The NBA on TNT: NBA Finals: CLE vs GSW
June 2, 2016 5:47 AM - Season 27, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The NBA Finals begin tonight, 6/2/2016, featuring a rematch of last year's match-up. But many things have changed. The Warriors are somehow way better than they were last year with the same personnel (including ye olde Del Curry Jr), and the Cavs are healthy and rested. Who will the narrative favor? The Never-beloved Old Guard, or the New Math?

Keep in mind this will be the only FanFare thread posted about the finals so stick around! There will be cookies.
posted by Potomac Avenue (132 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Given the history, tonight's game will be for all the marbles. If the Cavs come out and smoke em, they have a chance. If it goes 7 I like Lebron to take over and bully his way to another ring. If the Warriors go up 2-0 though at home, it's gonna be murrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrder. *air horn*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:52 AM on June 2, 2016


The warriors are a very weird team. They are perhaps the most 'vulnerable' looking juggernaut ever. Perhaps part of it is style of play or the personalities of the team but when they are losing they look hapless and dreadful. When they are winning they look impossibly hot, like the other team doesn't matter.

The first 3 games of last year's finals it simply looked like GSW were fools gold that Lebron was somehow going to outplay by himself. Then they seemed to remember who they were and dominated. Some thing with OKC this year. Hell they even got pushed by the Trailblazers, who had no business even being in the second round.

Like, they should win. They should dominate, they won 73 games. But for whatever reason, nothing they do will surprise me. If they lose in 5 I won't be shocked, if they win in a sweep I won't be shocked. They seem capable of anything.

I am curious to find out if the NBA is going to call the series like it's the 90's again and let the cavs hand-check at the 3 point line for 3-4 games at a time.
posted by French Fry at 7:39 AM on June 2, 2016




One thing I like about the warriors as a very casual basketball fan is that they seem to pick up the reins from each other depending on the circumstances and the game. Oh Steph not shooting well? Well here's Klay breaking the 3 point playoff record. Or it's Green stepping up in another game, or its Iguodala's defense shutting teams down. When it all comes together it's amazing, but even if someones off it feels like they generally still might be in it based off of team play.
posted by Carillon at 11:32 AM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Cavs have really made that work this season too. People talk shit about him but Lebron is a masterful facilitator -- he made Tristan Thompson look like a superstar last year. Really you could say that about all successful teams in the modern era at their best, even the Thunder last series!

Still, how many coaches would know to call Anderson Varejao's number in a game 7? Steve Kerr is god.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:04 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


This game was a slog but Steve Kerr breaking that board was awesome.
posted by gucci mane at 9:09 PM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think that's the most pissed I've ever seen iggy. Steph has been off all playoffs, and was last year, too.

is that they seem to pick up the reins from each other depending on the circumstances and the game

Kerr was a player under Phil Jackson bulls and pops' Spurs. He knows some teamball jedi voodoo shit.
If you weren't watching them in the MJax era, they had a similar team (less bench depth), but the most frustrating rotations. And that was after Don "DGAF, just racking up a few more career wins before I quit Nelly" Nelsons last few years.

Also, klay beat Wilt Chamberlains single quarter scoring record last year with 37 points, and he's a better defender. When he gets hot, he's basically unstoppable. Just never can tell when that's gonna happen.

Also Iguoudala/Livingston as backup players seems almost criminally unfair.

Go W's!
posted by lkc at 10:15 PM on June 2, 2016


Klay is a better defender than Curry, just realized that sounded like I was saying he was better than Wilt.
posted by lkc at 10:16 PM on June 2, 2016


I didn't see the game but from glancing at the box score and reading descriptions it looks like the Warrior's bench beat the Cavaliers. That can't be good for the Cavs.
posted by rdr at 10:28 PM on June 2, 2016


Yep. Warriors bench of Livingston, Barbosa, Iguoudala, Speights and Ezeli (+ 3rd stringers) is still a full team. Like, that bench is better than the worst group of starters.
In the Mark Jackson years, with a weaker bench, his strategy was "2 teams!", and he would just play all starters, then all bench, and wouldn't rotate (or call time-outs). Having that much talent as backup, plus having mixed rotations with the Curry, Thompson, Green, Barnes, Bogut gives a lot of flexibilty.
Curry/Thompson being so dominant on offense when they are hot really underscores that they are actually a better defensive team. If it takes two of your biggest guys to shut down the smallest guy, there are still a handful of people that can keep the game going.

Really interested in the off-season, since I think a few younger players are going to get poached.
posted by lkc at 12:39 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


If the Warriors stayed together, they would rule the league for a thousand years. The Cavs have almost no chance to win this series.
posted by cashman at 6:19 AM on June 3, 2016


It was 1 game y'all. The Cavs are elite and looked sleepy last night while the Ws bench was lit--Lue solve that puzzle soon and win 2 games at least. Lebron does not get shook. This will not be an easy series for anyone.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:52 AM on June 3, 2016


The bench can get hot, that's not going to happen every night. Barbosa and Livingston were essentially absent in the OKC series because Donovan staggered Durant and Russ, which kept the pace up, and Adams and Ibaka kept them out of the paint. Lue will try other stuff next game, like (hopefully) Mozgov. And the Dubs have no answer for Love if he gets going, which he will. Cavs should be happy they stopped the Splashies--long term if they do that they will win--and they will be the first team in 2 years to do that over a 7 game series go doubt that continues. The only way the Cavs actually win is if something miraculous happens like JR Smith strings together 2-3 good games, or Varejao turns into a double agent, or Steph and Klay cut their palms to try to do a blood brothers handshake and accidentally slice off each other's fingers, or Luke Walton poisons the gatorade and disappears into the wilds of Orange County, or Tristan Thompson learns how to guard someone on the perimeter just kidding on that last one.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:07 AM on June 3, 2016


Benches for whatever reason also play much much better at home.

