how easily they handled the Cavaliers in the first two games.
After chastising Cleveland for its dismal Game 2 performance, it’s only fair that I do the same to Golden State. This isn’t the first time this postseason we’ve seen the Warriors look completely unprepared to play a basketball game, but to see it happen on the grandest stage with a championship on the line is very unsettling. This is a team that ran through the league with 73 wins in the regular-season, but now when everything is on the line they want to take games off? Where’s the unanimously-selected MVP Stephen Curry? He was held to two points in the first half and finished with 19. Where was the heart and soul of the team Draymond Green? Following a 28-point performance with six points on 2-for-8 shooting. Where was the defense that held the Cavs to sub-40 percent shooting in the first two games? I mean, it’s one thing to have an off-night scoring-wise, but I can’t figure out how you can fail so miserably on the defensive end as well.
Let’s give credit to Cleveland, shall we? The Cavaliers, playing without Kevin Love, got 105 points from their starters compared to 57 from the Warriors’ starting five. LeBron James led with 32 points and Kyrie Irving had the bounce-back game of his life with 30 and eight assists. J.R. Smith also finally showed up to the party with 20 points. Cleveland shot 52.7 percent from the field and out-rebounded Golden State 52-32. That’s cool and all, but where was all that in the first two games?! Why does it take home-cooking and a 2-0 deficit for Irving and Smith to play like All-Stars? How can we be OK with the excuse that players are just better at home than on the road?
You might be thinking to yourself, “Why is he so upset? We actually have a series now that Cleveland found its groove.” I’m upset because we as fans deserve better than this. Players should not be taking games off just because they’re not in front of their home crowd. This is the NBA Finals! It shouldn’t matter if you’re at home or on the road. What matters is that you’re playing for an NBA Championship, great players and great teams should need no added motivation besides that.
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Tags:cleveland cavaliersdraymond greengolden state warriorsj.r. smithkevin lovekyrie irvinglebron jamesnbanba finalsstephen curry
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