2018 Finals Recap: Golden State 124, Cleveland 114 (or, The Oakland Screwjob)

In sports, there are tough losses. There are gutwrenching losses. There are losses that make you scratch your head. And then there are losses that just make you want to throw up. This one trumped all of them. This game saw LeBron post a 51 point game, the second highest scoring finals game in NBA history. Yet, the Cavs got screwed by the officials to the tune of 7-9 points in the late fourth quarter, and then overtime…

…And none of it might have mattered if J.R. Smith hadn’t totally boned the final play of regulation, an offensive rebound of a missed George Hill free throw, after which J.R. thought the Cavs were up by one instead of tied, so he tried to run out the clock instead of putting up a shot, passing, or calling a timeout, to send the game to overtime. The Cavs got screwed on the first call of overtime, and after just seemed defeated – unwilling to believe they couldn’t beat the Warriors and the officiating as the Warriors went up 10 and put the game out of reach.

As if that weren’t enough. Tristan Thompson took exception to a Shawn Livingston “run it up” shot attempt with two seconds left in overtime and fouled him, and was inextricably ejected for the most ridiculous Flagrant 2 call in NBA history. After which, Draymond taunted him and the Cavs and caused a big dustup. God, I want to vomit. Fortunately, Tom Pestak conjured all our collective rage for an “instacrap” (cause this game was crap).

OK, Deep breat. Let’s take a look at how we got to this situation. The Cavs came out strong and put up a 30-29 first quarter lead on the strength of LeBron’s 12 points on 4-4 shooting and three dimes. Kev dropped nine around the basket and in the post, and J.R. canned seven as they consistently looked to get him isolated Steph Curry. Unfortunately, George Hill picked up two fouls early and got replaced with Jordan Clankson who bricked his first three wide open shots and turned it over before getting a bunny from LeBron. Jordan did have a block, but Kyle Korver or Cedi Osman there would’ve put the Cavs up four to seven instead of just one.

The Dubs were led by a red hot Steph Curry who had 11 in the first, and was hitting threes and scoring on layups when the Cavs ran him off the line. Fortunately, the other Warriors were missing from outside. Also of note, was an early exit by Klay Thompson who was undercut when J.R. Smith slipped and rolled under him. Klay went to the locker room, but played the entire second quarter with a “contusion.”

The Second Quarter started with more ice cold shooting from Clarkson who was thankfully replaced by Kyle Korver. Unfortunately the Cavs didn’t seem to be able find ways for Kyle get open other than his left side baseline screen and he finished with just three field goal attempts on the night. LeBron continued his brilliance with a 12 point quarter, but got raked in the eye by Draymond Green and was on the floor for a couple minutes, and ended up with blood in the white of his right eye.

James was everywhere offensively, and consistently punished Steph Curry and the Warriors’ bigs on switches, and driving to the rim with a series of Statue of Liberty one handed finishes. Larry Nance gave them major minutes filling the lane, scoring over littles on switches, and rebounding on both ends of the court: eight points and seven rebounds in 9:40. He might have been the Cavs’ second best player tonight.

A Kevin Love turnaround put the Cavs up 11 with 5:19 to go, but the Warriors closed with a 16-5 run as the wine and gold turned the ball over and couldn’t get into their offense and a couple defensive breakdowns assisted Golden State in getting easy buckets. The quarter ended when J.R. went for a ridiculous steal and missed, leaving Steph Curry open for a shot he buried to leave the score 56 all at halftime.

The Third Quarter exploded with the fireworks that the Warriors have shown in the period all postseason. The Warriors started Javale McGee and his energy helped kick off an 10-3 run as Kerr clearly had seen something in the Cavs’ defense that made him think Javale could get some easy buckets inside. The Warriors got to the rim for eight straight while the Cavs missed threes until Ty Lue finally called a rage timeout. Fortunately, two bad plays got the Cavs going: a Steph Curry pass through Javale’s knees, and an hilarious missed dunk that will have McGee on Shaqtin the Fool.

The Cavs got a much needed bucket on a Tristan Thompson post-up after he was switched on by Klay Thompson (you read that right). Then LeBron got to the line for two and got supernova hot from outside, scoring 13 in two minutes with three triples (all off the dribble) and a turnaround to draw the Cavs back to 73-all. The Dubs responded with another run centered around Durant, Thompson, and too many dunks. While a Kevin Love hook and a Nance freebie left it 84-78, Warriors.

I’ll admit I didn’t think the Cavs had enough in them to win this one when The Fourth Quarter started. LeBron looked gassed, and he was getting no help from his teammates’ outside shooting, but a Clarkson steal led to a Jeff Green dunk from the King, and Curry was missing looks he normally makes. But Thompson scored five straight on Kyle Korver, losing him on a pick-and pop, and then drawing a foul on a bad closeout from Korver that netted him three free throws (Korver had a bad defensive game). But the Cavs responded with a huge triple from Jeff Green and then from Kyle to cut the Warriors’ lead to just one for a Steve Kerr timeout.

Looney converted a flob and Clarkson finally made a bucket off the drive before LeBron re-took the lead with a gorgeous driving layup, while  the Warriors missed three after three… Then the first of many assaults on the profession of officiating occurred when Durant drove, James got a clean strip, and was whistled for the foul. Of course Durant missed the backend of the free throws, and Looney tipped in the miss for a three-point possession. On the ensuing drive, Bron was absolutely hatcheted by Loony for a foul ten times more obvious that was uncalled… That’s at least a four point swing just on bad calls. Here’s the comparison.

After a Love tip-in of yet another JR brick, Draymond Green broke the seal on the three point arc by making a rare triple, James threw the ball out of bounds, and Curry answered with another trey. “Crap,” I said, as the Cavs called time out. I feared the game was about to get out of hand. Little did I know.

The Cavs answered with a stupid possessions: a J.R. Isolation brick against Draymond, but a missed Looney layup was followed by two gorgeous drives from LeBron sandwiched around great defense from Love where Kev pressured Durant into a left wing air ball. A Curry layup followed before J.R. clanked a trey and George Hill and Jeff Green both got offensive rebounds to set up Kev from the top of the key… BANG! Three pointer, Cavs down 101-102 with 2:04 left.