As I said before, winning-warriors look like the perfect team. But they could lose a game by 25 in this series and I wouldn't be shocked. A game were the wildly inconsistent Cavs play up to their good-on-paper potential. I expect it to be the "JR smith can't miss" game. followed immediately by the "overconfident JR smith shoots them in the foot" game.

*open to Kevin Love filling that role this June.
posted by French Fry at 9:10 AM on June 3, 2016


But Cleveland only getting 10 bench points is not going to work. Golden state doesn't need to get 40+ points from their bench to win, but Cleveland does need to get more than 10.
posted by French Fry at 1:44 PM on June 3, 2016


Man, it turns out the Thunder really were a great team.
posted by skewed at 6:59 PM on June 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Thunder played way above their regular season skill level for most of the series. I still think the Cavs have it in them to tie it up at home. But I think the more likely scenario is 1 Cavs win, 1 squeaker loss, then a solid smushing by the Dubs at home, done in 5.

Reasons the series isn't over, maybe.

Reasons that it probably is.
Reasons I want it not to be: October is a long long way off.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:55 AM on June 6, 2016


Reasons I want it not to be: October is a long long way off.

I'm there with you brother. This things is over though. I see the Cavs winning game 3 though. Then the Warriors can win game 4 and close it out at home this time, in game 5.
posted by cashman at 8:59 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


after last night's game, as a dubs fan, i still maintain that the western conference finals against okc should've just been the finals. so far the cavs haven't even come close to giving me a heart attack the way KD/westbrook did
posted by burgerrr at 10:34 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, Game 5 would be at GSW. I keep forgetting that the finals are no longer 2-3-2. If any of you read goldenstateofmind.com (you should, it's one of the better sports blogs out there), they've done a lot of Lebron vs. warriors D breakdowns. One of the best is the first video on this page, where they show a GSW switch on Lebron while the ball is basically in mid air. As they say, this is a team really used to guarding Lebron. Thompson can do a great job on the perimeter, but as soon as Lebron hits below the elbow, Thompson knows he needs backup and can switch the bigger Green onto him.

And of course Iguodala somehow has voodoo magic and might actually be in Lebron's head at this point.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 10:34 AM on June 6, 2016


The other thing I wonder is whether Lue will make any personnel adjustments. Mozgov/Thompson were surprisingly effective last year as they killed GSW in the paint and on the boards. But Mozgov basically lost his spot in the rotation this year, and Thompson will likely take Love's spot if he's out for Game 3. Add that to the fact that they're going home and it seems like the Cavs could definitely steal one.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 10:45 AM on June 6, 2016


Pardon me, did someone here enquire about a broom closet?
posted by Lyme Drop at 12:17 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


If I bet sports (Never Bet Sports) I'd put a pile of gold on Cavs crushing tonight. The spread is 1? Mozgov is a good player, people forget because he can't guard guards he's useless long term but he's a major offensive weapon at home vs a probably unfocused GSW team. Also the over is 206? Smash that bet button folks, the Cavs won't play like shit 3 games in a row.

I'm guessing like a 112-99 CLE squishing, with either Curry or Thompson or both being super off, Dray doing something idiotic, Love fighting his ass off for a double double, and Kyrie figuring out how to make 3s again, and Lebron passing more as the Dubs lose a little intensity in the passing lanes.

Of course it could always be another ass stomping but if Bron didn't give up last year he's not giving up now.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:45 AM on June 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tristan Thompson certainly can't miss any MORE point blank put-backs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:47 AM on June 7, 2016




Shump should definitely play more just so I can pretend he's in Living Colour.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:49 AM on June 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


A good idea is to trust the sports predictions of a person who doesn't know what day the game is being played.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:16 AM on June 7, 2016


Home court advantage will play are part, Mozgov did play well last year and was very physical, I think he will start on game 3, Coach Lue has to try something. GSW has definitely gotten better this year compared to last year, they look like a team that been tested by close elimination games and become better by it.

On Game 2 their early shot selections was all from the 3 point line, which all missed but Cavs couldn't take advantage. Any team that tries that strategy will not do well but somehow it works for GSW. The Cav's Horn's Rub play hasn't worked that well in this series unlike the Toronto series.
posted by metafus at 8:26 AM on June 7, 2016


The beginning of the end is tonight. I kind of hope the loss is so bad that Lebron leaves Cleveland (and Dan Gilbert) forever. youtried.jpg
posted by cashman at 5:58 PM on June 8, 2016


So, I've missed ... 2 warriors games this year, that I can think of. One was game 6 with the thunder (just the second half, which I saw later), and the last Grizzlies game (where I was out of town and literally in a wedding party and couldn't even catch up on it later), where they won by 1 point in chasing 73.

