From Distance: Big Sigh…

four point play….

1. Recently, I was told that a sigh is a literal reset of one’s emotional state. I’ve been doing a lot of sighing lately when thinking about basketball and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here we are again. The Cavs are down 0-3 to a team that, despite popular opinion, is not drastically more talented than they are. No, they are down to a Warriors team that is only far more disciplined and well-coached than the Cavs. Steve Kerr’s staff consistently monitors minutes. He understands how to maximize his players’ skill-sets by using rotations that allow them to thrive. He allows them to play on the edge.

Meanwhile, Tyronn Lue has jacked around his players all season via rotation confusion and schematic change. Lue spoke as though he didn’t care about regular season wins, yet didn’t use that freedom to develop potentially helpful players.

Why didn’t he? Because he doesn’t actually know who his best players are. Lue is strictly a reactive coach. He rides one idea as long as it works. When it stops working (usually because the other coach has adjusted or his own players are dead tired), only then will he consider new options.

When things go awry, he returns to what has worked for him in the past. Unfortunately for the Cavs, those retro looks don’t always come through.

If one doesn’t think proactively, one can’t truly consider how players can improve and develop their games. Lue has no foresight, thus rendering a guy like Cedi Osman completely disrespected and underused.

There are many things about David Blatt’s short tenure that were not conducive to winning with LeBron James. (Notice I didn’t say in the NBA).

Still, if Coach Blatt were currently at the helm, you better believe that the guys who play with with best combination of smarts and grit, would be getting the majority of the minutes.

The Cavs have the talent to beat this Warriors team. Nate beautifully tore down the narrative of the “unbeatable Dubs” in his recap.

That talent is simply not being used, hasn’t been developed, and/or is being run into the ground by poor rotation management.

Coach Nick has made some great videos that rather clearly blame Lue for his rotation and his lack of defensive attention. This one is just sad. And so true.

2. So a series that should have at least gone to seven games has been short-circuited by atrocious officiating and incompetent coaching. Take away either one of those factors and the Cavs would likely be sitting at 2-1 amidst conversation of LeBron’ ascension to GOAT status.

I’m so annoyed, I’m almost completely over it. I guess that is easier now after the highs and lows of public life and discourse since 2016 changed history. It’s hard to get worked up about abject stupidity when it has become fashionable at every level.

Of course, we have to watch people cover their tracks now. The refs will likely call a ridiculously lopsided Game 4 in the Cavaliers’ favor in order to even out the overall nonsense that has occurred thus far.

Refs are good at that. They have perfected the art of “foul balance” by blowing the whistle in garbage time for the previously scorned team. When someone checks the boxscore, they will only see the final tally, not how they got there.

By giving the Cavs Game 4, the NBA can say that both teams got a game from favor and the Warriors proved themselves to be the better team in the other contests. And make more Finals money!

Great, only giving a team Game 1 is very different than giving a team Game 4 when already in a 0-3 hole.

So yes, I expect a Game 4 Cavaliers victory. It won’t be satisfying. The more dominant the Cavs look, the more frustrating it will be to accept that Game 1 was a robbery.

Maybe Lue will really torture me and give Cedi Osman and Kyle Korver the minutes they should have been getting throughout the playoffs.

The refs will toss Draymond Green for no greater action than that which he has performed on a regular basis up to this point.

The Cavs could win by 30 for all the right reasons and it would leave me needing a drink.

3. Too little too late. Alternatively, the Cavs could simply give up and allow the Warriors to celebrate another Championship at The Q.

I wouldn’t prefer that. I still think LeBron will remain in Cleveland, but if this does turn out to be his last game as a Cav while in his prime (I’d be shocked if he didn’t retire in Cleveland), I would hope he wouldn’t take off that jersey following such a loss.

Ohio will always love LeBron, but it would be hard to watch the best player in the world play his last game in Cleveland and watch those whiney 14 year-olds in blue and yellow celebrate. Ugh.

4. On the bright side, Kevin Durant will likely prevent Steph Curry from getting Finals MVP. He has absolutely been the better player. He has also been the more palatable foe.

I literally had a dream directly after Game 3 in which KD and I hung out in Amsterdam. I told him that it was rough that the Cavs lost, but at least it was him that played historically great basketball and not Curry.

I don’t love Durant or anything. I am a Blog Boy after all. But, I do appreciate his stoic approach to celebration. I’ll take a mean mug over obnoxious grinning any day.

Quickies:

This whole post is rather quick. Can you tell I’m annoyed?