Cleveland kept defending and survived a minute long possession from the Warriors as Curry and Durant both missed shots. Then James drove, drew an and1 from Looney to give the Cavs a two point lead. This was a ridiculous finish.

Then the refs really put the screws to the Cavs. After Kenny Mauer called Kevin Durant for a charge on LeBron James on the floor, the officials went to replay to review if “LeBron was in the restricted area.” Jeff Van Gundy mentioned that they can look at the feet, but also overturn the block/charge call. Then Steve Javey came on to discuss the play, and basically agreed that if both refs on the floor called it a charge, there probably wasn’t going to be enough on the replay to overturn that call as long as LeBron wasn’t in the restricted area (he was at least ten inches out).

It was a bang/bang play and a 50/50 call. The officials engineered the review rule on a play that was clearly outside of the restricted area to get to a replay and examine the play like it was the Zapruder film and decide it was a blocking foul on James. I’ve watched thousands of hours of playoff basketball, and I’ve never seen a play overturned like that. Ever. LeBron was rightfully incredulous, as were we all.

Durant made both free throws to tie, James rejected a Hill screen to blow right by Durant on the left and double clutched to finish over Draymond Green. Unfortunately, the Cavs had Kevin Love in (they’d been subbing him out on D earlier, and the Warriors didn’t call timeout to allow Lue to do it again), and Kev comitted a dumb foul on the Curry layup nine seconds later.

With the hoop and the harm, the Warriors were up one with 23 seconds left. The Cavs played for last shot, and with four seconds left, Klay Thompson yanked George Hill down to send him to the line. He made the first, missed the second, and then J.R.’s brain fart ensued.

In J.R.’s defense it’s either LeBron’s or George Hill’s (the leader and the point guard) responsibility to let everyone know the situation and to make sure they know what they’re doing if they get an o-board or if the Warriors get the ball. After the game, Ty Lue remarked that J.R. Smith “Thought we were ahead.” But J.R. insisted in postgame interviews he knew they were tied and wasn’t going to put up a shot against KD. Still, in the moment, it sure seems like Smith might have said, “I thought we were ahead.” The ABC crew sure thought he did. To me it looks like he said, “I thought we won.” You be the judge.

After the game, J.R. sure sounded like he was trying to save face, but in his defense, LeBron was calling for a timeout, as was George Hill, and they never got one (more on that from Tom).

When overtime started, George Hill got whistled for his third absolute BS foul of the night, Durant made both free throws, Hill drove got blocked by Dray (it looked an awful lot like a foul), the Warriors quickly found Klay for three in the right corner and the Cavs were done – mentally defeated. They weren’t allowed to guard Durant and couldn’t buy a call. Here are four of of Hill’s fouls tonight (the fourth was unavailable). The one for the hand in the small of Dray’s back is literally what Dray gets away with every possession. I wish you could see the last one from another angle. It’s all ball, and these calls were so much garbage.

You thought we were done with the game and the screwing by officials? Oh no. Tony Brothers wasn’t done. Check out this garbage, the most ridiculous Flagrant 2 ever called which was UPHELD ON REVIEW?! And the ensuing dustup which probably won’t get anyone suspended, but will probably get Thompson fined. It was ridiculous officiating by our old pal Tony Brothers. Here it is in all its glory.

Of course there’s even a controversy that Kevin Love was off the bench during the fracas, and by rule could be suspended, but as many have noted, he was off the bench well before it became a fight and never engaged in the theatrics. I think he’ll be fine. Of course, if the NBA is gonna screw Cleveland, they might as well do a proper job.

There’s so much to take in and analyze on the end of that game, and I’ll leave most of it to Tom, but the shame of it all is it wasted one of the greatest finals games ever played by any player: LeBron and his 51-8-8 on just 32 shots, in 47 minutes (including overtime), with a gouged right eye. I’ll leave the highlight reel right here. It’s legendary.

I’m worried. There’s two factors at play here. As commenter, Scotch noted the Warriors have won when they didn’t poke the bear, and tonight, they definitely poked the bear.

James’ eye looks awful, but a bigger factor, Golden state shot 36% from three. Can the Cavs hold them to that? KD was 1-7, and Curry missed a lot of open looks. I hope they keep with their strategy of forcing him to play defense. Unfortunately, the Cavs were 27% from three. Just one of the 27 they missed would’ve won the game. Kevin Love (1-8), Jeff Green (1-6), and Kyle Korver (1-3) have got to be better, and Kyle has to get more looks. Don’t even get me started on Jordan Clarkson’s sorry behind. The only reason he’s 11-46 from three this playoffs is that he was standing on the three point line for three of his bricks tonight (2-9 from the floor).

Rebounding-wise the Cavs had a monster 53-38 advantage with 19 o-boards. The Warriors are going to cut down on those second chance points. The Cavs only had 11 turnovers but there were some costly ones that led to breaks and threes. Can the Cavs conjure a performance like this again? Or was this their best shot to win one on the road?

Who knows if the game would’ve gone differently if JR had shot or passed or called a timeout? I hope the team rallies around him and gets mad for game two. But Smith has to play bettter. He was a game low -22.

I know that pissed off at a press conference Ty Lue is my favorite Ty Lue…

One great thing about poking this team is that they’re much better when they’re not in their own heads. Getting them revved up helps them a lot more than the ever-taunting Warriors. Just hope JR keeps his cool. Listen to Tom and shake it off. I know I’ll feel better in the morning. I hope the Cavs do too. God, I hate the Warriors.

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Dave
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Dave
12 days 23 hours ago

Nobody is really discussing Draymond Green’s lane violation that should have given Hill another free throw,. That would have negated the JR gaffe,

Matt from Mentor
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Matt from Mentor
16 days 6 hours ago

Why does the NBA hate LeBron? He single-handedly brought them out of the doldrums in the early 2000s, but ever since new faces have come around (Curry, Durant, Harden, Westbrook, you get the idea), LBJ gets treated like he isn’t the savior he is. It’s very frustrating.