When the warriors lose, they LOSE, and usually big. Their backcourt has done some crazy shit over the last few years (I remember one where they were down 28 in the backend of the last half and Steph/Klay combined for 9 3pt shots, I think the first round in 2012? Maybe the end of that season. Anyway, its silly to count out LeBron, just like its silly to think that the W's bench can be that hot every game, especially with an underperforming Curry, and Draymond mis-chucking threes the whole night.

When LeBron fell flat on his face at the outside the 3pt line, got the ball passed out, and then fade dunked back, I kinda figured that was it, since no-one on opposing him was even making open shots.

This is still wide-open, but I wouldn't bet against the Dubs.

Also, these 2-day breaks between games is just killing me. Too much time to circlejerk page-click narratives.
posted by lkc at 10:05 PM on June 8, 2016


Oh yeah, and Lillard beat them by 2 more points in the blazers game 3.
posted by lkc at 10:05 PM on June 8, 2016


And screw the Cavs fans cheering injuries. Really not cool.
posted by lkc at 10:13 PM on June 8, 2016


But Seriously.
posted by lkc at 12:21 AM on June 9, 2016


Or that
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:46 AM on June 9, 2016


Someone in here predicted exactly that--who could it have been? Hmm
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:50 AM on June 9, 2016


I eagerly await JR Smith's impending overconfidence.
posted by French Fry at 8:45 AM on June 9, 2016


I underestimated how shitty Kevin Love is, apparently.
posted by cashman at 8:59 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Game 4 will be interesting, it is always harder to win on the road, Kerr will have to make some adjustments to counteract the physicality. The Cavs showed a lot more effort at the ball

This year's playoffs you can't really over analyze the blowouts or overreact which is true for either teams.
posted by metafus at 9:59 AM on June 9, 2016


Tristan Thompson is just such a better matchup for them than "no-D" Love. If Lue has any guts, he'll sit him again for Game 4.
And what's with Lue playing Lebron the entire first half and third quarter? If this had been at all close, I think he would have played all 48 minutes. I mean, yes, this was a must-win game, but even Lebron can't go all-out for 48 minutes a game. Trust me, I'm a Bulls fan, and they ground plenty of our players into dust this way. Even going 40 minutes in a 30 point blowout seems questionable.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 10:40 AM on June 9, 2016


Hmm what other amazing powerforward did we see recently play way too many minutes in early games in a series vs the Dubs then fall off a cliff in the final games WHO WAS IT I just KDan't remember????
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:47 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm full of HMMs at this series.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:47 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


what's with Lue playing Lebron the entire first half and third quarter?

He didn't. Like me, you blinked and missed it. It was only when I did the numbers in my head that I realized he'd subbed Lebron out in the first half. Here's the box score:
First Quarter:

2:32 Channing Frye enters the game for LeBron James
0:41 LeBron James enters the game for J.R. Smith

Third Quarter:

2:15 Richard Jefferson enters the game for LeBron James
0:49 LeBron James enters the game for Kyrie Irving

Fourth Quarter:

4:37 Mo Williams enters the game for LeBron James
Still, 40 minutes is 4 more minutes than anybody on Golden State played. But they've only played 3 games in the last 12 days, and it'll be 4 games in 14 days on Friday, then another 3-day break until Monday. Since they were down 0-2, I think it was a good move. The team is definitely confident now, and it seems like a pretty good idea given all those factors.
posted by cashman at 1:23 PM on June 9, 2016


Warriors came back from 3-1 last series. LeBron is fucking pissed off. This ain't over.
posted by lkc at 1:29 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Terrible game for the Ws, but I'd still feel more comfortable with my money on them. But yep, they play the games because you never know. (My favorite example of this: A team featuring Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshaun Prince, and Richard Hamilton.)

And lkc, that photo you linked to is epic.
posted by Lyme Drop at 6:19 PM on June 9, 2016


Game 4 is going to be great, the Cavs must win and the Warriors SHOULD win, Steph looked like a Zombie last night but he did in the early Thunder series too.


P R E D I C T I O N S
Cavs are gonna storm out strong. 4th quarter of game 4 is going to be another WHO DO YOU LOVE chuckfest with either Klay or Steph or both (again) making zomgshots, and the Cavs offense totally shut down as the Warriors defense locks in. Tristan and Delly are the :majorkey::majorkey: :100: to maintaining a lead in the early 4th. If they fight hard and frustrate the Ws bench they might be able to maintain a tiny edge (2 pt spread is probably about right). I'd take the under on 205 too, everythings going to grind to a halt for a while 4th quarter. Until, like I say, Splash Happens.

In the end, 3>2. Dubs in 5.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:46 AM on June 10, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm going pro
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:20 PM on June 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


Alright, then:
IF green is suspended (which I doubt), who starts in his place and what's the over/under for Cleveland?
posted by lkc at 4:42 PM on June 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kerr. Thats how likely that is.
posted by cashman at 9:48 PM on June 11, 2016


I hope Kerr has some of Steph Curry's shoes to play in.

Draymond has been suspended for game 5.
posted by cashman at 11:22 AM on June 12, 2016


So now to answer the question, Iguodala, you'd think.

I guess Potomac Ave can come by and hit us with the real answer, since he's damn near all knowing when it comes to this series.
posted by cashman at 11:24 AM on June 12, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I've been wrong about just about everything recently. So I'll just sit back and nurse this bottle of pepto until its all over.
posted by lkc at 11:56 AM on June 12, 2016


For a contact sport you make a call on "appears to make contact" is different from 100% contact and a flagrant foul seems very excessive. The whole play was physical, James threw Draymond down with his left hand and tries to do an Iverson step over while the play is still going on.