I will go on record here again. I think LeBron stays in Cleveland. The options on the table are not super enticing. If he goes to Houston, all those great defenders have to go. Salary cap is a thing, y’all.

Same with the Sixers. Without Redick, Bron doesn’t really make a ton of sense next to Simmons and Embiid. Would he really want to play with kids?

The list is endless and ultimately pointless. We don’t know. When in doubt, go with what you’d do if you were the most important guy in the NBA.

I’d bring guys to me, continue running my empire. And maybe make sure I always have a coach and/or owner who is just dumb enough to be my fall guy. Okay, that’s not what I would do but… Go Cavs! Sigh

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buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 20 hours ago

so, is lue LBJ’s boy? is he hands off? does he prefer drew? do we know?

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 19 hours ago

and what about “tristan should retire as a cav”.. is that honeymoon over? hard to believe TT has any work ethic.. how can you be a pro athelete for 5 years and not get a little better every year putting the little ball into the basket?

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 19 hours ago

also.. even .. although LBJ stated publically, “i will never give up on JR”.. does he actually want to play with him again?.. as suggested above with TT, i doubt whether JR has any work ethic either.. consistency indicates that work is being done.. inconsistency indicates coasting and check-cashing.. which prevails in all pro sports.. sad, but not really debateable..

Jack
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Jack
9 days 20 hours ago
I think there is a significant talent gap in general, but since the Cavs had Lebron, they could have mitigated the general talent gap with proper execution. But like the poster says, that was impossible the way Lue coached the team this year. From day 1, he had no plan on either end of the ball for the team to play a brand of basketball that fit the players it had. Zach Lowe and Ethan Strauss said it best on their podcast. The Rockets spent all season preparing for the Warriors. They signed the guys, they installed the defensive principles and they lived those principles through every game and every practice all year. The Cavs simply didn’t do that. Lowe alluded to the fact that it seemed like the Cavs just saw the Rockets do it and though, let’s try this, and I’m 99% sure that’s literally what happened. There are the Lue apologists out there (probably not here, though) that will point to the roster turnover and this and that, but that is bullshit. If you have a system, it doesn’t take a year to fit guys into it. You know what you need, you go out and get… Read more »
cavs_fan_since 1980
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cavs_fan_since 1980
9 days 21 hours ago

Lebron under-estimates how important head coach is…. not saying Blatt would have done enough to beat GS (like him better than Lue still)… We have the highest payroll, yet a HC who isn’t fit to lead, lacks in-game adjustments and too stubborn and loyal to years past.

Derek
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Derek
9 days 19 hours ago

Ty Lue is a lousy coach and Lebron is a terrible GM. Great player though !

Arch Stanton
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Arch Stanton
9 days 21 hours ago

Cavs the Blog is a great source for your Cavs and b-ball information.
That being said, I disagree with the premise that the Warriors are only slightly more talented. They are drastically more talented IMO, and I agree that they (Dubs) are better coached.
I thought the Cavs had a shot of making this a series during game 1, only to lose all hope after the refs fixed it for the Dubs.
I hope the Cavs can win a game here tonight. And I hope Durant, Curry, and Green all blow out their Achilles.

JB225
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JB225
9 days 22 hours ago

What really upsets me is that as the video that you shared shows the Cavs kept doing the same mistake again and again and Lue couldn’t stop it. Maybe the Cavs players don’t listen to him anymore or maybe he is not good at showing the players how to adjust but either way for that kind of mistakes to continue to happen to me the coach has to be blame.
But if he is showing the players how to adjust and they don’t do it then the players have to held accountable.

JB225
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JB225
9 days 22 hours ago

The Rockets gave themselves the opportunity to win their series against the Warriors by playing great defense in I would say like 8 out of 10 possessions meanwhile the Cavs at the other hand is like they play solid defense in 6 out of 10 possessions.
Like I said before the series began if the Cavs played defense like the Rockets did against the Warriors then they might gave themselves a chance to win.

newnomad
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newnomad
9 days 23 hours ago

DITO WHAT JOEYB SAID —–CAVS / SPORTS WOULD NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT MY ‘CTB ‘ BROTHERS !!!——YES WE DISAGREE AT TIMES —-( HELL THAT IS EVERYDAY WITH THE MRS NOMAD )—-BUT JUST LIKE HER—LOVE YOU GUYS –( IN A DIFFERENT WAY OF COURSE )—GO CAVS “IN BELIEVELAND “

Anonymous
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Anonymous
9 days 23 hours ago

This could be one of the worst Cavs blogs I’ve ever read. Does anyone actually read this stuff and think that it’s good analysis? Are the writers older than 10 years old? Because reading, it doesn’t seem like it. Two days of nothing but blame the coach posts as if trying to win when you have Smith and Hill and TT and Nance as not just contributors but major contributors going against a team that has way more talent, it seems like that should enter the conversation.

