This was recently big game NBA season. Cavaliers-Warriors were in the NBA Finals four consecutive years (2015-18)something that did not happen, and that will be difficult to repeat, in the big four American professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL). Not too long ago, this was a fierce, high-voltage rivalry. But one that surely moved to Los Angeles with LeBron in 2018. Of course, those in Ohio remember what all those Warriors road trips were like during that electrifying stretch, the ambient temperature and the war drums on the track. They managed to find many parallels in this game which, however, ended up attracting many eyes for one of the simplest possible questions, pure curiosity:that the Warriors are doing what?
The Warriors won in Cleveland (114-120) in a game that pointed to one of the turning points on Friday night, but on which many put a cross, before the initial jump, when it was announced that the champion was negative (22-23 ) before the game and after losing a tough overtime matchup in Boston, where they sealed the title in June, they decided skip game in Cleveland (where they sealed their titles in 2015 and 2018) because it was the end of a five-game tour and was back to back peliagudo. Steve Kerr played Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. Sin big 4 and without Andre Iguodala or James Wiseman, the Warriors seemed to clean up a game that was already mortally wounded in terms of media attention anyway. And as a product for those who thought to see Curry (one of the greatest spectacles in world sports after all) and company in their only visit this year to Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, the old Quicken Loans where they ended seven and a half years ago a streak of forty without a title for the Warriors. Kerr apologized and elaborated on what is actually a much broader question for the NBA product: “I feel really bad for the fans who bought a ticket to see other players, it’s a brutal thing in this business. That’s why I will continue to advocate for the regular season to become 72 games“.
Kerr has made it clear that he has to protect his players and look out for them long target, some playoff where they will have to defend their title and be the first team in history, if they want, to win a ring after going negative in the 45th game of the season. It’s now 23-23 after this an unlikely miracle on a small scalea victory that is only the sixth at home, one of the worst marks in the League, and that against some Cavs who have not played in Cleveland since December 26 and who had only four losses in their pavilion before the game, which was the best number in to the east. They didn’t have Donovan Mitchell, who has a groin problem, or Ricky Rubio, who is worried about his return after a very long absence. and take care of your minutes. But they had Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley… Enough, any way you look at it, to control this one in his lane. version C from the Warriors. But…
But JB Bickerstaff, the Cavs coach, assured that they are not “respected” fun and that deservedly no doubt the corrective they took, a bombardment from the line of three that reached moments that were more than surprising. The Warriors have never made 23 3-pointers without Stephen Curry and remain, with a whopping 23/43 (53%), close to the all-time franchise record 27. They scored nine of the first 12 shots, and at halftime they have 14. In the rhythm of the challenge, the historical top of the NBA league. And they came out of the break (59-64) with five more in four minutes, a stretch that took the advantage to +20 (69-89) that had to rub your eyes. The later bad student reaction could have had a happy ending for the Cavs, but at 110-114 he scored an impossible three-pointer, of courseTy Jerome who later, already in the last minute, extinguished the game with a great assist from the side to Kevon Looney (112-119).
Here’s how it happened: Eight Warriors players hit at least one 3-pointer. Kevon Looney, who saved because it’s not his thing, added only 4 points, but he was important with his presence body and 17 rebounds, of which 6 in the attack. Jordan Poole added 32 points, although a losing streak, lack of concentration and too many eyes on the favorable point almost fell into the drain that swallowed his team. When +20 ended up being +4. But Jerome, who did not play in Boston, kept his cool (22 points, 8 assists) in the a good mix of DiVincenzo, Lamb and two returning guys who have done a lot of work, a youngster (Kuming) and a veteran (JaMychal Green).
So the Warriors won… and the Cavs lost. And tonight they play, the third game in four days, against the Bucks, no less. If they don’t improve their image and lose again, many will remember this terrible setback against these warriors. The product of a lax start (until it was too late) due to rival losses. It seemed very obvious. Garland finished with 31 points and 10 assists, LeVert with 22 points, and Mobley with 17 and 7 rebounds. But the collective image was very bad, very bad. In the trap that ended, unintentionally, that Kerr’s plan take care of your legs and efforts. The one that left us without seeing Curry, Klay and Green on a track that, so far from the Bay, is inescapably tied to its history and legacy.