Golden State's Issues Follow Them to The Land in Game 3
This just in: there's a reason why Cleveland burned when LeBron James took those talents to South Beach.
Now that he's back, he's burning the Warriors like they were the Cuyahoga.
Game 3 featured a super-hyped Cleveland crew against a lethargic Golden State squad that looked like they were taking it easy for the first three quarters. Did they forget this wasn't the regular season or something? Where has the energy gone? Even Steve Kerr wants to know.
How else does one explain the stomping that was the third quarter?
Alley-oops, impressive passes, and a steady dose of LeBron fueled that frame's domination over the Dubs. Turns out that Golden State’s miscues decided the game. Also, it didn't hurt that LeBron James is really good:
Dude jumped over Klay Thompson. Yes, over him, to complete that alley-oop.
However, Cleveland nearly gave this game away once again, as the Warriors roared back like they always do.
Being up by 17 by the end of the third, it was easy to think that this game was firmly in the books. Clearly, Golden State disagreed.
All of a sudden, treys were raining from the skies, and the Warrior's swagger was all over the court. Curry was making ridiculous shots, and the Cavs reverted back to their old selves. But, what is too little too late?
LeBron continued to make plays along with Matthew Dellavedova, and the Warriors just didn't have enough in the tank.
The wheels officially blew off the Dubs' wagon when LeBron read a passing lane and zoomed in to grab the steal. Dude knew what was coming and grinned as if he was almost insulted that the Warriors even tried that play.
Curry once again struggled for the majority of this game, and Matthew Dellavedova is firmly at the helm of the Cavs' defensive surge. Golden State looked flustered and downright scared, while Cleveland looked like the poised squad that knew what it was doing.
The Land's winning script the game before was repeated in Game 3. Cleveland comes out hot and energetic and eventually loses steam as the Warriors slowly take over in the fourth quarter. Just one problem with Golden State's role in this: they lost both games.
Digging a hole that big and expecting the offense to carry you through is not at all realistic. The Warriors' margin for error was slim to none. And Slim left town.
It’s also tough to come back when Dellavedova is making shots like this:
Seriously, the Warriors were probably thinking about packing it up right then and there.
However, there were a few juicy differences that could make for interesting adjustments as this series struts forward.
- Andrew Bogut looked like a shell of himself. His movement in the paint seemed incredibly slow and makes one wonder if he ate too much beforehand. So, David Lee was dusted off and brought in. Guess what? It worked. So well, in fact, that he might change how this series is played. His energy and scoring punch down low provided more than even the Warriors expected. Lee made slick passes and converted buckets that harkened memories that he used to be an All-Star. Remember those days?
- Iman Shumpert injured his shoulder in the first quarter, but was able to return. It didn't seem to affect his play, considering he swished a trey right afterward, but will this injury have an effect going forward? That dude is important; it’s not like Cleveland needs more injuries to add to their pile. Seriously, it’s getting too big and they’re running out of room.
- While Curry looked like he saw a ghost for three quarters, he woke up and started making his trademark treys as well as manipulating Cleveland’s defense like a conductor. The Warriors may have lost, but did they gain their MVP back in return?
It can't be understated how good Cleveland is playing and how easy LeBron is making it look on a game-to-game basis. The energy and the teamwork required to pull this off is staggering. All that really needs to be said is that the Cavaliers' supporting cast is better than expected.
Dude just doesn’t care. He knows this is what type of player he is.
As for Golden State, they still have a LeBron problem, but there's not really a fix for that. Simply put, the Warriors are the team that needs their hod carriers to step up. Draymond Green has turned into an emotional wreck; his shot isn't falling, and he's fouling far too frequently whenever he pulls LeBron duty. It could be that Green’s injured back is causing more grief than he's letting on.
He might want to get some ice on that quickly.
Golden State needs to either regroup or have a Kumbaya session.
They can’t rely on just their home court to get through the Finals and need to win one in Cleveland. The question is, can they truly put together a complete game? It feels like we've only seen about 50% of the Warriors can do -- at least according to Draymond -- but this is what the Finals are all about.
So the plot thickens. It's Golden State's move.