Given how the Golden State Warriors started this game, there is not a person watching this game that would have blamed the Cavs if they just called it a night. When Curry made this three
it sure as shit looked like we were in store for a big time GS blowout. They had 22 points in the first 6 minutes and they got them by their patented beautiful ball movement. I mean the ball was popping side to side, three or four pass possessions forced the Cavs defense to actually do something, and when you require this Cavs defense to have to make a play, bad things happen. They had 7 assists on their first 13 baskets, and Curry was certainly making his case that he should end up with the Finals MVP. But here’s the thing, somehow the Cavs stuck around. Even with a couple Iguodala threes the Cavs were still in punching distance down 9 heading into the second quarter, and honestly they were a bit lucky the Warriors only finished with 34.
To everyone’s surprise the Cavs came out FIRING in the second quarter. Within the first three minutes we had ourselves a one possession game. With a little more than half way to go in the quarter the Cavs actually took their first lead. They did all this while still shooting the ball like complete dickheads. How could that be possible? Well unlike Game 3, this Cavs team lived at the line. GS was called for 13 fouls in the first 24 minutes leading to a 16-6 FTA difference in favor of CLE. Now they missed 6 of those attempts but that’s a different matter for a different blog. The point is, through some Lebron buckets and some damn active 7 minutes from Larry Nance Jr (6/5, 4 OREB), the Cavs were able to get off to a great start, and then absorb every counter GS came back with once they settled down. More threes from Curry and Iguodala put GS back on top, but the Cavs never let it truly get out of hand. Again I give them credit because every time they’ve been faced with a situation where they could just mail it in, so far this game they’ve responded well. Their activity on the glass is what’s keeping their season alive, they have 10 OREB already which is something they are going to have to continue if they even want to entertain the thought of winning this game.
The Cavs also have to find a way to get Love easier shots. Everything has been contested for him it seems like while also being 20ft+ from the basket. He only took 3 shots in the second half of Game 3, so the Cavs/Lebron need to find a way to get him going early and often in the second half. You can’t bank on the fact that JR Smith has looked somewhat competent. You know Durant is going to come out firing as he struggled from the field (4-10) and we haven’t even talked about the fact that Klay Thompson has taken only 1 shot. Early foul trouble will do that to ya, so you can expect he’s going to bust out in a big way as well over the final 24 minutes.
GS may end up winning this game and the series, but at least we got an entertaining first half. There could potentially only be 24 minutes left in the NBA season, make sure you cherish it.