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2016 NBA Finals Series

June 5, 2016
by

This will be my second to last post for the NBA this season, unless their is some stand-alone news.  As Kenny pointed out, I am the only one left with high interest in the outcome, and one thread to bring us to the end of the series is enough.  EDIT: I am now 6 minutes (11 – 8 GSW ahead) into Game 7 and my day is too busy to write a stand alone post.  Also, it is better to just keep the stuff in one place.

Game 2 starts in an hour, and I will be watching it on-demand, in dribs and drabs, as the day goes along.  I expect to see some exciting basketball, but as RoBBins commented, and Kenny mentioned later in party, it should be a done deal.  I am not saying it is, but it should be.  When your stars, some of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, can be held to 20 points total, and you still win by a comfortable margin, well, the rest of your team must be pretty good.  Indeed, it was “the bench” that was the MVP of Game 1, and it makes me wonder if maybe this is what people mean when they speak in hyperbole about the Warriors being the best team ever.  Can you imagine Jordan, Olajuwan, Bird, or Magic being held to 10 points, and spending big minutes on the bench relaxing, and their teams still winning in the finals?  Without Jordan at least, we know that answer.  To be sure, the Cavs are no Thunder.  When the Thunder were on, most clearly displayed in Q1 and Q2 of Game 7, the Warriors were darn near helpless, looking like they had no say in their fate.  That will definitely be tape that GSW want to review over the summer.  It should make anyone who has any ties to the Warriors break into a cold sweat.

So, there it is.  For those who are watching, enjoy the game.  As far as I am concerned, Warriors fan or not, along with the Thunder, Clippers, and even the young Trailblazers, GSW provide some of the flashiest, most dynamic and exciting basketball that has been played since the Lakers and Magic created “Showtime” (which having spent some time in the archives, I know just a little about).  As an aside, I came across an interesting article on the Warriors use of technology for monitoring the players.  Fascinating stuff.  I wonder when other teams will start utilizing some of these tools. And I have a favor to ask, please keep the comments in this thread on topic.  Cheers!

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2016 7:48 pm

    Mostly just for my own reference:
    Books
    Basketball Analytics: Spatial Tracking

    Basketball on Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis

    And a website:
    http://www.basketballanalyticsbook.com/

    And from that website,
    The Subtle Brilliance of Portland, for our Portland fans.

  2. June 5, 2016 8:25 pm

    I don’t think it’s a done deal. Cavs bench can show up for tonight. I think it will be a lot closer than people think by the end of it.

    I think they will split 2-2 and then whoever gets the first road win will take the series.

    • June 5, 2016 8:35 pm

      If both teams play well, as opposed to which team plays poorest, that will be exciting.

      Deep into the first, going back and forth, lead is switching now with almost every basket. Bogut has 4 great blocks already. Never know where the help is going to come from.

  3. Herandar permalink
    June 5, 2016 10:00 pm

    Man, a done deal?? Really?? Do you guys even watch sports? Two weeks ago, after the Cavs had won all of their playoff games and shot a record number of threes in one game, it was all “Gee, it doesn’t matter which team comes out of the west, the Cavs are just sooo good right now.” Even elite teams have bad games.

    All I’m really asking for is that you all show some perspective. Too many people that post on this board dive way too hard into ‘this latest thing is the best thing ever’ kool aid. Only a few of us are teens, and they barely post here. (They are probably snapchatting while we creakily WordPress into oblivion. Darn kids!)

    If you think the series is over, just rewatch my Rocket League clip up above. The other team thought that game was over, too.

  4. June 5, 2016 10:45 pm

    77 CAVS – 110 GSW
    Game 2 Final

  5. June 6, 2016 12:13 am

    Herandar, that was a most excellent RL goal, and if each of the Cavs had just half your “never-die” spirit, tonight’s game would have been much more watchable. Yes, best of 7. To see if teams can go the distance. That is why they have series, not single games.

    As for tonight, I would be surprised if Curry played 30 minutes. Wasn’t needed.

    At one point in Q3 Mark Jackson, color commentating for ESPN said:

    You fall in love with the pretty basketball, the great ball movement, the competitive spirit, the moving without the basketball. But one thing this team constantly does, it takes your will. They take your will. To the point where, you begin to doubt if you even want to fight. And that is the disappointing thing thus far in this series. Do the Cavs really wanna fight?

    There is still 5:51 left in Q4, and now LeBron is “done” for the night. Resting, one assumes, for Game 3. As a fan of the game, I was expecting and hoping for a more competitive showing. Again, I will be surprised if it doesn’t get a little better for Game 3 and 4. But this game was “done” somewhere at the beginning of the 3rd period.

    Q1 was highly entertaining. Wanted more of that.

