Recap: Cleveland 119, Indiana 114 (or Signs of a Comeback)

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After giving up 74 points in the first half, and trailing by as much as 26, the Cavs channeled their inner Frank Reich and outscored the Pacers by 31 points in the final 24 minutes to complete one of the great comebacks in NBA Playoff history, and to send the state of Indiana into a 3-0 depression.

If you watched from the tip, you know the Cavs were lapped by the Pacers in the first two quarters. But, if you were paying attention, the game displayed the telltale makings of a classic comeback. Every great sports rally has them. You just have to look for the signs.

Sign 1: Overconfidence

You knew the Pacers were going to come out with a chip on their shoulder. And, you knew their fans would be tweaking on anger, upset hopes, and basketball angst. Paul George and Co. fed on that anger. Cleveland weathered the storm till the 3:20 mark of the first quarter when bench rage himself, Lance Stephenson started going YOLO and drilling threes, setting up his teammates, and whooping at the Cavs like he was a founding member of Baha Men.

Indy scored 18 points in final 200 seconds, as bench mobbers, Lance Romance, Glenn Robinson III, and Kevin Seraphin went nuts. Lance and GR3 hit Js and Seraphin dominated the Cavs in the paint on defense and offense, notching rebounds, blocks, free throws, and layups. Only threes by Kyrie as well as Kyle’s heady two man game with Channing Frye kept the first quarter deficit at 37-27.

Cleveland coughed up the ball five times in the quarter, and despite Tristan Thompson dominating the offensive glass, Cleveland struggled with their shooting, at times missing three or four times in a possession. Kevin Love, Kyrie, and J.R. all seemed especially cold, and Kyrie was responsible for three turnovers on his own.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse was filled with gold clad crazies who were losing their minds to euphoria as the lead piled up. By the second quarter, the Pacers were hitting everythingand the Cavs were ice freaking cold. Ty Lue dumped the LeBench lineup early and brought back the starters at the 10:52 mark. It didn’t help.

Nobody save LeBron James could score for the Cavs, and Myles Turner was going primal rage with defensive blocks and the most vicious dunk of the playoffs so far.

The Pacers kept scoring. Paul George started going off, and Monta Ellis started beating the Cavs with his drive and kick game. Thad Young was doing his best 2015 Finals Andre Iguodala impersonation. The Cavs (LeBron) decided to leave him open, and Thad made them pay time and again with timely jumpers, weak side cuts, and an insane number of weak side offensive rebounds. But, the second quarter was all about George as he dropped 21 on eight shots. Most of those points came from the mob offensive rebounds that got George open threes and trips to the line.

The thing about defense is that if you give guys easy shots, they start to hit the hard ones. The most egregious defensive play of the half came on a sideline out when LeBron just watched PG13 cut to the basket from the right corner for an easy alley-oop from Stephenson. Afterward, James yelled at TT and Love, causing a collective eye roll from the C:tB live thread.

Meanwhile, the Cavs were playing five on six against the officials after Cleveland got grabbed on rebounds, pushed in the back on drives, and whistled for touch fouls on defense. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last two weeks, and any lesson that might have been taken from the collapse against Atlanta two weeks ago, it’s that the refs are swayed by momentum. Aggressive teams get the calls.

Yeah. It’s safe to say that the whole state of Indiana was smelling themselves, and by this time, the Cavs’ offense had devolved into LeBron and Kyrie iso-jacks. The Indy offense was purring, the wine and gold were sputtering. When the buzzer sounded, to end the first half, Indy was up 74-49.

Sign 2: Resolve

When the half ended, there were more than a few ticked off commentarians. I’m no Cavalier apologist, but I commented that the game wasn’t as bad as the score. The Pacers had hit an insane number of threes, going 10-17. Some of them were tough shots, some of them off ridiculous bounces, and a couple came from YOLO Lance Stephenson, a career 30% shooter from downtown. Kyrie was also encased in carbonite: 3-12 with four turnovers, and he was missing pet shots he normally makes. Kev was cold too, but…

LeBron’s jumper was wet. He hit a tickled a few silky smooth went 2-4 from three. Aside from his blowup at Love and Thompson, nothing in the first half was affecting him. He was cold, emotionless, but not apathetic – focused. I call this “Playoff Road Game Face” (see above). He was weathering the storm. I always say that “if you don’t believe you can win, you can’t win.” LeBron’s belief in the possibility of Cavalier victory never wavered.

