08 June, 2017
The media vultures are hovering, talons out - courtside, ringside, at postgame pressers - ready to pounce on the hardwood carrion. And then anything can happen in a Game 7, right? Two up, two down. They are now two wins away from making their case as the greatest team of all time. And now his team and the entire National Basketball Association is being laid to waste. Maybe LeBron, Irving playing his A-game and the Cleveland crowd would be enough for them to manage three wins.
"They think they got a mismatch and they're trying to go at K in the post and he blocked the shot, get the rebound", Green said, smiling. But they always have their fists on the faucet.
"If we take care of what we're supposed to take care of.it doesn't matter if it's the '96 Bulls.we would win". Then all those asterisks hit with more impact. The leather ball burning the nylon nets at a dazzling pace.
The key one came late in the third quarter after Cleveland cut the deficit to four points.
As NFL legend Don Shula said, however, the only stat that matters is beaming on that scoreboard.
James said after Sunday's loss he is no worse for wear, that it wasn't anything some food and wine couldn't remedy.
Golden State's well-liked top assistant, whose first two stints as a head coach were to nurture a young LeBron James and then pamper Kobe Bryant, is heading to Cleveland, the city that shaped him more than any other.
Which also means Tristan Thompson has to average more than four points and four rebounds. Coming from J.R. Smith, as that quote did, not so much. They play flawless on both ends.
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"I've seen a lot of great teams and they rank right up there". Irving has struggled through two games and not been efficient, and a lot of that is due to Thompson. LeBron can be the lead singer, but he can't play the guitar, keyboard and drums too. Jordan's Bulls defeated Patrick Ewing and Gary Payton, great players, to be sure. Last year, the number was 32 percent and 8 PPG.
The one thing everyone agrees on, after watching two straight wipeouts, is that this series is over, and probably a bunch of future series as well.
Durant spent the offseason battered by the PR vehicle wash, his reputation, courage and manhood questioned for bolting OKC for the friendly climes of California, for not finishing what he started and for reinforcing his reputation as a hardwood mercenary.
Steve Kerr got a front-row seat again for the show, delighted to be back on the bench witnessing those signature moments he has seen so many times before.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers falling behind 2-0 in the series against the Golden State Warriors, much of the basketball world has an eye on next season, presuming the defending champs have no chance to make a comeback.
"You take one of the best teams that we had ever assembled a year ago, that we saw in the regular season and in the post-season, and then in the off-season you add a high-powered offensive talent like (Durant) and a great basketball IQ like that, that's what stands out", James said. They forced us to turn the ball over more, which we can't do. After the historic comeback previous year, you'd think the one area Cleveland had covered was mojo, the comfort that comes with knowing you not only can beat the man before you, but also that you did so the last time you squared off.
Whatever the track & field metaphor, the Cavaliers need to either wake up or step up. When Cleveland fell behind 2-0 in last year's finals, The Vertical's Chris Mannix reported that Love could be on his way to another team that offseason. "That's what Golden State does". But all roads still lead to Cleveland.