    The Cavs will put up a fight on their home court; they will, or they will start reading disrespect in the papers. (Not by me in this blog.)

  6. June 6, 2016 3:09 am

    After game 2, here is what Kenny Smith et al think about the Cavs and their chances.

    And LeBron’s interview (solid – no braggin’, no pointing the finger, responsible, intelligent analysis)

    And Kenny et al interview Bogut for hilarious, and proper credit where credit is due, fun!

  7. June 6, 2016 5:26 am

    Lol. I completely agree with Herandar. Heck it wasn’t too long ago Steph Curry had a little towel on his head watching the entire fourth quarter while the Thunder’s bench was ripping the Warriors a new one and they were behind 3-1.

    Perspective.

    For example for me this was Lebron’s first bad game on the playoffs. Which also ties in with the whole “True MVP” argument. Steph hasn’t had to show up in many games as well as he hasn’t shown up in quite a few sans injury. This is Lebron’s first really bad game and yet he still has the best perfomance of his team.

    Which is really the difference here, Golden State as a whole has shown up in these first two games, Cavs bench didn’t show up in game 1, and pretty much the entire team was absent in game 2.

    But it is a big but, you don’t get to this level without the ability of bouncing back. I know not many here watched the Raptors series but the Raptors brought it after game 3 and clubbered Cleveland in two games and did not slow down in game 5 and 6. They were making very difficult shots non-stop, it was just a matter of Cleveland learning how to play them.

    If you look back Cleveland has played differently in almost every round of the playoffs.

    Golden State on the other hand hasn’t need to change until the Thunder series.

    I still think they can make the adjustments and make this a series.

    Now I disagree with the argument that they have to play Mozgov more. Bogut is almost never a factor, he plays a quarter at most and then they switch to Iggy and small ball.

    Cleveland’s main problem is offense. It’s a lot like the losses to the Raptors, whenever the Raptors made big buckets there is a rush to go in the other end and match them. By game 5 they learned to play regardless of those big buckets.

    Again I don’t think necessarily that the Warriors take other teams will. They do however do a pretty good job of baiting other teams to play at their pace and match their big buckets. What makes teams implode is not being able to stop them defensively and then not being able to match them offensively.

    But that works both ways.

    The other thing is that Lebron is very different from Steph Curry. He uses these games to teach his teammates how to get better, to get mentally stronger. I see Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, almost like little kids, whenever they lose badly they chalk it up to not playing their game, shots not going in, etc. I mean that is the most painful thing about the Warriors success whenever this whole “I am going to shoot it from half court” or the whole Klay and Steph have green light to shoot as many shots as they want.

    Meanwhile on the other side you have someone who is actively trying to get his teammates to his level. Not trying to make every game into a shootaround.

    • June 6, 2016 6:58 pm

      I think if you go back and read my posts and comments, in spite of being a huge fan of the Warriors, you will find that I have been open to all outcomes of all series, and have considered no opponent on the Warriors path to be a push over (nor did I in this post above). I said “should” win, not “will” win. I have specifically avoided words like “dominate”. I have given credit to other teams that would almost be considered “disloyal”, and have written quite critically about the Warriors when they performed poorly.

      Each game in a series provides fresh data for analysis which reveals aspects of teams that weren’t previously known.

      As for LeBron’s first bad game of the playoffs, he has been playing against very soft teams. The entire Eastern Conference, with the exception of the Cavs, are soft. The Trailblazers would almost certainly have gone to the Conference finals were they Eastern, and they were 5th in the West.

      My previous praises for the Cavs and the challenges they would provide stem from the results of last year’s Finals, where the Cavs actually went up 2 games to 1 without Irving and Love. I am still surprised how that series went and it gives me much cause for concern knowing what they are capable without two of their stars. Seeing them in high spirits, healthy, is scary even if they are playing soft teams.

      As for the Cavs record-breaking 3 game, whateva. I have said my peace about that fiasco. Once they dominated their D league-ish opponent, they had a singular goal to break the record. I imagine the top 5 teams in the Western Playoffs could have done it, given the opponents.

      As for Curry, yes, when he put the towel on his head and sat down, I was pissed, and surprised. So it was when I saw LeBron do the same. Still, when LeBron spoke intelligently and humbly and more mature than he usually speaks, I linked it above and praised him.

      I disagree with you completely about Curry not wanting his team to be better or doing all that he can to help them become better. I have watched too many interviews where people talk about his work behind the scenes, and again, with new data that I get with every game, and the little comment from Klay as to what happened the night he set a new record, I realized, I can’t judge him just by what I see on the floor or what he says of his own contribution (which, unlike LeBron, is almost nothing).