When you’re trying to come back, you have to focus on something that’s working. And for the Cavs, that was LeBron and spot up shooters. Kyle Korver was 2-3 from deep with a couple of dimes, and his shooting form looked perfect. It would be the foundation upon which Cleveland would build its comeback.

Sign 3. The Lull

In any great comeback, the team with the lead must play a part. Take Atlanta in this year’s super bowl. I always say, “if you don’t think you can lose, then you you’re vulnerable.” Atlanta didn’t think they could lose. By the time the time they realized they could, they’d already checked out. Then they panicked. All they had to do was run the ball and not turn it over. All Indiana had to do Thursday was to keep the energy going and to keep doing what they were doing. But, their fans made a critical mistake.

The early third quarter is a dangerous time for the home team. Half the fans, especially those in the Royal Estates of the Lower Bowl, have yet to file in. There’s an energy drop. If the Cavs could get some momentum going before Indy realized what was going on, they had a chance.

A J.R. triple started the third quarter, and the Cavs’ defense kicked up a notch. They were still struggling on the boards, but they were scrapping. A key basket came when Thad Young grabbed three offensive rebounds but missed three layups in one possession. Love finally grabbed the ball, and then got it back on cross-court King feed before ripping the net with a left corner trey. Suddenly, Cleveland had put a lid on the basket, and a velvety left wing triple from LBJ had cut the Pacer lead to 15 just four minutes into the third.

Sign 4: Changing Tactics 

We’ve all seen it, when a starting player goes out, and the other team relaxes. One key tactic for Tyronn Lue was benching Kyrie Irving. When Jeff Teague and Lance Stephenson had pushed the Pacer lead back to 20 at the 4:35 mark of the third, Ty Lue called a timeout, and we never saw Kyrie again. This was a good thing. The flat-earther’s play in the third was trash. He consistently ignored teammates to take inexplicable pull-ups, let guys drive right by him for layups, and misplayed the pick-and roll.

Deron Williams came in, and the Cavs started running a sort of “matchup zone.” For not doing it very much, Cleveland was making fantastic rotations defensively and switching expertly. Deron defended positionally like I’ve rarely seen him before. Tristan Thompson was electric, with two big blocks: one on George, and one on Seraphin. No one missed Kyrie.

Sign 5: The Blunders

Most collapses are possible through some classic blunder or series of them. All Matt Ryan had to do in the late moments this year’s super bowl was just avoid a sack. Dwayne Rudd just had to leave his helmet on. “Don’t touch the ball,” Leon Lett! Think Draymond Green’s Game 4 groin shot on LeBron, or the horrible Oilers’ special teams gaffes that plagued them during the Bills’ 35-3 point comeback in in 1993. Think of the inbounds blunders that doomed the Knicks when Reggie Miller and the Pacers overcame an eight point deficit in 11 seconds. That one made even the Cavs’ comeback seem tame.

But let’s not celebrate the Pacers. Indy’s blunder revolved around Nate McMillan’s insertion of Kevin Seraphin. Seraphin, while he went nuts for a nine point first quarter, killed the Pacers throughout the second half. The Cavs would routinely seek him out and put him in pick-and-rolls, or isolate and exploit his girthy lack of foot speed.

Seraphin had come in because Myles Turner was playing with both hands around his throat, missing layups and jumpers galore, and the Cavs were getting stops. Seraphin missed a pair of free throws, and frequently found himself at the point of attack as James went right at him like in this “and-1” when LBJ became the third all time playoff scorer.

