Late in the fourth quarter with their beloved team about to win its first game of the 2017 NBA Finals, Cavs’ fans let everyone know their desired ending for the series by chanting “Cavs in 7!” Despite Cleveland being down 3-1, why not give them a little room to dream big before delivering the sobering facts? After all, the Cavs didn’t just beat the Warriors, they destroyed them. After such a beat down, wouldn’t any reasonable person admit that the Cavaliers are capable of winning three more games? After all, the Cavs now know the steps to beat the Warriors in the playoffs. Well, at least, that is the theory. The problem for the Cavs, though, is this repeatable?
Judging by Game 4, here is the way to beat the Warriors.
- Tristan Thompson remembers that he is one of the most physical players on the court; therefore, he plays like it by grabbing every rebound in sight, hurling any opposing player out-of-the-way, daring the referees to call a foul. For the record, the Cavs’ physical style of play is one of the main reasons why I picked them to win in 7. (Yes, just like the chant.) Why did they wait to unleash the “Forearm-Shiv”?
- LeBron not only attacks the rim from the perimeter, but he bullies any defender in the post with the ol’ lower the shoulder back down move perfected in the 90’s. (I am sad to see this move return. Apparently, I am one of the few people who actually watched basketball in the 90’s and hoped this style would never return.)
- JR Smith remembers how to shoot 3’s.
- Kevin Love cuts to the basket for open looks in addition to hitting 3’s.
- Kyrie Irving continues to make
contestedimpossible layups and 3-point shots.
- Hold Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to a combined total of 27 points – 14 points for Curry and 13 for Thompson.
- Golden State commits 12 personal fouls plus one technical in the first quarter. (By the way, Cleveland’s tally was 6. Nothing to see here.)
- Cleveland shoots 22 free throws in the first quarter versus 11 for Golden State. (Again, nothing to see here.)
- Track down every loose ball.
- Finally, and perhaps the most important step, the Cavs score a record number of 3-point baskets (24-45).
Is all of this repeatable?
Uhm, good luck, Cleveland.