Groundhog day? The Warriors Lead the 3-1 over the Cavs in the 2017 NBA Finals
Daniel Ross-Rieder w/ Kahlil Ellis
Quibbl Reader: 5 minute recaps of the key stories of the week & the key trending quibbls on that topic
Part 1: Getting up to speed
Remember 2016? Steph Curry & The Golden State Warriors completed a historic season, setting the NBA record for wins in a regular season with 73. In the NBA Finals, they found themselves leading the Cavs by a 3-1 margin. It was a lock.
…Until Lebron James, with brilliant back to back 41 point games, and and an otherworldly triple-double in game 7, led the Cleveland Cavaliers to one of the most dramatic and improbable come from behind victories in sports history.
2017, Present day: Steph Curry, Kevin Durant & Golden State Warriors completed a historic season. Just days ago, entering game 4 of the NBA finals, on a run of 15 straight playoff wins, the Warriors were just a win away from becoming the only team to go undefeated in the NBA playoffs. It was a lock…
…until Lebron James & the Cleveland Cavaliers went off with an extraordinary Game 4 performance and victory. LeBron James put up an astronomical triple-double of 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Kyrie Irving added 40 points and seven boards.
Heading back to Quicken Loans Arena for game 5, can the Cleveland Cavaliers rewrite history in 2017 – or are the Warriors simply too good to overcome?
Game 4 Recap:
- The score: Cavaliers 137 – Warriors 116
- 3 Point Extravaganza: as team, the Cavaliers converted 24 of their 45 three-point attempts (53.3 percent), and set NBA Finals records for three-pointers made (24)
- NBA 2K? The cavs set scoring records for, points in a quarter (49) and points in a half (86) on the way to the victory, one in which they led from their first shot to the finish.
- Must Watch – LeBron James Tosses Pass off Backboard to Himself, Slams It Home vs. Warriors Game: . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGG6WvUfdlc
- Game highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orvz3CjDRgQ
Part 2: Your Key Quibbls for NBA Finals Game 5
- Predict the Winner of tonights’s Game 5 – Cavs vs. The Warriors (and do the Cavs have a shot?)
- Need a dopamine hit? For the addicts out there, predict the game flow by quarter here (Q1), here (first half), & the leading scorer at halftime
- Battle of the boards: select who gets more rebounds: Tristan Thompson vs. Draymond Green
- Scoring Matchup: Steph Curry vs. Kyrie Irving
- Overall match up: Lebron vs. Durant (select who gets more combined points / rebounds / assists) :
- Can Lebron maintain his outsized performance – does he exceed 50 combined points / rebounds / assists
- 3 Point Competition? The Warriors are perhaps the best 3 point shooting team of all time. The Cavs just set the record for 3 points made in an NBA game. Who scores more 3s in Game 5?
- Will we see another night featuring massive scoring? Do the teams combine for 220+ points?
- Fouls called? After a game 4 that saw 67 total free throws (including 22 for the Cavs in the first quarter) & 7 technical fouls, will we see another game consisting of tough physical play (and perhaps overactive refs)
Part 3: Learn More: links to the best commentary and analysis across the internet
- By any other comparison, Lebron James’ Cavaliers are actually a pretty formidable team: [Link to Quartz]
- But this is not a normal season. The two teams about to play for the NBA championship, the Golden State Warriors, led by Kevin Durant, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, ran through the rest of the league’s best competition in the playoffs like the Kool-Aid man busting through walls. The Cavs lost just one game, to the Boston Celtics, on an improbable buzzer-beating three-point shot. In the games they won, the Cavs outscored the Celtics by an average of 25.75 points, which is pretty much insane.
- At Nate Silver’s 538, Chris Herring dissects how the Cavaliers might be able to extend their Game 4 performance to bring this playoff’s compeition level closer to parity: [link to 538]
- Yet the one thing that could prove to be sustainable is the dominant Batman/Superman act that LeBron James and Kyrie Irving have shown us they’re capable of pulling off. Irving had a game-high 40 points on Friday, while James finished with a 31-point triple-double. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing these two play their best when they absolutely have to, given that James averaged 36 points and Irving posted 30 a night over the final threegames of last year’s series, after Cleveland fell behind 3-1.
- At Bleacher Report, Howard Beck argues why the superteam era may be here to stay after Kevin Durant’s decision to join a 73-9 ball club [link to BleacherReport]
- As recently as 2009, you could count on elite players mostly staying put, for better or worse. As I wrote then, only three in-their-prime superstars had changed teams in free agency in the prior 12 years: Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady and Steve Nash. And even then, there were caveats. McGrady had not yet blossomed into a star when he left Toronto for Orlando. Nash only left Dallas for Phoenix because the Mavericks balked at his salary demands.
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