Only way to react is to move on like the Spurs did, even when the NBA admitted missed calls on Dion Waiters

The bench for GSW needs to play well. McAdoo played well last game. Iguadala will probably start but he needs to stay away from foul trouble.

The NBA trying to make this an interesting finals, they don't want a blow out game and maybe extending it to 7 games.
posted by metafus at 8:31 AM on June 13, 2016


IMO Draymond is sitting out because LeBron had a hissy fit. The most flagrant part of the whole sequence between James and Green was when the former threw the latter to the floor, then stepped over him.
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:51 AM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I want to say cavs will win tonight. But that's probably just wishful thinking.

Both teams are fired up. That could hurt the Dubs who are missing their most inspiring player. But if they get up 10-12 by halftime, even a brilliant Lebron run and a lackadaisical bunch of wild shots from the GSW bench will just make it close.

Then the splash brothers will take care of their business. And i don't see how anyone can stop that--so far literally nobody has.

God bless America.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:01 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


I forgot about Kyky.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:51 PM on June 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Kyrie was great tonight but the nba also won tonight.
Gsw should play better defense than they did today.
posted by metafus at 9:42 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


Harrison Barnes should make a damn 3 once in a while. Green/Iguodala are good for defense, but iggy can't do everything the whole game. Green makes a huge difference.

LeBron is ... LeBrawn, really, and if anything he's more pissed off.

Kyrie, tho...
My hopeful thought was that one off them would wear a bit in the fourth, but ... nope. A ton of no calls, especially for how aggressively the refs were calling in the first quarter, that seriously seemed to take an hour just for Q1.
But even with that even Livingston was missing jumpers that he usually just... doesn't.

And damn I hope bogut is ok, that looked nasty especially for an older injury-prone big man.
posted by lkc at 10:13 PM on June 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


And now it's ANOTHER two damn days of terrible sports journalism and reactive speculation. Grumble grumblegrumblegrumble
posted by lkc at 10:17 PM on June 13, 2016


Worth it for more games tho. :) we all win.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:40 AM on June 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


maybe more trash talk perhaps? to start controversy, attract more interests,
attracting more casual viewers.
pointing out useless stats and celebrating certain stats?
contrive hypothetical topics so that people will keep talking about it for years
which we won't have answers to (only our opinions)
posted by metafus at 8:17 AM on June 14, 2016


What are we doing here otherwise?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:48 PM on June 14, 2016


True, all we can do is to have the patience to wait
posted by metafus at 5:10 AM on June 15, 2016


At least it was kind of close. That's all I want.
posted by French Fry at 9:25 AM on June 15, 2016


With Bogut out for the rest of the series, and Draymond on Rodman "blink wrong and get a tech" status, do you think the Cavs win game 6?

I just can't bring myself to think it's going to happen. Golden State is just a much, much better team. I feel like the Oracle (heh) talking about Neo. They've got the gift, but it looks like they're waiting for something.
posted by cashman at 5:07 PM on June 15, 2016


"reactive speculation" was still in the context of "sports journalism". I certainly didn't mean you fine folks.

Bogut plays fairly limited minutes, but is still probably the best big guy there. I think Varejao isn't going to get a lot of flavor doing his impression of Sideshow Bob doing an impression of Matt Foley next game, and Ezeli is just not as good. Green can play in the small lineup, but like you said, all eyes are gonna be on him, and another flagrant would leave him sitting for game 7 if it comes to that.

Iggy's been good on defense, but he and Draymond both need each other to be able to rest at times when they aren't playing together.

Re: Cavs -- Dellavadova is going to go after Green and just bait him. Hopefully Green doesn't bite.
Kyrie and Lebron will hopefully have a little better coverage and come back down to earth for a couple minutes this time.

It'll be tense, is what I'm saying.
posted by lkc at 6:48 PM on June 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not to be cavalier, but Draymond's rested and ready to triple double, the Dubs will win easily, and what Dray called LeBron will become LeBron's new permanent nickname.

There, trash talk.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:05 PM on June 15, 2016


I could see this go either way. I'm guessing that the warriors get hot in the late 3rd early 4th and this stops being a game.

If it stays close I imagine home court + refs + narrative has the cavs pulling it out.
posted by French Fry at 7:07 AM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I feel like it's the other way. If it's a close game, the Warriors are going to be the ones energized and on the cusp of a title. And Curry, Thompson, even Iguodala and Livingston will be able to make plays. Meanwhile if it's close, don't count on Lebron to score, and it's pretty much up to Kyrie to hit big shots. But if it's close, the Warriors will taste victory like they did against OKC, and win. Or the Warriors could just blow the Cavs out from the start and pour it on. The Cavs only chance for victory is a blowout from the start where the Warriors end up resting Steph and company for the 4th, for a game seven.

