With a tired body and not a lot of rest, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers return home for game 3 in the NBA Finals to host the Golden State Warriors with the series tied at 1-1.
The David Blatt – LeBron James relationship is a weird one, in which James hardly gives his head coach any credit for anything, while Blatt knows he has to keep complimenting James for a number of reasons. But even with bad shooting percentage, almost everything good that happens on the Cavs’ offense begins with James, and that doesn’t have much to do with coaching.
You’d be hard pressed to find a guy anywhere, anytime, I can think of a name or two, but that’s the whole history of basketball, that can give you the kind of all-around performance and all-around leadership that LeBron does for his group. He really willed his guys to win that game. That’s what a champion does.
Despite the number of minutes he has played (96 in two games) and the very short rest while coming back from Oakland, the Cavaliers need the same from LeBron James. It doesn’t seem like they can blow out the Warriors. If the Cavaliers win, it’s going to be down to the wire each and every time, and although James has been missing a lot of shots late in the first two games, he does other things to keep what remains of a team that was better than anyone in the second half of the season alive.
It’s a maximum of five games left in the NBA season. So I’m ready for whatever. Am I built for it? Of course I am built for it, especially when we have a chance to become part of history.
While Blatt is complimenting his star, Steve Kerr is hoping his MVP can shake off his funk from game 2, shooting just 5-of-23, struggling especially with Matthew Dellavedova guarding him and putting on the lowest game score according to basketball reference in an NBA Finals game by an MVP. He’s also been shooting just 28.4% from beyond the arc at home through this postseason, so maybe a road trip is what he needs.
It happens to everybody, whether you’re the MVP or a role player. Sometimes the shots don’t go in. Sometimes things don’t go your way. Steph will bounce back. He’s a great player. We’ll help him. We’ll try to see if we can get him into a better groove. But he’ll be fine.
The Warriors are counting on getting back to shooting form and moving the ball well again, but that will have to do with adjustments Kerr makes. His team has struggled against an excellent defense, and even attempts by Draymond Green to post up on Dellavedova have been failing. There must be another way, or simply wait for Curry to get hot again.
One thing that keeps getting mentioned is how badly Curry and others on his team played and it still took the Cavaliers overtime and a little bit of luck. But these mentions tend to forget how badly the Cavaliers were shooting, and how many players were having bad days on that side. This series seems to be closer and tighter than is should, but both sides are enjoying the benefit of the doubt. The Warriors have been closer to being down 0-2 than leading 2-0.