Scotch
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Scotch
16 days 15 hours ago

The most telling reaction from the NBA was to not fine Lue for calling out the officiating. They should have rescinded the flagrant on tristan altogether cuz that was absolute garbage…but clearly Lue saying the refs robbed us of a game is a fine if the NBA thinks otherwise. Unbelievable.

believeLAND
Guest
believeLAND
16 days 16 hours ago

How is he supposed to leave the court “in a timely manner” when Draymond is literally in his way, clapping in his face?Of course no technical for Draymond

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
16 days 17 hours ago

Thompson’s flagrant-two is downgraded to a flagrant-one. They must have decided that rescinding it entirely would be too embarrassing.

No suspension. He’s fined $25K for not leaving the court right away.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/23673501/tristan-thompson-cleveland-cavaliers-fined-25000-flagrant-reduced

MikeO
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MikeO
16 days 12 hours ago

I’d love for the league office to show me a more mythical flagrant 1 in the history of the game. Brothers is a total disgrace to the league.

Vintage
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Vintage
16 days 17 hours ago

And of course, Donkey the instigator gets off clean

MikeO
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MikeO
16 days 13 hours ago

Entire league office is scared of Bray…

daspec90
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daspec90
16 days 13 hours ago

Plus the poke to the eye, which was a dirty play. Equivalent to a kick to the groin.

running jumper
Guest
running jumper
16 days 18 hours ago

Depressing but the dust has settled for me a bit. This might be the turning point of the series for better or for worst. The Warriors are vulnerable but they are also an elite team on making adjustments. That’s why it could’ve been great to have a 1-0 lead before they could’ve made their adjustments. I hope they haven’t figured out how yet.

JMay
Member
16 days 18 hours ago

Another positive is that the way James is playing, there isn’t really an adjustment they can make to stop him. If LeBron has a bad game it will be because he got tired or was making stupid plays not because the warriors were shutting him down. No one in the world can shut him down right now, I don’t think.

Joeyb
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Joeyb
16 days 18 hours ago

Not that it excuses anything, but we wouldn’t be bashing JR if he hadn’t of made a good play to get an offense of rebound. And the other thing is that after a loss like that there really is nothing to lose at this point. Sometimes that idea Ken open things up. I’m going to enjoy the next three or more games of LeBron James best playoff performance in his Hall of Fame career.

CLF
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CLF
16 days 20 hours ago

Looking at the box score, another realization I had was that the Cavs will be competitive in every game as long as they rebound and don’t turn the ball over…. they can survive cold shooting and defensive lapses if they continue to rebound and protect the basketball.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
16 days 21 hours ago

You know why we’re so mad?? Cuz he’s the greatest damn player of all time, stand up. #GOAT

JMay
Member
16 days 18 hours ago

Preach

believeLAND
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believeLAND
16 days 21 hours ago
daspec90
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daspec90
16 days 21 hours ago

I just read an article on cleveland.com about how George Hill couldn’t sleep last night and that the team is going out for dinner in San Francisco tonight. I’m only a couple hours’ drive from there. If I knew where they were gonna be I’d make a poster and go stand on the road outside. “Let’s go Cavs!” Kinda cool to
think that they are so close. When they won Game 2 in 2015, I was in attendance and was one of the last m’fers in the arena (they kicked me out actually). Jumping up and down as Lebron gave his interviews. It ain’t over.

JRL
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JRL
16 days 21 hours ago

Hahaha yup got kicked out. That’s great.

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
16 days 22 hours ago

How can that 2 minute report call Draymonds lane violation ‘incidental or immaterial’??? Literally if they had called that by the book, George Hill gets another free throw. That would be the definition of material!

Not saying they should have called it by the way, just baffled at the wording.

And how about a writeup of the hypothetical foul on the last 0.1 second shot by Hill from (you guessed it) Donkey Green

MikeO
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MikeO
16 days 13 hours ago

Agree, but lane violations in the NBA are like moving screens. There is a lane violation on probably 60% (and I’m being generous) of free throws in the NBA, but they hardly ever call it.

JMay
Member
16 days 18 hours ago

Ya, this is he biggest joke of the whole thing.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
16 days 22 hours ago

so, if porter is available at no.8.. him or one of the bridges? (please, no trae, i’m beggin’ ya)

daspec90
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daspec90
16 days 22 hours ago

Another amazing game by Lebron. He makes scoring over 50 seem effortless, you hardly even notice. Jeff Green was in the rotation all year preparing to defend against the Warriors and Durant. Not too bad so far. The Warriors seemed to take advantage of Durant’s size on George Hill. That could be a soft spot on the Cavs’ defense.

GreekCavsFan
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GreekCavsFan
16 days 12 hours ago

Hill made two perfect defensive plays when isolated against Durant and got scored on on 2 others. Too bad his two clean strips were both called for fouls. Not a soft spot at all. If they want to ISO Durant against Hill, have at it all you want. It is a win for us.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
16 days 23 hours ago

And here it is from the two-minute report, calling the change of call from charge to block correct:

Upon replay review, it was confirmed that James was outside the restricted area. The referees also reviewed whether James was in a legal guarding position, which is an additional reviewable matter for this replay trigger. Replay showed James was not in a legal guarding position because he was turning his body and moving into Durant when contact occurred. Thus the initial call on the floor was overturned and James was assessed a blocking foul.

http://official.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2018/05/L2M-CLE-GSW-05-31-2018.pdf

JoeyB
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JoeyB
16 days 22 hours ago

I’d like to see the report about the last 5 seconds of overtime, when Green should have been assessed a tech and tossed.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
16 days 22 hours ago

James beat Durant to the spot — not just got there but was actually slightly past Durant’s centerline — and got run over. Calling a block because he was turning slightly ignores all proportionality.

If they had left it as a charge, there would be zero controversy. Tom is right — look at the reaction the initial call gets from Durant, his teammates, Kerr on the sideline, and the crowd. No one is protesting or booing — because no one thought it was a bad call.

Tim
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Tim
16 days 23 hours ago

What a joke, the whole thing not just that call. NBA trying to save face on abysmal officiating.

Scotch
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Scotch
16 days 23 hours ago

I’ll never forget the thunderous spike of the basketball at the end of game 2 at Oracle in 2015.