McMillan relented at the 1:46 mark benching Seraphin, but comically put him back just 27 seconds later as Myles Turner foul trouble seemingly forced Nate’s hand. Kevin didn’t disappoint. He ran Deron Williams over and gave the Cavs the ball back yet again with an offensive foul. Then James exploited K-Seph’s crappy pick-and-roll D with a 27-foot left wing draino to cut the Pacers lead to just five before a pair of Stephenson freebies ended the third quarter, 91-84, Indy.

Sign 6: Panic Versus Cool

By this time, the Pacers had composed themselves a bit. Five quick points from Paul George, including three free throws that came from a very dumb foul behind the arc by Shump, had extended Indy’s lead back to double digits. But, the Cavs secret weapon had come out to start the fourth: Cleveland’s four out+LeBron offense. LeBron was surrounded by DWill, Channing Frye, Shumpert, and Korver.

Lance Stephenson might’ve been great at jump shots in the first two quarters, but by the time the fourth rolled around, he was terrified of stepping into them. After a Lance brick, a fastball swing pass to Kyle in the left corner cut the lead to just five. McMillan had to call a timeout just to change the Pacers’ diapers, and sadly to sub out K-Seph.

At this point, Cleveland was just scrambling on D and forced a shot clock violation. Then Channing Frye hit three free throws after over-aggressive closeout by Ellis. LeBron baited Stephenson into yet another three-point clanker before a James dunk tied the game at 98.

The dunk came out of a timeout, and as much as I’ve bagged on Lue, in this game he was masterful. Maybe all those minutes late in the season were just conditioning LeBron for this comeback. James played all 24 minutes of the second half, and Lue spaced his timeouts and game stoppages perfectly to provide James much needed rest. Lue’s timeout plays also worked to perfection. As you can see above, the Pacers were in full-on panic mode. No one stepped to stop the King’s flush.

The Pacers weren’t done though. Despite a great block and kick by Shumpert to the King to give the Cavs their first lead since the beginning of the game, Indy suddenly looked pissed off. Teague threw his shoulder into D-Will’s jaw while jacking a three, and got an and-1 for Deron’s pain. Williams would pay Teague back with a block just 20 seconds later. When Frye and PG13 traded threes and the lead just before the five minute mark, Austin Carr exclaimed, “It’s on now!”

Out of a time out, the Pacer collapse was complete. Somehow, after starting out in a big huddle at the free throw line, a baseline out of bounds play lead to a wide open layup for the greatest player in the universe. Ty Lue was like John Wooden with the inbounds plays this game. James stuck with Paul George to force a missed layup, and then James drove and kicked to Korver in the left corner. With superhuman focus, Kyle adjusted as Monta Ellis deflected the pass, gathered, and swished for a four point lead.

Sign 7: Endurance

We’ve seen it a hundred times with the Cavs: the letdown after the comeback. Austin Carr always talks about it. Sometimes when you expend all your energy coming back, you’re drained by the time you get the lead. The Cavs looked it. After another ridiculous Paul George three, LeBron had the will to drive and get to the line. He didn’t have the legs to make the gimmes. But Cleveland, as they had all second half, did a great job of clogging the passing lanes. Kyle Korver picked off a pass and after walking it up, James redeemed himself with a three ball.

The problem with Indy is that they have a lot of first three quarter players. We all remember how good C.J. Miles was when the pressure wasn’t on, and for as much as I’ve been on the Thad Young train over the years, the dude’s never hit a memorable shot. His fourth quarter brick at 2:32 was no different.

By this time, the Cavs were in full-on walk-it-up ground-and-pound prevent offense. James managed a LeChuck special as he burned 22 seconds and fired one. Nine seconds later, Myles Turner back-ironed a line drive heave from three with just under two minutes left, but C.J. grabbed the long ball carom.

Sign 8: Unexpected Contributions

Frank Reich, Jared Phalen, Dave Roberts, Derek Fisher… someone unexpected always plays a role.

Channing Frye had two insane plays defensively (I know, right?). First, he played those passing lanes to pick off an ill-conceived Teague pass, and after another LeClock burning brick, Frye blocked a PG13 drive. With a minute left, LeBron was on fumes, and the Cavs were desperately clinging to a four point lead.

