Cavaliers seek answers as Warriors eye perfect NBA title run

Doug Mendoza
June 8, 2017

It keeps ringing in my ears like the sound you get when someone pulls the fire alarm in high school to get out of a pop quiz.

Now, Golden State is headed to Northeast Ohio needing just two more - yet don't count on anybody considering this series close to done.

In a league when a brush of the arm constitutes as a foul these days, and there's no longer a thing called traveling, the Durant signing is one of the few reasons I've been watching the playoffs thus far.

"He was their closer tonight, for sure", Irving said.

The Cavs' slogan for this defending championship playoff run is "Defend the Land". The losers were the 1969 Lakers (Boston won in seven games), the 1977 Sixers (Portland in six), the 2006 Mavericks (Miami in six) ... and the 2016 Warriors (Cavs in seven). It was great for me to have Mike to kind of like go through the season with me, and kind of help me out and help me get adjusted. "Running around with Steph and chasing Klay [Thompson] and chasing Steph and constantly having to be on alert, it takes a lot of out of you offensively". Not this time. Irving erupted for 16 points in the period and the Cavs forged a 94-89 lead by period's end.

"We have two games under our belt, so we have to get used to it now", Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson said.

"I want to win just as bad as they do and obviously they probably got a bad taste in their mouth after what happened last year and we had one in our mouth last year from what happened the year before", James said. These same sports pundits are saying that the Cleveland Cavaliers don't have enough fire power to beat the Warriors.

Cleveland shot just 19-for-60 from 3-point territory (31.6 percent) in the two games at Oracle Arena, nowhere near the 38.4 percent it shot as a team in the regular season when it was second best in the league.

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Kerr's big concern was withstanding the inevitable emotional boost the Cavs had from coming home. "Playing smart. Trying to make them work for everything they get".

Irving says that the Warriors team from last year is not the same as this year and the series is not the same series as last year. They combined for 77 points. He is averaging 32 points, 12.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game in the series, putting him on pace to become the first player in Finals history to average a triple-double, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But that Warriors team had Harrison Barnes instead of Durant. Last year, Curry was a shell, Draymond Green got suspended and LeBron put together a three-game stretch for the ages and the Warriors still almost won that seventh game, no matter how inevitable their downfall feels now in retrospect.

"You guys asked me what was the difference, and I told you", James said.

"We definitely have a sense of what they're capable of", Love said.

This is the first time two teams have met three straight times in the NBA Finals. However, it was James himself who entered Irving into the MVP conversation last season, placing Irving on that pedestal. When he arrives for a team scouting session, he can already describe plays the opponent will run based on their personnel and positioning. Now would be an opportune time for Irving to establish he belongs in that group. "But now that we're in this situation, why not take care of business and finish the job?"

"We want to play fast; we don't want to play in a hurry", Lue said. "We get a chance to go home now to our home crowd where we play well, also" (see full story). You have to remain non-wavering.

But as much as they may look like they've done it, I still don't believe basketball is "solvable", not by the Warriors or any other team, simply because basketball is not a problem. "We understand who we are and we stay the course".

Other reports by GizPress

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