We finally have a series. After the Warriors dominated both of their home games, the Cavs clapped back on their court. And I was fortunate enough to be there to witness it.
While it wasn’t the greatest of games, my experience in Cleveland was still more than I could have asked for. The people were incredibly nice (especially compared to Jersey), the city was cool, and me and my friend even made it in the background of an ESPN pregame broadcast.
Game 3 thoughts
- Kyrie Irving finally played like one of the better point guards in the league. He was great all postseason long, and I thought the Cavs only chance of winning this series would come from him playing great. He certainly had Quicken Loans Arena rocking in the first quarter, scoring 16 points and getting any shot he wanted.
- J.R. Smith finally caught fire. He finished with 20 points (5-10 from 3), played 38 minutes (the most after LeBron’s 40), and had the best +/- of anyone on the court with +33. He struggled in Games 1 and 2, but it was evident he and the rest of the Cavs were way more comfortable at home.
- Where are the Splash Brothers? Where’s the unanimous MVP? Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 84 points the entire series! They had 29 points (combined 4-16 from 3) in Game 3, but it honestly felt like less. Neither of them have scored 20 points in this series. It’s unbelievable they’re still up 2-1.
- Curry is averaging 16 points, 4.3 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 turnovers in this series. The MVP is fortunate to have such a great surrounding cast around him; if not, this series could easily be 2-1 Cleveland or worse and Curry would be taking a lot more criticism than he already is.
- The Cavs were the best three point shooters (%) all postseason long, but were terrible at Golden State. They finally caught fire at home, shooting 12-25 (48%). That will be key moving forward.
- Tristan Thompson had 14 points and 13 rebounds, but it honestly felt like 20 and 20. He dominated down low and is a serious problem on the offensive boards.
Thoughts for Game 4
- After experience the atmosphere in Cleveland, it’s tough to go against them for Game 4. But honestly, Cleveland was absolutely dominating that game and were only up eight at halftime… That’s got to worry the Cavs a little bit.
- If Curry and Thompson can find their shot, it will be a totally different ball game. The Cavs defense deserves credit, but the Warriors missed open shots too.
- LeBron James had a QUIET 32 points. He struggled after starting 4-4, wasn’t getting any calls, and couldn’t find his jumper until the 2nd half. I am waiting for him to explode for 40+, and tonight could be the night.
- It’s going to be interesting to see how much Kevin Love plays and how much that affects them. Tyronn Lue has a tough decision to make if Love is playing and the Warriors are beating them.
- Ultimately, I expect the Warriors and Curry to come out hot and take the crowd out of the game. Curry needs to show why he was back-to-back MVP, and the Warriors need to back up their 73-win season and win this game and close the series out at home.
One Last Thing:
- LeBron James was absolutely incredible to see in person. That alley-oop was ridiculous for a guy who has so much basketball mileage. Curry was rightfully the back-to-back MVP, but King James is the best basketball player in the world and it’s not even a discussion.