MikeO
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MikeO
9 days 20 hours ago

Are you going to demand your money back? Btw, you’re the one who comes off as a ten year old.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
9 days 21 hours ago

You aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer are you? Don’t answer. If you didn’t figure it out, that is a rhetorical question based off your comments. The cavs aren’t hyper talented, but discounting obvious coaching mistakes that repeatedly occur, and that are far, far, far, more egregious than any mistake Kerr has made, is pure stupidity. Do you understand what I am saying to you? Probably not. That’s ok. What you can’t figure out won’t hurt your feelings.

If the warriors weren’t stupidly stacked due Curry and co giving up after the 2016 finals and Durant giving up after choking hard in the 2016 wcf, that whole team would be known as hardcore chokers. Hardcore and graphic. The type of choking that is only seen in the dark corners of the internet. Steph, Klay, and Green for the finals, and Durant for the wcf. Enjoy your 1 carat gold plated iron rings.

Phil Hubbard
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Phil Hubbard
9 days 22 hours ago

If you think it’s only been two days of blame the coach posts, you haven’t been around here very long.

Nate Smith
Admin
9 days 21 hours ago

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
9 days 22 hours ago

So please go away if this is one of the worst blogs you have read. Most of your “contributions” are among the worst I have read. Making insulting comments behind anonymity takes a lot of courage doesn’t it.

Nate Smith
Admin
9 days 22 hours ago

can I get some props here folks? feel like I’m pretty talented for 10 years old. and I really do think I’ve come a long way since I was 5 when I started.

Anyway, good luck tonight, coach Longabardi.

Vintage
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Vintage
9 days 22 hours ago

I don’t think anyone on this blog is not holding the players accountable for the defensive gaffes and lapses in concentration. There’s plenty of blame to go around the coaching staff and the players.

If you’re going to boil this down to we have no chance because the Warriors are insanely more talented, then why even play the games at all?

TheOtherJason
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TheOtherJason
9 days 23 hours ago

I know you’re trolling but its fun sport – hey Smith, Hill, and TT make a combined $50M – more than Dray and Klay!

JoeyB
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JoeyB
9 days 23 hours ago

I just want to say how much I appreciate the outlet this blog provides, and the professionalism and talent of all its contributors. I really cherish this place and the people on it, even when we disagree, and even when I get salty. It is such a valuable outlet for my mental health, and I learn a lot from you all. This is a special place.

So if this is the last stand of 2018, thanks to CtB for it’s consistent excellence this season.

Vintage
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Vintage
9 days 22 hours ago

+1. All those late night podcasts and well written articles are definitely appreciated. Let’s hope we can keep this roller coaster ride of a season going for a few more days…

blip
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blip
9 days 23 hours ago

Indeed! I don’t comment too often, but I certainly enjoy the work of Nate, etc…. + the commenters in these weird times. . . .

Nate Smith
Admin
9 days 23 hours ago

Thanks Joey, it means a lot. You can get the last word on this thread if you want.

newnomad
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newnomad
10 days 26 minutes ago

getting ready for “PRE-GAME “—–family over—big fish fry / plenty of IPA’S ——I KNOW I HAVE BEEN RATHER PESSIMISTIC LATELY —— tonight just going to ” carpe diem “—sieze the day—moment —-enjoy watching LEBRON perform in a cavs uniform—–GO CAVS —DEFEND THE LAND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Podracky
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Mike Podracky
10 days 1 hour ago

Ben, unfortunately I don’t think Kyle would do much with extra minutes. It’s seven Finals games now and he just can’t deliver against the Dubs. Yes, his shots are guarded more closely but Kyle has also missed wide open ones. Korver missed two threes when he was inserted in the fourth quarter, and had a horrific travel, then just had to be subbed out. Lue did the right thing there, as more minutes would have been even worse. Korver is now in his own head looking at his body language. I was at game three (and will be at game four) and watch Kyle closely. He played decent team defense in the regular season, and sporadically in the playoffs, but has been somewhat abused by GS.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
10 days 1 hour ago

Steve Kerr yesterday said that they identify what is one thing that propels the team and plan to take that one thing away. Kerr said they identified Kyle making a 3 is that and warriors players were told to pay extra attention to him.