But really, we just all wanna know who Potomac Avenue is picking, amirite?
posted by cashman at 10:02 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Either way every game feels like it's in the Warrior's hands. They are just so much better than everyone that when they play their best they are unbeatable. I think what the postseason has shown is that a season of barely being challenged has taken a little edge off at times. They've lost as many (or more) playoff games as any other team with an all time great regular season record. I know it's terribly cliche, but they seem to be the only team that can beat them.
posted by French Fry at 10:14 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


All depends on if they call fouls on LeBron. They let him throw folks around, it's a close game. They call it even, Warriors in a rout.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 12:23 PM on June 16, 2016


It was laughable when Lue said Lebron doesn't get any calls. Equally as laughable to think that if the Cavs win, it was the refs cheating. Lebron gets a call here or there - but the refs get him for lots of fouls that are questionable, and don't call a ton of fouls on him when he's going to the basket because he's so strong. The calls all even out and this series has been reffed fine. Sorry, I just get irked when people try to blame the referees. My favorite thing is when people blankly cite free throw shooting numbers, like "Team x shot 30 free throws, and team y shot 10! Bias!" No.
posted by cashman at 12:35 PM on June 16, 2016


Equally as laughable to think that if the Cavs win, it was the refs cheating.

There is a statistical bias toward calls toward the home team. It's demonstrable. I don't think refs are trying to fix games for NBA profits (if so the Spurs would have never had made the finals) but they are human and are influenced by crowds.
posted by French Fry at 1:08 PM on June 16, 2016


There is a statistical bias toward calls toward the home team. It's demonstrable.

I know that's been alleged or purported generally. I am talking about in this specific series. Just from viewing the games, I haven't seen any notable disparity. As far as in-depth analysis I'm pretty sure there hasn't been one done, because to be meaningful it would have to be massive, and my guess is I would have seen it by now.

But speaking of this series, if anyone thinks calls have been lopsided, that would be a great discussion. Who have the calls favored in this series? The Warriors or the Cavs?
posted by cashman at 1:52 PM on June 16, 2016


Anyway, aside from that discussion, here's what I wonder. Whatever happened to that 3-happy Cavs team from earlier playoff rounds? Are the Warriors too good defensively for the Cavs to do that? I think Kyrie will try to get it going and fail. Lebron's jumper isn't worth a darn, so that's not going to happen. It's going to have to be a JR Smith night, barring Kevin Love emerging from the depths.

And since any of that is highly unlikely, and Steph is due, I think Steph and Klay have a huge night. Warriors are back-to-back champions and Cleveland gets moderate respect for taking a 73-9 team to 6 games, but also write another chapter in the fail history by not only not winning a championship, but having a front row seat in back to back years while another team wins it.
posted by cashman at 3:15 PM on June 16, 2016


If it goes down in the first, the Q might burst.
If you see him in 2, it must be the shoes.
Don't want to be absurd it must go down in the third.
When it goes down in the 4th, you blame my man Steph of course.

Dray shuts down Lebron, Klay shuts down Kyrie, and the kid gets his space. Move around and let my man go through. Let my man go through. It's peanut butter Curry time.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:41 PM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't even know what that is, but it is magnificent.
posted by cashman at 5:55 PM on June 16, 2016


1st half Update: what the fuck
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:24 PM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Mods please delete this thread
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:24 PM on June 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never bet on sports
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:42 PM on June 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


Well clearly I suck at prognosticating. This game 7 is going to be crazy.
posted by cashman at 8:53 PM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Never underestimate the power of hero ball. I worship the hero ball. You can actually will yourself into making jumpshots and celebrate your way out of the same.

Lebron in 7.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:01 PM on June 16, 2016


Actually it wasn't hero ball until the 3rd, for the most part. But man this game 7. Wow.
posted by cashman at 9:21 PM on June 16, 2016


Two wins in a row, means Cavs could win the game 7. Cavs looked like they had more energy.
The narrative is setup to be written. Stats are setup to be discussed. Gsw seems to be always in a precarious position throughout the playoffs. It can go either way.

I think as a player you can't get the referees get to you especially when it's the other team's home court, it is obvious the home team gets calls. It is the most frustrating part of sports, you just hope that it is minimal and not too blatant. Sorry to say it but playing against the referees is part of the game.

I hope GSW wins game 7

NBA mentioned they missed calls for the Spurs vs Okc , nothing was done about it though. Spurs didn't complain
posted by metafus at 9:28 PM on June 16, 2016


*sigh*
posted by lkc at 1:28 AM on June 17, 2016


And I mean, I know LeBron has the 'idkfa' onslaught cheat code. And wtf Warriors?

And what the hell?

None of these games have even been close. Speights and Clark made a bunch of 3's at the end that brought it down to only losing by 14.

Game 7 better be a damn hockey fight.

Go W's.
posted by lkc at 1:40 AM on June 17, 2016


I watched the whole game. The officiating wasn't biased either way. Love got early fouls, Cavs got robbed of calls, Warriors got early fouls and robbed of calls. It was fine.