I cant wait to see it again on sunday.

daspec90
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daspec90
16 days 23 hours ago

I was there and haven’t forgotten it! Also, Delly hit both free throws…

JoeyB
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JoeyB
16 days 22 hours ago

Yeah. We could use Delly right about now. Heady player, nerves of steel, completely unafraid and intimidated by the Warriors.

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
16 days 22 hours ago

i would imagine most, in retrospect, would now say, categorically.. you should have paid delly, and you should have let JR go.. delly isn’t brain-dead (ok, that’s too harsh).. let’s use the term “pickled”

JMay
Member
16 days 18 hours ago

The worst part of it is it wasn’t even JR who got Dellys money… it was Shump…

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
16 days 22 hours ago

and delly could bring those “tre(y)s”.. couldn’t he

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
16 days 22 hours ago

we have delly, he’s called cedi now, but lue wont try him :/

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
17 days 7 minutes ago

It’s almost 5 p.m. and the NBA’s two-minute report still isn’t out. A long day in the league office…

Kevin
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Kevin
17 days 8 minutes ago

The Cavs better get the same calls when they play at home. Tired of this crap. When even the broadcasting crew is saying Cleveland got screwed, you know it was a travesty.

TheMarkSideoftheG
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TheMarkSideoftheG
17 days 29 minutes ago

There are still some positives here: the Dubs are mortal (and must know deep down that they shouldn’t have won), JR must feel his legacy is on the line (how nightmare-ish to make a mistake that big; he’ll want to make up for that) so that should serve as motivation, Hill also must bear responsibility and can hopefully use that to his advantage, and the as has been pointed elsewhere, Lebron is a bear that’s been poked (in the eye). If if if they bring that same level of intensity to game 2–keep it close and play with pride–they may be able to pull it out. It’s a heartbreaker–a tragic turn of events–but it was only game one. The Dubs’ players gloating like that after a victory like this is repugnant; let’s hope they get complacent, cocky, then shocked in that order (which is essentially what happened in 2016).

JMay
Member
16 days 18 hours ago

Sober view.

Frogdog
Guest
Frogdog
17 days 37 minutes ago

I have slept on it, meditated, and played with my dogs and I am still angry about that game. I remember being disappointed by some sports stuff before, but never actually mad. I just wish game 2 could start right now so I could stop thinking about game 1.

Raffy22
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Raffy22
17 days 31 minutes ago

I’m 41 – sports shouldn’t affect me this much. I’ve been zen like about sports for a few years now – until last night. Ugh.

scott
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scott
17 days 32 minutes ago

I am also angry. I went to a concert right after the game was over and couldn’t even bring myself to stay for the band I paid to see.

Phil Hubbard
Member
Phil Hubbard
17 days 1 hour ago

No suspension for Love, according to ESPN. Would have been a travesty, since he just went a few feet onto the court during the dead ball before the scuffle broke out.

The league is still reviewing Thompson’s actions.

Scotch
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Scotch
17 days 1 hour ago

In a perfect world, TT gets a flagrant 1 for the ball shove to bray’s face. Bray gets a tech for instigating. The flagrant 2 is rescinded from TT’s record. and this officiating crew gets fined, maybe forty lashes, and also maybe don’t let them ref in the freaking nba finals anymore.

Peter
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Peter
17 days 1 hour ago

Tony Brothers is that same dumb ref who allowed Isaiah Thomas to swipe the ball from an inbounding Lebron and stupidly just looked blankly at a complaining Bron. Malloy was that same ref who didn’t call a would have been 3rd foul in the early second quarter on Durant when he whacked a dunking Lebron in Game 5 last year’s finals.

JMay
Member
17 days 1 hour ago

He’s also the guy who let Kelly Olynyk rip out Kevin Love’s arm.

daspec90
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daspec90
17 days 2 hours ago

Usually, win or lose, I am a voracious consumer of news about the Cavs, but I couldn’t look at anything until this afternoon. Uugh.

Hey, here’s an easy SAT-like question for you:

Not calling a timeout at a critical moment when you have one is to JR as calling a timeout in a critical moment when you do not have one is to _____?

Fortunately, in the current situation, there is an opportunity for redemption.

RightDownEuclid (the first)
Guest
RightDownEuclid (the first)
17 days 2 hours ago

Maybe this is the year LeBron finally gets MVP in a losing effort

JoeyB
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JoeyB
16 days 23 hours ago

He should have got it in 2015. The fact that Iguodala got it for his defense on the guy who lead all teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks, is, well, telling.

RightDownEuclid (the first)
Guest
RightDownEuclid (the first)
17 days 3 hours ago

Another referee blunder. Draymond was clearly in the lane before George Hill released his foul shot in final seconds. pic.twitter.com/QinVKBUARo

— Game Hunter (@MrGameHunter) June 1, 2018

JoeyB
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JoeyB
17 days 1 hour ago

I don’t understand why shooters don’t pause their motion in these instances. I guess they don’t want to mess up their rhythm. But If I’m a bad shooter, like Tristan, I’d pause and let the dumbasses stand in the lane and then stare at the ref and wait. At least if I’m going to miss, let my guys have a chance at the rebound rather than let the other guys crowd the lane before the shot even goes up.

JMay
Member
17 days 3 hours ago

Or this one?

JoeyB
Guest
JoeyB
17 days 1 hour ago

Green is without question the dirtiest player in the NBA. I can’t think of another one worse than him. Not even the Morris twins are that bad. And I truly can’t fathom the referee’s non calling him so much. It’s not like he’s a nice guy or some superstar. He’s just an a-hole. It’s baffling.

MikeO
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MikeO
17 days 1 hour ago

It’s because he’s on the current glamour team. If he played on, say, the Magic, he’d get no slack from the refs at all.

JMay
Member
17 days 3 hours ago

How about this one?