But, the Cavs got unexpected juice when James slung the rock to J.R. at the top of the key. Smith crossed up Teague, maybe twice. Turner converged, and as J.R. got into the lane he set up Frye with a perfect right wing trey… splash!

Cleveland spent the next 54 seconds in a tedious free throw battle as they protected their lead, but gave up layups, dunks, and threes while they split free throws before a C.J. triple cut the lead to a single three-point possession. As he had all game, Lue played it like a maestro, using his timeouts at just the right time, and finally getting the ball into Deron Williams’ hands who put the game away with two charity shots with 14 left to give us our final score.

Aftermath: Glory

It was an amazing game. Cleveland became the only team to come back from a 25 point halftime deficit in playoff history. They rode their superior talent and their tendency to come out swinging when cornered to an historic comeback. There were so many heroes: LeBron and his Pantheonic 41-13-12 in 45 minutes; Kyle Korver and Channing Frye, who each put up 13, canned five triples between them, and gave the Cavs unexpected defense; Deron Williams, who played the entire fourth and whose defense and clutch shooting were needed after Kyrie left the game due to his cranium being impacted in his own rectum.

Indiana is left with nothing but questions and what-ifs. They peaked too early and their emotional lull in the early third let the Cavs back into the game. This might be the game that pushes Paul George out of Indy. More than a couple people noted that George’s best option might be to go to Milwaukee who absolutely suffocated the Raptors last night. Teams rarely recover from this kind of collapse.

Meanwhile, Cleveland has to feel invincible. Though given this team’s makeup, who knows what Sunday will bring. The game was maddening, frustrating, awe inspiring, and enduring. We’ll be telling our grandkids about it some day. We’ll all say despite the odds (models gave the Cavs less than a one percent win probability), we could knew it would happen all along. We saw the signs.

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112 Comments on "Recap: Cleveland 119, Indiana 114 (or Signs of a Comeback)"

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JB225
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JB225
2 hours 25 minutes ago

It’s just ridiculous how loaded the Warriors are that they can have the luxury of sitting KD (a top 3 player in the league IMO) and still sweep a number 8 playoffs seed team. If the Cavs sit LeBron they would go down in the first round easily.
Seems like the rest of the league will be playing for the second place for years to come.

James
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James
37 minutes 5 seconds ago

In LeBron we trust!

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
10 hours 13 minutes ago

Man…javale friggin McGee could actually be the X factor that puts the warriors over the top this year. How weird is that? he is a monster

CLF
Guest
CLF
8 hours 16 minutes ago

He always had the size and athleticism… I just wonder if his mental toughness will be there when the pressure rises.

Scotch
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Scotch
10 hours 26 minutes ago

Well…curry made a three. Only took them 10 tries to make one

believeLAND
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believeLAND
10 hours 27 minutes ago

Really interested in seeing how Love and Kyrie bounce back tomorrow. I want to see them clamp down on defense and attack the paint on offense.

Scotch
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Scotch
10 hours 22 minutes ago

If Kev can play bully ball again it will go a long way toward opening up the threes for everyone else. Gotta feed Kev on the block

CLF
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CLF
8 hours 12 minutes ago

Yes… I think this will be what happens and I’m smelling a blowout like game 4 against ATL whenever that was.

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
10 hours 28 minutes ago

Iggy cherry picks sooo badly. So tough to make him pay for it if you don’t follow your dang shot though blazers!

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
10 hours 50 minutes ago

Didn’t notice Nurkic is back…that’s fun. Maybe he can salvage this one by punching dray in the teeth

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
10 hours 49 minutes ago

Oh my gosh I didn’t know Kerr wasn’t coaching! Mike brown getting the start!

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
10 hours 56 minutes ago

Whew…don’t think Portland pulls this out but there is definitely one thing that consistently allows teams to stay competitive with golden state. Slow down the pace.

CLF
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CLF
10 hours 35 minutes ago

Definitely…

CLF
Guest
CLF
11 hours 3 minutes ago

WOW… Portland’s 14 point lead evaporated quickly.