Game 7 is going to be so good. I guess I should think by now that the Cavs will win, but I just don't. Aside from Bogut being out, the only other question mark is Iguodala's health. As long as his back is okay for Sunday, it should be the routiest rout. But it's a game 7 and anything can happen. It will be one for the ages though.
posted by cashman at 6:14 AM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is somehow the ugliest and most beautiful Finals ever.
posted by Etrigan at 6:51 AM on June 17, 2016


I wonder what the betting line is on the margin of victory being 10+ because these teams both seem to just run away with the games.
posted by French Fry at 7:48 AM on June 17, 2016


Margin of victory, final game of the series scores in the NBA finals this century:

2000 - 5 points
2001 - 8 points
2002 - 6 points
2003 - 11 points
2004 - 13 points
2005 - 7 points
2006 - 3 points
2007 - 1 point
2008 - 39 points
2009 - 13 points
2010 - 4 points
2011 - 10 points
2012 - 15 points
2013 - 3 points
2014 - 17 points
2015 - 8 points
posted by cashman at 8:57 AM on June 17, 2016


that was a horrible game and i hated all of it except for when steph beaned that cavs teen fan with his mouthguard

that's all i have to say
posted by burgerrr at 9:07 AM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


If the warriors lose would it be the greatest upset in finals history? (statistically)

The biggest win lose difference was the 72-73 Lakers over the Knicks with a 20 game difference but the Lakers won. Has a 16 game favorite ever lost?
posted by French Fry at 10:05 AM on June 17, 2016


I watched the whole game. The officiating wasn't biased either way.

Warriors lost in the first quarter. They didn't score until like the 6 minute mark. Barnes missed 2 open 3's in that time. Steph fouled twice and got seated. It was their lowest scoring quarter of the year. I've seen them overcome 20 point deficits before, but it didn't involve the Cyclopean Horror of LeBron James.

Also the kid that got hit with the mouth guard was apparently a minority owners son. I'm sure Gilbert will try to whine his way to trying to get Curry suspended for that.
posted by lkc at 10:06 AM on June 17, 2016


Curry and Kerr got fine 25k, and that's it. This is like one of the best finals for me, because I am happy no matter who wins it. If the Cavs win, that is great for Lebron. If the Warriors win, I am happy for Steph, and it means Comic Sans Gilbert lost yet again, and I hope he sells the team and lives a long time alone with his cowardice.
posted by cashman at 10:19 AM on June 17, 2016


Went down the basketball reference rabbit hole...

So by my quick math the warriors losing to the Cavs would be the greatest upset in finals history by a significant margin (in terms of wins and losses). The 1975 Warriors beat the Bullets after having a record with 12 fewer wins, a shocking result especially given that they swept the Bullets. The next biggest is the 1995 Rockets over the Magic with a 10 game difference, but that's kind of fools gold as the Rockets were the defending champs and simply had a slow banged up season. They also swept, indicating again that the records leading into the Finals were not all that meaningful.

Also odd statistical detail, both those series were very "close" sweeps. All 8 games were relatively if not very close games.

But this finals is not like that, there wasn't any chatter that the Cavs had under-performed or were secretly much better than the Warriors. Until the playoffs started the only logical outcome was a Warriors or Spurs championship. Even in this series the Warriors took a 2-0 lead by the largest margin of victory in history. The last 4 games are already a historic reversal of fortune. If the Cavs actually win I wonder if we'll be looking back at this as the greatest comeback or the greatest collapse in NBA history?

I'm not a fan of either team so I'm just curious and fascinated, I'm not meaning to rub any salt for warriors' fans.
posted by French Fry at 11:44 AM on June 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


You know the "Cavs.com" text on the court used to be in Comic Sans as well? Dude just likes Comic Sans.
posted by lkc at 11:48 AM on June 17, 2016


Also weird detail: despite the 30 point victories. Both teams are averaging 101.7 points per game.
posted by French Fry at 12:05 PM on June 17, 2016 [3 favorites]


New prediction: Both teams tie at 101.7 points, Silver announces that overtime is waived and it will be a 3pt shoot-out between Harrison Barnes and Iman Shumpert, after 2 hours of no scoring everyone goes home disappointed. Jon Bois cries as the sport of basketball ends 200 years before he expected, and we all start arguing over the nuances of curling technology.
posted by lkc at 12:16 PM on June 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'll take the over for $50, lkc.
posted by Etrigan at 12:19 PM on June 17, 2016


Ikc, seems as likely as anything else.
posted by French Fry at 12:21 PM on June 17, 2016


You know the "Cavs.com" text on the court used to be in Comic Sans as well? Dude just likes Comic Sans.

That seems to have happened after the decision, and the letter. Man I can't stand Gilbert. Ultimately I think Cleveland has to lose, because we just simply cannot have Gilbert rewarded after he did that and never actually apologized aside from some vague side comment.
posted by cashman at 1:51 PM on June 17, 2016


I just got in from sittin' on the park bench, watching the neighbourhood teens throw the basketball around the neighbourhood court.

I believe that I saw a total of one 2-point shot attempted. Everything else was from past the 3-point line.

I wonder if that will change if James crushes Curry tonight.
posted by clawsoon at 4:07 PM on June 19, 2016


It's. About. To go. Down. Warriors by 35. Despite Cleveland doing what it's been doing, I just can't get out of my head the team the Warriors are. Steph is still there, Klay is still there. Draymond is still there. Harrison Barnes may have confined himself to a van down by the river, but all the pieces are still there for the Warriors to do what they do.
posted by cashman at 4:08 PM on June 19, 2016


Game 7 living up to the hype so far! Mark Jackson is a fool for saying "momma call him Klay, imma call him.... dunked on." Too funny. I love you for that Mark.
posted by cashman at 5:28 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Draymon moving well to get his shots, MVP like performance, can't wait for the second half
posted by metafus at 6:26 PM on June 19, 2016