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
17 days 3 hours ago

as i posted last night.. these things (re game status) should not be left to chance.. why do baseball players all put up the fingers to indicate # of outs? it is the rule.. everybody does it.. it is 2nd nature.. it is free insurance.. so, wtf? why was this team assuming that everybody was on the same page at such a critical juncture.. it speaks of systemic incompetence.. no dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.. this is an easy fix.. everyone needs to interact in such a way that it is guaranteed that everyone knows time and score.. mistakes can happen.. NO, mistakes WILL happen.. that is why checklists are used in surgery.. so the wrong leg isn’t amputated..

JoeyB
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JoeyB
17 days 1 hour ago
Here is the thing, though – letting him know how many timeouts you have? Sure. How many fouls he or another player has? I get it. Whether there is enough time for a 2 for 1? Of course. But the freaking SCORE? You really have to tell a player the SCORE. During a time stoppage. Do they have to tell him how many points a free throw is worth also? I mean, at a certain point, you have to make assumptions. If you are human over the age of 10, you should be able to calculate the difference between two numbers if those two number are within ONE POINT of one another. There is simply no way to excuse not knowing what the score of the freaking game was at that point. I mean, think about it – he knew the score was an essential component in strategy THAT’S WHY HE WAS TRYING TO RUN OUT THE CLOCK. It was a one possession game. The clock was stopped. There was someone shooting free throws. The score is in huge bright lights all over the arena. Everyone in the entire building knew the score. Literally little children sitting in their parents… Read more »
buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
17 days 1 hour ago

children who have pickled their brains over the years are cognitively compromised.. sad but true.. expecting normal signal processing is naive

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
17 days 1 hour ago

and of course, dumb is just dumb..

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
17 days 1 hour ago

put the 2 together, and you are talking epic disability

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
17 days 1 hour ago

some of this is on the coaches.. know your players.. hard to not know who the dim bulbs are if you open your eyes.. if you were given a choice on which player on this roster would be able to screw something like this up, JR would be on your short list (but he would not be alone, sadly)

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
17 days 3 hours ago

and why checklists are used prior to flight.. mistakes ARE the norm, unless precautions are taken.. otherwise, it is amateur hour, and you fly at your own risk

daspec90
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daspec90
17 days 2 hours ago

Good points, Buck. I think that the Strategic Air Command also uses checklists to prevent the accidental deployment of nuclear weapons. :) Sometimes, like this time, they are nearly unforgivable.

Vintage
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Vintage
17 days 3 hours ago
Epic rant, Tom. The concept of the makeup call is an intriguing one and a real problem for the NBA. Essentially trying to make two wrongs equal a right. I understand that that’s long been the case in the NBA, but should it be? You don’t see NFL refs who mess up a pass interference/holding call blatantly call it the other way the next time around. You don’t see MLB umpires calling balls and strikes differently after a 50-50 call. Even if they did sometimes, you don’t have football or baseball fans knowingly stating “oh that was a makeup call” like they do in basketball. So where does the NBA go from here after a game that was clearly slighted against the Cavs at the end of the game? Do they intentionally tell the refs to call borderline plays in the Cavs favor in Game 2? Again, two wrongs don’t make a right. Never mind that the outcome of the series (which may be heavily affected by the outcome of Game 1) could have league-altering ramifications depending on who wins. Just bothers me that the outcome wasn’t decided by the players and if the Cavs ultimately lose the series, we’ll… Read more »
Bryan
Guest
Bryan
17 days 4 hours ago

Lebron can easily average 40+ in this series. Warriors continue to switch Curry/Bell/Looney on him and he feasts.

We need Hill, Love, and even Jeff Green to occasionally attack mismatches to give Lebron a rest. I was surprised to see JR post up Curry a few times.

I think I saw the Warriors with three poor 3-point shooters on the floor at one point. Cavs D can send tons of help.

TheOtherJason
Member
TheOtherJason
17 days 4 hours ago

Sad that officials now change the meaning of “The Block” from 2016 to 2018. Looks like we’re back to bad things happening to Cleveland.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
17 days 4 hours ago

Absolutely not.

ChrisKorvalier
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ChrisKorvalier
17 days 4 hours ago

This game is a perfect example why LeBron should just hang it up after this year. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to put in the work he has put in to elevate his game to clear GOAT status…only to be embarrassed in a masterpiece of a game on the NBA’s biggest stage because of incompetent call after incompetent call. Let Kevin “fake Twitter account” Durant be the new face of the league if that’s what Silver wants.

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
17 days 4 hours ago

NBA has long taken LeBron for granted.

Raffy22
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Raffy22
17 days 4 hours ago

The Block is immortal. We should call this the “Charge” or the “Robbery”.

scott
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scott
17 days 3 hours ago

very good

Tim
Guest
Tim
17 days 5 hours ago

Couple things. 1. Thank God for this Blog ESPN is unwatchable with the lack of logic or historical brevity. 2. Tom used a bunch of baseball analogies, how about Braymond brushing Lebron back of the plate with an intentional fingers spread punch to the face because Lebron was too comfortable. How is that a “basketball” play? Anyone with any sense knows that was an intentional message to Lebron that the lane wasn’t safe, yet no review? Warriors play best ahead, they relax, they dance, Durant hits shots, next game will have a whole different tone than it could have. Down 1 they might have lost their poise. NBA is, by far, the worst officiating in professional sports, if we are by the book, wasn’t Hill fouled shooting while time expired? Of course they don’t make that call, because of the game situation. One more thing. If Lebron was the one driving and Durant did what Lebron did, what would the call be? No doubt in my mind Lebron gets a charge if it was reversed, none.

buck turgidson
Guest
buck turgidson
17 days 3 hours ago

james worthy wore goggles.. why others do not follow his lead is beyond me, especially when you are attacking in the trenches.. whether intentional or accidental.. no great blind basketball players.. LBJ.. protect those peepers.. put on the goggles

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
17 days 4 hours ago

Bray getting the tech while (laughably) protesting that eye gouge call is almost definitely why he didn’t get a T at the end of the game. The refs were too gutless to give him a second T, even though he more than earned it. This crew should never ref another Finals game.

Tim
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Tim
17 days 4 hours ago

He protested to sell it wasn’t intentional, it was.