Cols714
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Cols714
11 hours 55 minutes ago

Spurs lose again. The nonstop adulation for that team that came from some corners of the Patric Jennifer nedjj to stop

MikeO
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MikeO
2 hours 44 minutes ago

Some corners of the Patric Jennifer are completely delusional, agreed.

Scotch
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Scotch
10 hours 54 minutes ago

Sooo much suspense right now…who is patric Jennifer!? Where did you hear her on stop spurs’ praise?!

believeLAND
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believeLAND
11 hours 14 minutes ago

???……. Sober up then come try that again.

CLF
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CLF
11 hours 3 minutes ago

LOL!!!

believeLAND
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believeLAND
12 hours 25 minutes ago

Feel like Houston has better chance against GSW than Spurs. Spurs struggle too much to score from time to time.

CLF
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CLF
11 hours 55 minutes ago

LMA has to dominate like he did a few years ago…. and he’s not this year and I don’t think he has since he’s been with the Spurs.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
11 hours 17 minutes ago

I don’t think LMA ever fit in San Antonio. He stops the rock and posts up and that hasn’t been San Antonio’s system for years. They need younger scorers alongside Kawhi that move the ball like they did in 2014. 2014 Spurs was some of the best basketball I’ve ever seen.

CLF
Guest
CLF
8 hours 14 minutes ago

Agreed… 2014 was crazy how they had to play pretty much perfect ball to beat the Heat.

Also agree.. something’s up with LMA in San Antonio…. I don’t get it because he was so good just before he left Portland.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 2 minutes ago

Spurs depend on one player too much. To beat GS in any game, they need someone else to really step up. If they had Parker from five years ago, maybe. I don’t think any team is beating GS in a series (if healthy), but Rockets have a puncher’s chance, I suppose.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 38 minutes ago

Great win for Grizz, they earned this one. Fantastic game, best of the playoffs so far.

CLF
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CLF
12 hours 39 minutes ago

GASOL FTW!!!!!!! I can’t believe he made it!!!

CLF
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CLF
12 hours 41 minutes ago

WOW!!!!!!!!!! KAWHI WITH THE TIE!!!!

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 39 minutes ago

Not sure how he gets that open…I’d make Mills take that shot…but he’s crazy good tonight…

CLF
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CLF
12 hours 36 minutes ago

Great passing…. shot fake by Mills got defender to bite and leave Kawhi.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 43 minutes ago

Win or lose, MVP type performance from Kawhi…crazy…

CLF
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CLF
12 hours 44 minutes ago

WOW!!!!

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 49 minutes ago

Hell of a game…

CLF
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CLF
12 hours 46 minutes ago

Kawhi tired.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 42 minutes ago

Yeah, he’s probably not a Robot. Probably.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 51 minutes ago

Boy, how do you have Harrison on the floor in this situation for the Grizz…he sucks bad…

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
12 hours 50 minutes ago

Then he gets a critical block…Grizz may this, but these turnovers are horrific…

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 58 minutes ago

Kawhi with one of the best 4th quarters of the season…brought the Spurs back from 11 or 12 down scoring almost every point, and absolutely murdering the Grizz on the defensive end.

CLF
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CLF
13 hours 3 minutes ago

CONLEY WITH THE FLOATER!!! Damn…

CLF
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CLF
13 hours 5 minutes ago

KAWHI WITH THE FADE AWAY!!!

MikeO
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MikeO
13 hours 1 minute ago

I get the feeling he can’t miss right now…

MikeO
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MikeO
13 hours 20 seconds ago

Missed that one…OT….

CLF
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CLF
12 hours 57 minutes ago

Yup… honestly Spurs lucky to have a chance… they haven’t looked very good IMO.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 56 minutes ago

Yeah, mostly all Kawhi, although Parker has been pretty good…

CLF
Guest
CLF
12 hours 49 minutes ago

Yup… Aldridge, Manu non-existent it seems.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 47 minutes ago

Aldridge came on a little in the 4th, but Manu is I think still 0 for the series…

CLF
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CLF
13 hours 7 minutes ago

Kawhi is EN FUEGO!!! WOW!

