Cleat Geeks

Curry, Warriors Push Cavs to the Brink

Dejection. Hopelessness. Frustration. The faces of the fans court side at Quicken Loans Arena were devoid of joy at the conclusion of Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

Photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

Ty Lue passed the buck to the refs, claiming that LeBron should attempt more than 4 free throws in 46 minutes of game play. LeBron tried to remain calm, saying they just needed to “get one.” He stoically espoused that if they were to be returning to Cleveland following Game 5, they may as well come to play a game. The thing is, the wheels fell off the bus for the Cavs. They fell off at home. They made so many poor decisions.

The game was nip and tuck into the fourth quarter. The Warriors got good looks, spread the ball around, and took care of the rock. Cleveland watched Kyrie and LeBron take turns going one on one.

Cleveland didn’t shoot threes when they were down eight in the final minute. LeBron continued to drive to the basket and trade layups for free throws against two of the best foul shooters in the game. JR Smith followed up a 20 point Game 3 performance with ZERO FGA’s in the second half.

Kyrie and LeBron, despite combining for 59, took 33 of the 38 shots the Cavs attempted in the second half. That is just awful. This is so awful, I thought it was a mistake when I reviewed the final box score.

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

No matter how good LeBron and Kyrie are, they won’t be able to beat the Warriors going 2 on 5. Just ask the more powerful duo from Oklahoma City how that worked out.

The Warriors finally got a typical contribution from the Splash Bros. Steph and Klay combined for 63 points, more than Game 1 and 2 combined. They put on a shooting exhibition, dropping eleven bombs from downtown between them. The Warriors broke an NBA Finals record, ripping the nylon from deep 17 times. They got solid contributions from their role players. Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala were fantastic. It seemed like every shot HB took from deep was cash. Iguodala continued to look like one of the best perimeter defenders of this era, getting to loose balls, deflecting passes and stripping drivers on their way to the rack. It was a more than solid team effort.

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Perhaps the only blemish for Golden State was the once again bush league antics of Draymond Green. He entangled himself with LeBron in the second half while going for a loose ball. During the fracas LeBron stepped over Draymond. As LeBron made his way to the paint it looked like Draymond took a swipe at LeBron’s man region. The Cavs were obviously frustrated by the play during post game comments. It’s up to Adam Silver to decide whether or not to suspend Green. He most definitely deserves to be punished, but I can’t see Silver pulling the trigger on a suspension. We should know by Monday morning what Silver thinks is an appropriate punishment.

What happens to Cleveland going forward? Do they come to Oakland and pull out a long shot victory? Can they harness their Game 3 efforts?

More importantly, what happens to LeBron James? Whether or not anyone wants to admit it, these losses affect his legacy. He will all but certainly be 2-5 in Finals appearances by this time next week. I hate to say this, because he has been the face of the league for almost a decade, taking the torch from Kobe Bryant. He will not win another ring. He just won’t.

The Cleveland experiment may have ended in a title if it wasn’t for the Warriors. LeBron made the trek back to Northeast Ohio at the wrong time. Despite all the criticism for their style of play and unassuming appearance, the Warriors are an all time great team. No matter how many times LeBron leads his troops through the East, the Warriors or another great team (OKC or the Spurs) will be there waiting. They just don’t have what it takes to bring these teams down.

All of this notwithstanding, I’m rooting for a long series. It would be nice to see at least six games. This series hasn’t really been predictable thus far, so we can’t prognosticate with any certainty which version of either team will show.

I want to see LeBron come out and will the team to a narrow victory, stopping fans and pundits from dissecting his legacy for one more night.

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