MikeO
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MikeO
17 days 4 hours ago

Unfortunately, Bray also knows once he gets one T, he could murder someone on the court and not get a second (with the ejection)…so he knows he has a blank check after he gets the first one. They definitely should have tossed him last night near the end of OT.

Tim
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Tim
17 days 4 hours ago

At some point what he’s doing is leading to what the NBA has so many rules in place to avoid. Who could blame an opponent from knocking him on his butt? That’s what he wants, yet officials swallow the whistle, if he gets floored they will take no blame, but the blame is on them.

ChrisKorvalier
Guest
ChrisKorvalier
17 days 4 hours ago

Bingo.

EvilGenius
Admin
17 days 5 hours ago

Tough one last night. Wasn’t able to watch (except for a few minutes of the first half on a tiny, non HD tv in the bar of the restaurant I was at), but reviewed it all on DVR late.

Three things were clear to me… 1) The NBA has a serious officiating problem. 2) The Warriors are truly vulnerable without Iguodala to at least slow down LeBron. 3) The Cavs showed why nobody should be surprised they are in this series.

I’ll be out of town for the next three games, so I’ll miss hanging out with you all here… but, I expect to return to a series deadlocked at 2-2 when I’m back.

Sticking with Cavs in 7… whatever it takes

Joeyb
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Joeyb
17 days 5 hours ago

This game had a lot of positives to take from it. It simply requires mental fortitude to move forward. Refereeing is out of their control. Shot missed, mental errors made – in the past. If they are mentally tough enough this game can be a springboard. We’ll see what they’re made of.

Lue should challenge Clarkson to not take a shot. He did is useful defensively. Otherwise just play cedi.

believeLAND
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believeLAND
17 days 6 hours ago

holy freaking hell, JR. The astronomical levels of asinine of both you and Lue, i still can not fathom…

MikeO
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MikeO
17 days 6 hours ago

Windy: "This was not a well officiated game. Before the game, when I saw the crew, I was very surprised…I thought it was a suspect crew…"

— Aaron Goldhammer (@HammerNation19) June 1, 2018

Vintage
Guest
Vintage
17 days 4 hours ago

Of course you did Windy. Monday morning QB, much?

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
17 days 4 hours ago

I believe him. No one looks at Mauer and Brothers and thinks, “Now THIS will be an exquisitely officiated game!”. Both of those guys should be out of the league.

Sim
Guest
Sim
17 days 6 hours ago

Give cedi some minutes from jr , And see if he can knock down open 3s , If he can he should at least be splitting min with jr , Jr defense was trash throughout the game , curry blew right by him with 30 sec to go , ect . No more Clarkson at all

Scotch
Guest
Scotch
17 days 5 hours ago

Clarkson had a pretty good game actually. Helped us steal rest minutes for lebron. I’m not high on him either but this wasnt one of those games where he was a dumpster fire. If the refs dont take over and screw us I dont think we even bother worrying about clarkson’s minutes

JMay
Member
17 days 6 hours ago

I think we’re wasting our breath with Cedi. Lue played Clarkson 17 minutes and watched brick after brick after brick. Oddly, he was +8 on the game. Regardless, Lue is going to die on this hill if he has to. Cedi won’t get minutes unless there is no hope left…

Sim
Guest
Sim
17 days 6 hours ago

And yes , our coaching staff lebron, hill ect should’ve been communicating b4/duri. The free throws of all the basic what ifs

Sim
Guest
Sim
17 days 6 hours ago

It was lebrons best game as far as I can remember , and that’s why this loss bothers me soo much

believeLAND
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believeLAND
17 days 6 hours ago

Probably best game he’s ever played

believeLAND
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believeLAND
17 days 6 hours ago

It’s the universe versus Lebron.

He has to deal with not only the most talented but smug, arrogant team of all time. But also, an incompetent coach, incompetent team mates, a front office that can’t put together a decent roster, an incompetent owner, and the bias of the league, referees, and media all in favor of the arrogant, smug team out west.

Universe vs. Lebron

Raffy22
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Raffy22
17 days 7 hours ago

Anybody who trolls on other fans websites have already lost at life.

Gordon
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Gordon
17 days 6 hours ago

They’re just little teenagers who don’t realize how pathetic they are.

MikeO
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MikeO
17 days 6 hours ago

Looks like the other thread was mercifully deleted, but for the record, I never replied to you, I was replying to the troll.

Raffy22
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Raffy22
17 days 6 hours ago

ok – my bad, dude.

Leo
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Leo
17 days 7 hours ago

tim donaghy was on 92.3 The Fan in cleveland and basically said refs violated own rule book with the block/charge call…should have been a jump ball and not reviewed…if that guy is criticizing refs then NBA has a really big problem haha

MikeO
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MikeO
17 days 7 hours ago

So don’t come here commenting, then.

Raffy22
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Raffy22
17 days 6 hours ago

I was referring to 9COOP, you idiot. I’m a Cavs fan.

MikeO
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MikeO
17 days 6 hours ago

What? I was not replying to you at all.

Raffy22
Guest
Raffy22
17 days 7 hours ago

I’m gutted, but now trying to do some breathing exercises and infuse positive thoughts so that I can be productive at work today. The refs should have taken the Cavs out for dinner first before f****** them like that, but that’s life. Let’s focus on the good – the Cavs outplayed the Warriors last night while not shooting well from 3. Lebron is the GOAT and will continue to be. We have stuff to build on here – hopefully they can bounce back.

CLF
Guest
CLF
17 days 7 hours ago

If I’m the Cavs, I’ve gotta be happy…. didn’t shoot particularly well, didn’t defend particularly well, but controlled the game and were right exactly where they wanted to be at the end in a road game in a tough environment. Nance and Green at pretty good moments off the bench, and the bench as a whole wasn’t a black hole. Hill and Smith need to step up is the key thing to me.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
17 days 8 hours ago

I’m guessing Ken Mauer made a tidy sum on the game last night.

JMay
Member
17 days 8 hours ago

I wish every single Cavs interview was a parade of “Those calls were bull****.” Make the refs fine every person who gets put in front of a camera.