MikeO
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MikeO
13 hours 5 minutes ago

Both ends, too…

CLF
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CLF
13 hours 45 seconds ago

My friend who’s a Spurs fan wants LBJ to team up with Kawhi in SA when Parker and Gasol contracts run out… maximizes the end of the career for LBJ and obviously Pop and LBJ have mutual admiration.

MikeO
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MikeO
12 hours 57 minutes ago

I’m sure he wants that…haha…I wish Kawhi was on the Cavs, one of my favorite players…

CLF
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CLF
12 hours 54 minutes ago

LOL.. exactly… no kidding, love Kawhi… reminds me of a demeanor like Barry Sanders.

CLF
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CLF
13 hours 6 minutes ago

He’s scored the last 14 points for the Spurs.

MikeO
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MikeO
13 hours 15 minutes ago

Kawhi has not missed a FT in this series, 39 for 39. He’s ridiculous. And he just got yet another steal and conversion. One man wrecking ball.

CLF
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CLF
14 hours 19 minutes ago

Mike Brown coaching GSW tonight.

MikeO
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MikeO
13 hours 21 minutes ago

Best chance for Blazers to steal one, Durant out and at home, but I bet they lose. Might make it a close one, though…

CLF
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CLF
13 hours 7 minutes ago

Agreed.

JoeyB
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JoeyB
19 hours 15 minutes ago

Lebron has grown into the player we all hoped he’d be. He took that phenomenal talent and intellect and seasoned it with championship experience. Its just astounding.

EvilGenius
Admin
22 hours 40 minutes ago

So, the Dubs will once again face a banged up opponent in the next round of the playoffs… either the Clips without Blake or the Jazz likely without Rudy… Not saying they wouldn’t get past these teams anyway, but after playing the Blazers without Nurkic, it’s pretty easy sailing until the WCF… Just waiting for a key Rocket or Spur to go down prior to that…

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
20 hours 7 minutes ago

I thought the Clipper *might* (might MIGHT) have been able to give them a good battle, if they got some guys to play at their best for several games, but not likely now. Even though Griffin is usually completely taken out of the game every time by Bray…if there is one player in the NBA that Bray absolutely owns, it’s Blake Griffin.

Is there any timetable for Gobert returning? I think he’s out for this series, but if they move on, any word if he might be back?

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
21 hours 31 minutes ago

The Dubs have been very lucky in playing injured opponents the last two years. I sure hope either the Spurs or Rockets played them at full strength.

TheOtherJason
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TheOtherJason
22 hours 13 minutes ago

My fear – they 16-0 the playoffs

Nate Smith
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Nate Smith
1 day 1 hour ago

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
1 day 9 hours ago

Bulls were a virtual lock to win that series with Rondo. They are a virtual lock to lose in 6 now that he’s gone. Been a few years since Rondo was that important.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 day 14 hours ago

No team in the NBA can afford to give Carter-Williams this many minutes…it’s like playing 4 on 5. He totally sucks.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
1 day 14 hours ago

The fact that MCW was rookie of the year from that draft class almost makes Chris Grant into a sympathetic figure for taking Bennett No. 1.

(Four years on, Giannis is the only all-star from that draft.)

Nate Smith
Guest
Nate Smith
1 day 1 hour ago

Gobert is worthy

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
1 day 10 hours ago

But…we had the #1 pick and didn’t take Giannis and DID take Bennett. No sympathy

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 day 15 hours ago

Robin Lopez must feel like Godzilla playing these guys…

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 day 16 hours ago

God, Michael Carter-Williams sucks so bad, it’s almost beyond comprehension. He’s almost unplayable…

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
1 day 17 hours ago

Benching Kyrie was key. Man, if he could only play defense consistently, probably would be a top-5 player in the league.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
1 day 17 hours ago

Part of the problem is the way he plays offense. It takes a lot of energy to attack constantly in his iso-heavy, tunnel-vision way. So for much of the season and the early rounds of the playoffs (as we saw last year and so far this year), he rests on defense.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
1 day 16 hours ago