Uhm, LBJ block with 2 min left in a tied game 7 preventing a layup... damn. Just damn.
posted by skewed at 7:31 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh well.
posted by lkc at 7:38 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm a little disappointed because I wanted to see the Warriors finish what they started, but James' reaction has turned me around on how I feel about it. Good for him.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:46 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


A comment that just flew by on cleveland.com: "I just set my own car on fire!"
posted by clawsoon at 7:46 PM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


The Warriors didn't score in the final 4:30 of the game. That Kyrie 3 was the nail in the coffin. He should win FMVP.
posted by lkc at 7:50 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Typically you don't get to be the MVP for making the last big play of a 7 game series. That was huge, and he had a good series. But James had a couple of incredible games in 5 and 6, and a pretty good one tonight.
posted by skewed at 8:07 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


It wasn't just that last shot, though. He kept the Cavs together the whole series. Ending the drought was the icing on the cake. It doesn't surprise me that LeBron got it, but without Irving consistency they wouldn't have made it to the end.
posted by lkc at 8:15 PM on June 19, 2016


But for Irving, they probably don't win a super close 7 game series, sure. But without James, it's not even a 7 game series. Here's his statline for games 5, 6 and 7:

Game 5: 41 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks (RIDICULOUS)
Game 6: 41 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks (PREPOSTEROUS)

Total turnovers for games 5-6: 3 (?!?!?!?)

Game 7: 27 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals (Not a good shooting night and 5 turnovers, but still a triple double. A triple double in game 7 of the NBA finals)
posted by skewed at 8:21 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Warriors are great. Steph is great. The organization of the team and the way they play is great. Lebron is the GOAT. The end. We are are fucking witnesses.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:48 PM on June 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


That was the best game I've seen since "the shot". Just incredible. Lebron is incredible.
posted by cashman at 9:36 PM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


[golden state] are perhaps the most 'vulnerable' looking juggernaut ever. Perhaps part of it is style of play or the personalities of the team but when they are losing they look hapless and dreadful. When they are winning they look impossibly hot...

This is how I felt at the beginning of the series and this is still how I feel. Lebron is great but he didn't have an unfathomable game 7, neither did Kyrie, they both put up tons of shots to get their points. Also a lot of turnovers. That kind of inefficiency is supposed to be catnip for the warriors, but they just didn't take advantage. The end of the game was the kind of ice cold "WTF is happening" moment that I as a Patriots fan am all too familiar with.
posted by French Fry at 6:01 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fatigue. Warriors had 2 straight 7-game series in the conference and nba finals. With travel and running and jumping and sprinting and falling - fatigue. The season started last October.
posted by cashman at 6:24 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fatigue. Warriors had 2 straight 7-game series in the conference and nba finals. With travel and running and jumping and sprinting and falling - fatigue. The season started last October.

It started last October for everyone else, too. The Warriors only played three more games than the Cavs did.
posted by Etrigan at 7:02 AM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Warriors only played three more games than the Cavs did.

Cavs had more rest between series, and more rest before the finals. And Cavs didn't go to a game 7 and have to come from a 3-1 deficit to win their conference finals. And while the Cavs were playing east-coast style basketball a good amount of the time against Toronto, the Warriors were trying to run with Russell Westbrook and company.

Fatigue will affect your jump shot.
posted by cashman at 7:07 AM on June 20, 2016


If folks in here weren't aware, there's a new post on the blue about the Cavs championship.
posted by cashman at 8:52 AM on June 20, 2016


Fatigue will affect your jump shot.

Perhaps, but I think it's a lot more complicated than that. Steph was not at full strength laterally. The loss of Bogut left them with challenges in the middle defensively. Draymond was suspended. Barnes' complete disappearance meant using Andre more, whose back and age were challenged by those minutes. Cleveland, particularly Irving, committed in a way on D they had not done at all during the season. That's a lot of changes.

It's easy to forget that GSW was an incredibly healthy team and one that didn't have to work around a lot of turmoil until the end. Barnes missed 16 games, Bogut 14, Steph 9, Klay 2, and Draymond 2 including the suspension. Their rotations were stable for nearly the entire season and they didn't really run into any struggles that required them to mess around too much with their lineup. Meanwhile, Cleveland rotated several lineups throughout the playoffs and were much more used to inserting guys in.

Finally - the thing about the death lineup is - it only works if every guy is a threat. It was a lot easier to defend when one guy is shooting 39% from the field, as you could have a big guy on the floor again and leave him open on the perimeter without consequence.
posted by scrittore at 11:16 AM on June 20, 2016


No excuses for Steph. When you play as long as Steph has, you know how to compensate for deficiencies. When you're tired, you compensate when you shoot. When you're on the baseline, you know how to shoot that differently. Kyrie talked about it - as a player, especially a guard, you have to master shooting from numerous angles. So that when you go to the hole, you don't just get your shot blocked, and you can get and ones. This is for finishing moves.

Steph was moving fine. Love just locked him up. It was also a mistake on Steph's part, with 45 seconds left, to act like a 3-pointer was the only option there.

Kobe talked about it as well, but for perimeter moves. To be unstoppable in basketball, you have to be predictable. Well Curry was predictable but he didn't make the right play after that. Love knew what Curry wanted to do, and when he did, Curry should have left the 3-point line and gone inside for a jumper or an old-school 3-point play. And Curry is fantastic at finishing at the rim. And if he'd pulled up for a jumper after blowing by love, that would have been money too. Fatigue also likely factored in there. It's hard to process things in the moment when you're tired.