JMay
Member
17 days 8 hours ago

Make the NBA fine*

JRL
Guest
JRL
17 days 7 hours ago

Idk whyvl they didn’t do it last night on press conference

JRL
Guest
JRL
17 days 8 hours ago

I want to get past this whole fiasco asap. So with that in mind, what needs to change for game 2?

*Cedi needs some of JR’s minutes.
Not in retaliation but for better defense. JR was beat plenty of times last night.

*José needs all of Clarkson minutes.
I can’t believe Clarkson played in the second half.

*Lue needs to keep KK in after he finally makes a shot. Someone said it on the live thread – right after KK hit that 3, Lue pulls him for JR.

*Hill can’t be left at the post guarding Durant.

Kevin
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Kevin
17 days 8 hours ago

Would love to see Jose in there for Clarkson

MikeO
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MikeO
17 days 8 hours ago

Lue said he wanted Clarkson’s speed in the game to help cover Curry. Clarkson is fast…everything else needs work. But no way would I want Calderon in there…that would be torch city. Cedi should play for sure, but I doubt he will.

Leo
Guest
Leo
17 days 8 hours ago

Clarkson made 3 great defensive plays to somewhat balance his abysmal offense, so we will still see him for a few minutes, he just has to calm down on offense and take smart shots

JRL
Guest
JRL
17 days 7 hours ago

Whatever much Clarkson gives you on defense is completely negated by his abysmal – tunnel vision – offense. He’s bizzaro IT.

I can’t understand how Lue hasn’t gone to José at all in these playoffs/finals, knowing how smart he is and how well he can run an offense.

Gordon
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Gordon
17 days 6 hours ago

Because Calderon is entirely unplayable. Curry will legitimately score at will on him. That’s why he won’t play.

GreekCavsFan
Guest
GreekCavsFan
17 days 8 hours ago
With a somewhat clear head, I have to say I am more optimistic than many of the fellow commenters. Golden State shot relatively well, 36% from three. We are the ones who shot well below our normal percentage. A regression to the mean might favor us there. Also, the state of Iguodala continues to be very critical for this series. As we all saw, Durant doesn’t have the slightest chance of defending Lebron nor does anyone else. If he misses enough time, Lebron will go absolutely berserk time and time again. I think this game gave us a blueprint of how to beat them and has to instill confidence in us that we can do it. Crush the boards, play off the 5th player even if it means some easy baskets, make Curry defend Lebron. I don’t know if we can beat them 4 times, but it isn’t as lopsided as it seemed beforehand. Lastly, the refs MUST be better. I understand their job is tough, but this is getting out of hand. The power balance of the league was tipped by Durant being a pussy, if the refs continuously favor the Warriors then what is the point in playing?… Read more »
MikeO
Guest
MikeO
17 days 8 hours ago

“We had doubt as to whether or not James was in the restricted area” – Ken Mauer

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
17 days 7 hours ago

Six blind eyes

JMay
Member
17 days 8 hours ago

Boy, I’ll tell ya, this one sucks… Wouldn’t even have been worried about a loss. Would have just put my hands up and said “Well, that’s what I expected to happen.” But to lose this way, ugh. Just sucks. Can’t go on any website but CtB today or I have to read all the BS about LeBron leaving…

JRL
Guest
JMay
Member
17 days 8 hours ago

Preach…

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
17 days 8 hours ago

The Cavs players should just start diving at GS players knees. Then put Perk in so he can beat the piss out of Tony Brothers. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!

Vealchop
Guest
Vealchop
17 days 8 hours ago

I put this on the two head coaches. Yes, both Ty and Lebron. How often do you see teams at the free throw line making sure everyone is on the same page? Making sure everyone knows the game situation. Discussing strategies. Call a fricken timeout before Hill starts his free throws if you have to. Make sure everyone knows the score and situation. Are you telling me with 4.5 seconds on the clock and 3 officials on the floor, no one could get a timeout called?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
17 days 8 hours ago
Such a bummer that an all world performance by LeBron gets wasted. I kept saying on the thread that I felt somewhat positive about the Cavs’ chances, as I thought James would go berserk and he did. The main reasons we lost are all mind boggling: 1) The overturned charge call was just incredulous as Tom pointed out in his epic rant. Cavs were up 2 pts and should have had the ball with I believe 43 seconds left. Then reason #2 would perhaps have never happened. 2) JR with perhaps the worst mental error in the NBA Finals of all time. He clearly thought the game was over. How do you make that mistake? And there was his misguided attempt to steal the ball from Curry at the end of the first half instead of just staying in front of him. Three more bled points 3) Jordan Clarkson. Because he is Jordan Clarkson playing 17 minutes and hoisting up 9 shots making just 2 of them. Clarkson cost the games 7-8 pts easily. I actually turned off the game at the end of regulation because I lost my previous confidence on the good chances for a Cavs win. I… Read more »
Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
17 days 8 hours ago

Had to re-enter my name. JR should enter a recovery program called Boneheads Anonymous.

JRL
Guest
JRL
17 days 8 hours ago

Unfortunately LeBron won’t win MVP if Warriors win. Won’t happen.

Mike Podracky
Guest
Mike Podracky
17 days 8 hours ago

It did with Jerry West and I believe it will with LeBron.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
17 days 8 hours ago

JR should have just put that rebound right back up. No one was in position to contest it. Of course, he thought Cavs were up one. Worst case, call TO.

That was a massive screw job on that foul review on Durant. I don’t remember ever seeing that call reviewed and overturned, ever, and they decide to do it on a critical late game call in the Finals. And the NBA wonders why the officiating in the league angers and turns off fans. Durant was getting every call the entire game. He’s almost as precious and untouchable as IT was last year.

This would have been a huge win. Unfortunately, I doubt Klay will have such an invisible game again, and no one can expect games like that from Lebron. The Cavs kept up in the first quarter, but it’s easy to imagine them falling way behind in similar first quarters in future games.

Oh, and apparently the refs are just terrified of Bray. They let him get away with almost any outrage on the court. He has them completely cowed. What a piece of trash.

Danz
Guest
Danz
17 days 8 hours ago

Worst call ever. In any sport. Given the game, the time left, the score, and the call on the court, you can’t point to another call that is worse. Maybe the umpire that called the Indians player safe in the 9th when the White Sox pitcher was pitching a no hitter, but he didnt have replay to help out.