Even if he misses shots, he should add intangibles like stretching the floor.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
10 days 2 hours ago

So shutting down Klay, Curry, and Draymond is meaningless and the Cavs are bad on because Durant was able to run isolation and shoot over very good defense from 34 feet.

I cannot overstate how ridiculous your “analysis” is.

Scotch
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Scotch
10 days 1 hour ago

Also, we did not shut down Draymond. He was a monster in game 3

Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 2 hours ago

From yesterday: the Cavs were “leaving roll men and bigs with semi-competent dive timing to be the beneficiary of Warrior passes for layups and poor communication from the Cavs. This would happen throughout the night as Jordan Bell, JaVale McGee, and Andre Igoudala combined to go 13-18 from the field and 4-6 at the line mostly as a result of these kinds of plays. The Warriors punish bad defense with well-timed cuts and passers who know where their safety valve is.”

The Cavs are losing because they’re letting bad role players beat them (not that Iggy is a bad role player, but the other two are). You give up 30 points on 18 shots to roll men, and yes, that’s just bad defense. Charles Barkley harped on this Wednesday. Not fouling iguodala at the end of game three was unconsciounably dumb as well.

TheOtherJason
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TheOtherJason
10 days 2 hours ago

i mean, i dont think the video showed any examples of durant canning contested 34 footers as examples of bad defense. good O beats good D we know that.

TheOtherJason
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TheOtherJason
10 days 3 hours ago

that video made me want to strangle jr with ty lues neck while longbardi watched in the corner.

Boogieeels
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Boogieeels
10 days 3 hours ago

ESPN just posted a great article on Jeff Green and the details of all the heart surgery struggles he has gone thru. I know he is tough player to watch as he is so trick-or-treat, but I think it’s safe to say that he wasn’t the Cavs problem this year. In fact, he has been a consistent performer/contributor amoung the group of questionable dudes we brought in this year. Good story and proud of his accomplishments in life and for the Cavs. Would be nice to get a sweet “Jeff Green goes off” type of game from him tonight.

Joshua Martin
Member
10 days 1 hour ago

Has anyone gotten more off a vet minimum contract this year? As frustrating as he was early in the season, he was worth it.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
10 days 3 hours ago

It cannot be understated how much Durant, Curry, Klay, and Draymond’s brilliance has made up for Kerr’s incompetence.

JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 51 minutes ago

I will trade you Lue for Kerr straight up my man. Wouldn’t even think twice. Don’t have to. Kerr makes some mistakes, but his impact on the warriors was evident the moment they went from a fifty win team to a 67 win team with pretty much the same players the first year he coached them. Your analysis is poppycock.

Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 3 hours ago

Mike Longabardi? Is that you?

Brian
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Brian
9 days 23 hours ago

This is hilarious. Originally I thought it might be ty lue, but Longabardi is funnier

JRL
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JRL
10 days 1 hour ago

Hahahaha

Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 3 hours ago

Among my favorite pieces of yours ever, Ben. It cannot be understated how much LeBron’s brilliance has covered up Ty Lue’s utter incompetence this year.

cavs_fan_since 1980
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cavs_fan_since 1980
10 days 3 hours ago

i don’t think it’s covering up Ty’s incompetence at all.. entire world is seeing it.. and have seen it..

buck turgidson
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buck turgidson
8 days 19 hours ago

does gilbert see it? does LBJ see it?

Joshua Martin
Member
10 days 4 hours ago

https://www.theringer.com/nba/2018/6/8/17440192/lebron-james-boston-celtics-offseason

Is it wrong that I am all in on this idea? Hayward, Morris and a 1st would still allow the cavs to salvage lebron leaving and that roster would at least be fun with a core of Hill, Hayward and Love. Maybe they can also resign hood and reunite him with Hayward.

If Lebron does leave, I think Boston gives him the best chance to beat the warriors not only next year, but each year after that. Obviously I am a cavs fan first, but at this point I almost want to see the warriors fail even more. Houston seems too risky and only a 1-2 year window.

Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 3 hours ago

You can’t trade for Hayward without knowing if he’s healthy or can be close to the player he was before the injury. Cavs got burned with that with IT. (I don’t think he will be the same FWIW)

Joshua Martin
Member
10 days 3 hours ago

fair point.

Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 3 hours ago

Also, screw beantown. I’m not for doing LeBron any favors when he leaves unless it gets the Cavs serious assets.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
10 days 5 hours ago
So let’s go with this nutty premise that no one outside of this blog believes, that the Cavs and Warriors are equally talented. So then JR is as good as Klay. George Hill is as good as Curry. TT is as good as Draymond, etc. Does anyone else see the problem here? And yes Nate, I know they were down one. They had to play exceedingly well to get to that point. But they couldn’t pull it out because, guess what? It’s hard to play that great against a team with more talent than you. In the NBA the team with most talent wins the title almost every year. We saw in 2015 when Irving and Love were out the warriors were more talented. We saw it in 2016 when Irving and Love were in the Cavs were more talented. Last year when we had what Zach Lowe calls “one of the best teams of the last 10 years” the warriors won because they added Durant and were better. Same this year. This Cavs team is good. I think they would beat any team not the warriors. But 4 All-Stars and 2 MVPs and 3 All-NBA players is a ton… Read more »
JOHN B
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JOHN B
10 days 32 minutes ago
I don’t believe, nor do I think many on this blog believe, that there is close to equal talent since Durant joined them. Lebron alone may have had the chance of carrying this far inferior supporting cast and coaching staff to six games or more this year against the dubs had the role players and coaching staff not made so many mistakes. Looking at you JR and Lue. Yes Lebron is the one guy that may have been able to pull that feat off with this cast around him, but that doesn’t make it likely to happen. Could Lebron have made this a series without much help relative to what Durant has around him? Maybe, possibly, if the cavs had not shot themselves in the foot in game one and had the refs called equal contact through games 1-3. The warriors can make a lot of mistakes and have an off game and still win. The cavs can’t. Subsequently, winning this series or even taking it to six+ games was always a stretch. The talent imbalance is just too great to have greats odds at an upset. One guy, whether that be LBJ, MJ, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, etc. could only… Read more »
Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 3 hours ago

Ben Werth’s words are the perfect response to your posts: “It’s hard to get worked up about abject stupidity when it has become fashionable at every level.”

JRL
Guest
JRL
10 days 5 hours ago

I could be wrong, Nate please correct me, but I don’t believe Nate said the Cavs were equal to the Warriors, just that they are capable of winning the series. A difficult task? Definitely. But at the same time possible.

Game one was a fiasco. The officiating was horrible and we were all treated to the absolute worst mental breakdown in Cleveland’s sports history. But that should had been (yes I know how that sounds) a Cavs’ win.

Game 2 was a sh!tshow from the start. The Cavs seemed as if they were still dealing with the outcome of game 1. Easy for the Dubs to win.

Game 3 was lost due to simple lapses in defense and by the offense not going to the hot hand in the 4th quarter (Hood). This is on Coach Lue – who I consider a total idiot.

I’m expecting the Cavs to lose tonight, but the series could(should) be 2-1 in Cavs’favor.

Cavs are not as good as GS but the 3-0 is not an entirely truthful record.

Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 2 hours ago

Exactly
They’re beatable, but the Cavs (as Ben and Chuck Barkley noted) are playing so dumb, they’re not giving themselves a chance.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
10 days 5 hours ago

People who watch that dumb video and then think that the Cavs have the talent are really delusional. Every team has breakdowns. Do you know what causes breakdowns? The other team being supremely talented and being unable to leave guys open 5-8 feet beyond the arc. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

I cannot believe that there are legitimate people, who write about basketball for a website and who actually think that the Cavs have the talent to beat the warriors.

They could’ve won games one and three. No doubt. But it’s not some crazy failing by them that they couldn’t play absolutely perfectly on defense, while still playing offense to win these games. Asking a team to be perfect is crazy talk and stuff that I would expect from 12 year olds who don’t realize that both teams play the game and that both teams are trying to get the other team to mess up.

Get some perspective. You are better than this. The Cavs played great in game three and Durant murdered them. It’s not hard to do the analysis.

JRL
Guest
JRL
10 days 5 hours ago

Its not having to play perfect defense, just good defense. We are undercoached and it has shown in the past two games.

Nate Smith
Admin
10 days 5 hours ago

They were down 1 with a minute to go, but OK.

Raoul
Guest
Raoul
10 days 6 hours ago

Cavs in Seven!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
10 days 6 hours ago

“The Cavs have the talent to beat this Warriors team. Nate beautifully tore down the narrative of the “unbeatable Dubs” in his recap.”

Absurd. Unless you’ve never watched the nba before.

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