There are times when he uses his attacking abilities to create for team mates, distribute the ball. As well as being a hound on defense. He has had some really good defensive moments. But he hasn’t ever been able to sustain that approach to the game and find balance in willful effort on both ends of the floor.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
1 day 17 hours ago

Which is totally fine. Dude crushes it in ISO and the Cavs have had an amazing offense pretty much all year and it’s only gotten better in the playoffs.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
1 day 16 hours ago

Yea, it is totally fine, if Lue benches him and bench players step up. i.e. last night.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
1 day 19 hours ago

DIDN’T GET TO SEE ANY OF THE “COMEBACK” DUE TO STORM KNOCKING POWER OUT ( SIMILAR TO THE CAVS STORM KNOCKING THE PACERS OUT) ———WE ARE ( STILL ) WITNESSING GREATNESS…….AND HE WEARS A CAVS UNIFORM ……LET’S APPRECIATE IT AND NEVER TAKE IT FOR GRANTED …..THANK YOU LEBRON FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE GIVEN US !!!

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
1 day 18 hours ago

Once again Cols is right: Everything is awesome. BTW, any Cols sightings? If he has been abducted by UFO’s, I hope they get NBA basketball on their VR displays!

warriorsfan
Guest
warriorsfan
1 day 18 hours ago

ha ha, scroll down.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
1 day 20 hours ago

One-hour version of the game about to start on NBA TV for the DVR-less among us…

daspec90
Guest
daspec90
1 day 21 hours ago

Got to experience the full range of emotions in last night’s game. Lebron, man oh man. Showing the team that he is not messing around. Probably a big boost for the whole team that the second teamers made a meaningful contribution to the win. Interested to see whether Kyrie has a Shump-like response to spending time on the bench.

EvilGenius
Admin
1 day 21 hours ago

Great recap to an epic comeback! Man, Nate that must have been like covering two games with everything that happened… Didn’t get to watch it live, but rewatched the second half twice on my DVR. Honestly, it was shades of the epic LBJ performance against the Pistons years ago… I know he’s been as great or moreso in the Finals the last two years, but there was just a singular focus he had with both Ky and Kev on the bench down the stretch… LeBron is an absolute force of nature when he wants to be… We really are all Witnesses to greatness…

warriorsfan
Guest
warriorsfan
1 day 18 hours ago

+1

I am glad for two reasons, for having witness greatness and then, I am hoping, thanks to his co stars that he didn’t save his best for warriors :-)

Tim
Guest
Tim
21 hours 11 minutes ago

Warriors might have an easier path to the finals even in the West. They will chew the Rockets up, perhaps the Spurs would challenge them. With Durant off the Thunder it takes a huge wild card out of the mix. Durant and Westbrook were a scary force to anyone, Thunder are helpless without Durant. Rockets are a joke imo, Harden pads stats at the free throw line, but he can’t carry a team against a good team defense like the Warriors or Spurs. Playoffs are all about weapons and matchups, nobody in the West has the tools to really challenge the Dubs. The East is weak as well, but the Wizards and Bucks can be a handful.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
1 day 22 hours ago

Here’s a closer look at Jeff Teague as JR crosses him over before that dish to Frye:

wile e coyote.JPG
Tom Pestak
Admin
1 day 14 hours ago

haha – indeed

Phil Hubbard
Guest
Phil Hubbard
1 day 22 hours ago

So many contributions. I think Channing Frye even left his feet for a rebound or two late in the game.

Love love love the bench reaction after the JR-Frye dagger.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
1 day 22 hours ago

Cavs have best offense in the playoffs so far. LeBron has won 20 in a row. #thingstorememberinthenextgamethreadifthe Cavsgodownbyafewpoints

JMay
Guest
JMay
1 day 20 hours ago

The Cavs were down 25… that’s not “a few”.

Cjef
Guest
Cjef
1 day 22 hours ago

Great recap!