JRL
Guest
JRL
17 days 9 hours ago

I was restless last night and slept like crap. Yes, the refs completely screwed us over but for JR to not know he needed to call a timeout was the absolute worst.

For Lue/LeBron/Hill to not let everyone on the team know what was to happen if they got a rebound is a mistake of infinite proportions.

I can’t even…

Leo
Guest
Leo
17 days 10 hours ago

If these officials aren’t reprimanded then the league is in big trouble and the casual fan will tune out, Silver can easily handle this, but may turn into Goodell and act clueless…Draymond should be fined for taunting, that is against the rules, we will see what happens. I think the Cavs knew they had chances and will come back to tie it. Similar thing happened in 2015, where we had the chance and then lost it in OT pretty quickly.
Other than the Heat possibly, and early 2000s Lakers, I’ve never seen a team get more benefit of doubt calls than Warriors, its just egregious more than anything….it will be tough to focus now but come Saturday and then Sunday, team will get it back together and worry about tying the series.

JMay
Member
17 days 8 hours ago

Draymond won’t be fined. They’ll release some BS 2-minute report that will mean nothing. The Warriors will go on believing they are untouchable and the BS calls will continue to rain down. MAN am I in a bad mood today.

Tom Pestak
Guest
Tom Pestak
17 days 9 hours ago

Phantom goal tend call screwed us in 2015.

ChrisKorvalier
Guest
ChrisKorvalier
17 days 5 hours ago

And the Mozgov phantom travel call.

Peter
Guest
Peter
17 days 10 hours ago

JR is an idiot, but he is OUR idiot. It ‘s just Game 1. As much as it hurts, we move on. For the sake of the remaining games and as a good coach should be, Ty Lue must save JR’s butt and restore JR’s confidence by admitting his own share of blunder in not calling a timeout. Lue said his disclosure of his anxiety to Rachel Nichols was an accident. Now that interview was done during a pressureless and very casual occasion and yet he blundered? What more would a high-octane , pressure-laden situations do to his anxiety in dealing with timely critical decision making? Very depressing.

James
Guest
James
17 days 10 hours ago

The second that JR doesn’t put up a shot after that FT miss Lue has got to call timeout. Give LeBron the ball on an inbounds with 2 seconds left and he scores far more often than attempting to get a good shot off when running away from the basket and everyone just standing around confused.

Jack
Guest
Jack
17 days 10 hours ago

I think they can’t call timeout unless JR is holding the ball, which they should have done once JR picked up the ball and they had like a second left, but I mean, once JR takes off like a nutjob, I can kind of understand the confusion. It’s something that should have been clarified before the shot.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin
17 days 11 hours ago

Dan Gilbert: Please, for the love of God, channel your childish anger at the league for what they allowed to transpire in this game.

Jack
Guest
Jack
17 days 11 hours ago
It was a dumbass move by JR, but the whole team has to just accept it was a top to bottom brain fart. They should have clarified that they have a timeout left and need to call one immediately on an offensive rebound. Lebron should have been yelling for a timeout (maybe he was) instead of pointing to the scoreboard. Lue should have been running over to the ref to get a timeout. I think they’re probably pissed in the moment, but will come to that conclusion over the next 2 days. I don’t know how Tony Brothers and Mauer ref another game in these finals. The replay guidelines call for “clear and conclusive” evidence in order to overturn a call. Steve Javie said he though Lebron was probably in legal guarding position, and Joe Borgia (trying to justify the reversal, mind you) said, “at best it’s a tie and a tie is a blocking foul,” but sorry, Joe that’s not enough in a replay situation to overturn a call. Tony Brothers ejected Tristan based on his angle, instead of going to the replay? Meanwhile, they let the game get out of control by not T’ing up Draymond any of… Read more »
Tom Pestak
Guest
Tom Pestak
17 days 9 hours ago

Draymond is a great villain- if I ever met someone like that in a pickup game I would literally get into a full sprint and do a Liu Kang flying side kick into his face. I’ve never seen anyone behave like that in 30+ years of watching/playing basketball. I don’t understand why the league allows him to behave the way he does other than they want him in the league and know he can’t control himself

Jack
Guest
Jack
17 days 8 hours ago

Remember when what’s his name (that guy the Cavs usually sign at the end of every year) got a technical just for just talking to KD last year? Meanwhile Draymond can carry on for like a half hour jawing and looking like a fool at the Cavs bench for basically a half hour straight.

Jack
Guest
Jack
17 days 11 hours ago

Important thing for them to understand is that the Warriors are going to come out hot and aggressive in Game 2, and they’re going to have to find a way to use that to their advantage. The refs just blew a game for you, so put them in positions where they have to make calls — take it to the hoop strong, box out guys by the book going for rebounds, move your feet on defense. Warriors aren’t always going to shoot like crap for 4 quarters, but if they keep mucking up and disrupt the flow of the game, answer runs, then they can keep the Dubs from getting in a rhythm like the did in this game.

BTW, there were multiple other shit calls. George Hill and Lebron both got called for fouls on clean strips and then Lebron got hacked on the other end and they swallowed their whistles. Curry also rolled over after he dove on the floor to get it, which I’m pretty sure is a travel. I’m dismayed.

Danz
Guest
Danz
17 days 8 hours ago

There were so many bad calls you could write a thesis paper just on this game. I believe Tony Brothers was also the idiot that called the Marcus Smart flop a charge on Lebron. I have never seen the face of an entire league get such bad calls. I mean they changed the rules in football when Tom Brady blew out his knee to make sure it didnt happen again.

I liked that Lebron was still driving to the hoop even when the game was effectively over and still could not get a call.

Excl
Member
17 days 7 hours ago

You could write a thesis on bad calls Tony Brothers has made against the Cavs in playoff situations. He was the guy that let the Celtics/Cavs game back in 2015 get out of hand, and resulted in Kevin Love nearly having his arm removed. Ever since then, every time there’s been questionable officiating in a Cavs playoff game, I look to see who the refs are, and sure enough, Brothers is there almost every time.

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