But there's no injury excuse, because the way he'd been moving he was clearly pretty healthy, even if not 100%. That's everybody at this time of year. Kyrie hurt his foot in game 6. You play through it. Steph said no excuses, and I agree - no excuses.
posted by cashman at 11:30 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Here's the last minute of game 7. Keep your eyes on Curry after he misses the shot, and goes back on defense - the first 90 seconds of the video. Steph is exhausted.
posted by cashman at 11:36 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I agree, everyone was out of gas. The last quarter of every close playoff game has just been about isos and hero ball. It works great if you have a superstart draining impossible shots. Maybe what we need is more hockey-style substitutions, where no one plays more than 30 minutes, but they give it 100% during those 30 minutes. But in hockey, a momentary lapse of fatigue can cost you the game; in basketball, fatiguing merely reduces your chances of getting a good shoot or defensive stop. I don't know, hero ball DOES go a long way sometimes.

Basketball has been really taken by analytics lately, so I wonder whether there's been any data about the second-stringers of any given NBA team at full force vs. the starters of another team that's totally gassed. I think Popovich has been doing the best job at managing fatigue out of any NBA coach out there, and Kerr was pretty good about it, but even he had to juggle too many balls, I think.

The thing I do find funny about sports in general is the narrative that everyone wants to weave about championships. Lebron's the best player on the planet, there's no doubt that anymore. But even in basketball, you need help. If Ray Allen misses that three in 2013 or Irving misses yesterday, he likely has a couple fewer titles. And that's through absolutely no doing of his own (besides having missed the shot in 2013 that led to the rebound or having missed plenty of opportunities yesterday that clanked). But either you go home a winner or loser. And that's the only label that sticks, I guess.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 12:17 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


But there's no injury excuse, because the way he'd been moving he was clearly pretty healthy, even if not 100%. That's everybody at this time of year. Kyrie hurt his foot in game 6. You play through it. Steph said no excuses, and I agree - no excuses.

Explanations are not excuses. Go back and watch footage of Steph coming off screens before and after the knee injury - his handle is the same, his front/back movement is the same, his speed up the court is the same, but he's unable to turn the corner as quick or sidestep guys. That's problematic for a guy who does that a lot.

Top 4 minutes in the playoffs are Draymond, Klay, LeBron and Kyrie. Draymond, LeBron and Klay all played 3,500 minutes + in the regular season (1st, 4th and 5th overall.) LeBron is the oldest by 5 years of that group and has six straight seasons involving a finals appearance. Switch the winner and "fatigue" would just as easily be the reason for the Cavs to have lost. I just don't see it as a differentiator between these two teams - both are fatigued, and it came down to the final four possessions.

Keep your eyes on Curry after he misses the shot, and goes back on defense - the first 90 seconds of the video. Steph is exhausted.

Sure, but at 1:01 they cut to Kyrie whose chest is heavy searching for air and his eyes are heavy - clear signs of exhaustion. It's the last minute of game seven of the finals and a one possession game - everyone's spent.
posted by scrittore at 12:57 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Congrats to the clutch 3 by Kyrie and Lebron's block and Cav's team defense.
GSW has been too reliant on the 3 ball to bail them out in situations perhaps
they need more of that balanced inside game.

I know it is early but looking forward to the next season, seems like it has be been hard for teams to win back to back championships, other than the Heat. For two years these two teams have reached the finals. Will we see the same thing next year?
posted by metafus at 1:13 PM on June 20, 2016


Also no one has played more basketball in the last 6 years than Lebron and he looked pretty spry. He's older too.
posted by French Fry at 1:31 PM on June 20, 2016


If LeBron makes the finals in the next 3 seasons (which is not unlikely) he will have been a finals contender for all of the 2010's.

Also, the draft is Wednesday, anyone up for an nba_club talk thread?
posted by lkc at 12:33 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else think that three days after the end of the season (granted, the season went hella long) is way too close for the draft?
posted by Etrigan at 7:49 AM on June 21, 2016


Not I, said the pig. I needs mah bball!
posted by cashman at 9:02 AM on June 21, 2016


Does anyone else think that three days after the end of the season (granted, the season went hella long) is way too close for the draft?

As strange as it seems, this season was two days longer than last year. The July 1st moratorium is also set in stone, so this isn't really a window regardless.
posted by scrittore at 10:44 AM on June 22, 2016


Draft Thread. I think I did it right.
posted by lkc at 5:26 PM on June 23, 2016


Hey where was that guy talking trash? What's LeBron's nickname now?

🎉 👑 🎉

To make the post slightly more substantial than just talking shit -- a bunch of ohio people from college have a loosely cavs affiliated whatsapp group (one celts fan, whatever). Watching the game and messaging those guy as the clock wound down... man. I still can't quite believe it. The pictures from the parade, everything is just surreal to me. At this point I've watched the block, the shot, the stop to the point where I have Mike Breen's calls pretty much memorized and it still makes me smile all goofy like.

While Lebron teleporting out of nowhere to block that shot and Kyrie dancing on Curry was amazing, I'm still blown away by Love's D on Curry. Like, I've seen Kyrie hit shots like that before, and LeBron block shots like that before -- I've never seen Love play D like that ever.

Man, yay basketball and go Cavs.
posted by yeahwhatever at 10:57 PM on June 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


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