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
1 day 23 hours ago

Terrific analysis, Nate. Very accurate and informed. Kudos. I sure was glad the flat earther didn’t return either. What makes Kyrie a great crunch time iso player obviously kills the team at other times. Of course, we need him to win it all.

Tom Pestak
Guest
Tom Pestak
1 day 23 hours ago

Great Recap, Nate! Good call on the defensive adjustments the Cavs made. Great game for Ty Lue.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
2 days 15 minutes ago

I really think the media is underplaying James playoff domination the last 7 years. To get to the Finals 6 (7) straight years is an amazing accomplishment. And 20 straight first round playoff wins?? I mean who does stuff like this???

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
1 day 12 hours ago

Agree with Cols.

Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
1 day 23 hours ago

Agree. LeBron is most underrated player in league.

I have been reminded how good Paul George is in this series. But, even as good as he is, look at the achievements of his teams relative to LBJ’s teams over their careers. Its not even close. George’s talent doesn’t lead to wins in the same LBJ’s does because he doesn’t make people around him better in the same way LBJ does.

People vastly underrate LBJ because they underrate his impact on his teammates — which is why we have had to listen to the media drool over stats guys like Harden and Westbrook all year. LBJ is soooo much better than those two dudes.

Tim
Guest
Tim
21 hours 4 minutes ago

Paul George is a ridiculous talent, I’m thankful the Celtics were too weak to trade for him. Reminds me of Little Napoleon in the Civil War, they are stacking talent and building a system, they’ve lost track of the whole point: winning a championship, George is the caliber of player needed to win a championship. Celtics would be scary with George. Frankly it points to the East fear of LeBron, teams know when if they pull the trigger on a big trade it might not get them past LeBron and they are too scared to trade and still lose.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
1 day 23 hours ago

Yep. People do the same with Kawhi. LeBron is just in a tier by himself.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
2 days 25 minutes ago

Rondo apparently has a fractured thumb, out indefinitely. I never thought I’d type these words, but…this really hurts the Bulls.

warriorsfan
Guest
warriorsfan
1 day 18 hours ago

Butler can play better though. Before it looked like Bulls series in 5, now may be in 7.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
2 days 16 minutes ago

Sucks for the Bulls. He was playing really well.

Hot Sauce
Guest
Hot Sauce
1 day 23 hours ago

Bulls still have 2 best players in series. I don’t see this mattering much. Plus Hoiburg has been running circles around Stevens.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 day 23 hours ago

We’ll see, but Bulls have garbage at b/u PG, it’s been killing them all year. Definitely don’t want to give MCW many minutes in a playoff game…

Nick P
Guest
Nick P
2 days 26 minutes ago

Is this title a Prince reference on his death-a-versary?

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
2 days 31 minutes ago

Epic writeup. I think “The flat-earther’s play in the third was trash. He consistently ignored teammates to take inexplicable pull-ups let guys drive right by him for layups, and misplayed the pick-and roll.” is a great description of KI’s play at its worst. Lucky for the Cavs Lebron went on a rampage in the 2nd half.

In worrisome news, per Woj, Orlando interested in Griffin. Hope Dan has a handle on this.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
2 days 35 minutes ago

Gee. Lue is great. Cavs are great and can turn it on whenever. I wonder if we are every going to learn this.

CLF
Guest
CLF
1 day 19 hours ago

Gee.. Cols never letting an opportunity go by to praise himself and put down others after a victory… adds so much to the enjoyment of being a Cavs fan.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
1 day 17 hours ago

+infinity and more…

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
1 day 18 hours ago

+1

JMay
Guest
JMay
1 day 20 hours ago

If the Cavs win the finals this year, I will forever concede to your lackadaisical attitude whenever we are losing.

Cols714
Guest
Cols714
1 day 20 hours ago

Winning the Finals is insanely hard. That cannot be how you judge a successful season. A successful season involves LeBron once again carrying his team to the Finals. A win would be great and I hope it happens.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
2 days 26 minutes ago

Is Indy great? Asking for a friend…

Elijah Kim
Member
2 days 34 minutes ago

When he repeats…..

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