      Also, your facts are wrong about Steph and Klay having the green light for threes. It isn’t just them, it is the whole team. Everyone is allowed (and encouraged) to shoot threes. That is the way the Warriors were built and are coached. That, the fast break, ball movement, running around like school kids all over the court is what they have been told to do. FUN is one of Kerr’s 4 pillars of coaching. You misunderstand the team completely. And if we are talking perspective, you have been underplaying the entire 73 wins from the season as if they mean nothing, and as if it were great when the Bulls got 72 but simple when the Warriors do it. They have had some moments in these playoffs that were un-champion like. However, with the exception of the loss to the Trailblazers back in February, and a few off nights, they played like the historical champion that they are, buzzer beaters, winning games in overtime, coming back time and time again from massive deficits – against formidable teams. Put that in y’alls perspective. 😉

      Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will watch Herandar’s RL clip again.

    • June 9, 2016 12:45 am

      Let’s start from the bottom and up. 73 wins is just six more wins than what they had last year. 6 more wins than the Spurs. Sure the record and what it means might make it poignant but just as the Spurs were eliminated by the Thunder and the Warriors were less than a half a quarter to be eliminated as well, it really meant squat.

      The other reason why I “undermine” their 73 wins vs. the Bulls is simple, lot’s of them came in the last minute or even the last seconds. Almost to the flip of a coin. So hell yeah I favor a team that doesn’t have to flip a coin to win a game (even to crappy teams, again I posted why and showed you scores of close wins against crappy teams buried deep in the posts somewhere) vs. a team that does.

      The other reason is their style of play. It has a lot to do with how they play and using certain individual skills over the way the current teams are playing than what the Bulls did in their era. It is very similar to what the Phoenix Suns did in their day, you would see a huge point differential and they came #1 on the entire league, and it would almost negate that they played no defense. Nash was to passing what Curry is to shooting, and curious enough even if he too was voted MVP twice, he didn’t have the highest Win Shares on his team.

      My “Green light” comment was about how they shot even in losses or when behind, if you check the box scores you will see those games when they shot horribly, yet they have significantly higher number of threes attempted than anyone else, even those who shot better. Tonight is no different Curry and Thompson 4-16. That’s without even counting Green’s 0-4. So there.

      Now queue the interviews with the phrase: ” We didn’t play our game… Blah blah blah”. Again we go back the guy that really lights the fire in the huddle is Draymond Green, not Steph Curry which is why I said they sound like kids compared to Lebron, when asked about what they do right or wrong and how he motivates players. Curiously enough on this game they featured some of Lebron sound bites talking to his teammates, motivating them along the game, pushing them even while they are winning. Haven’t seen any of that from Curry in any game I have seen. I could be wrong, but again what do I know.

      As for the East being soft. Soft is very relative. The East plays much more defense than the West does, that’s fact. Check it. They are also much better rebounders. That combination makes it much harder to win in a series as opposed to regular season games. Also if you go back and check the scores the Cavs had a much closer point differential in all their wins in the early rounds than the Warriors. The Blazers actually would do pretty bad in the east for that same reason they have no players that average above 8 rebounds. If you don’t think that’s important watch the Raptors game where Biyombo grabbed 26 rebounds (Cavs as a team grabbed 32). Let alone what Drummond would do to the Blazers inside. Deandre did a 15 points 20 rebounds game on them on the last game sans Paul and Griffin. Also check some of the Warriors regular season losses, they come at the hands of teams you would consider “soft”.

      The east also had more teams with better records this year than the west, what that means that winning teams were scheduled against each other more often than the west. check that too. Don’t look now but some of the west teams were padded their wins simply by playing the Lakers, Timberwolves, etc. more often.

      So yeah your soft theory ends really quick, because it was easier to win home court advantage if you are playing those teams, sure you have great teams with a great core like the Thunder, Clippers, and Spurs, but in that case it was the Thunder not the Warriors who really had a challenge, they had to play the Mavs, Spurs and Warriors.

      Also I am pretty sure you didn’t check it but the East was much more competitive than the West. Raptors-Pacers went to 7 games. Charlotte-Miami went to 7 both in the first round! Atlanta-Boston went to 6. Raptors-Heat went to 7 in the second round.

      The only team that had it “easy” and again not in the same point differential as the Warriors were the Cavs.

      Lastly it was funny Mark Jackson referencing his “Will” comment from the Warriors given that tonight they lost by 30.

      Again the media are quick to enshrine the Warriors, and when the other team does it back to them, then it’s not the other team taking their “will” to fight… oh no… not at all.

      Now listen, the Warriors might win it all. The NBA as a whole will definitely make more money if they do. Steph Curry might be the one raising the MVP trophy depending what they do in the next games.

      But they are not the Bulls. The Bulls didn’t get blown these many times, and certainly not by the other team missing one of it’s key players to injury.

      Their dynasty is yet to be seen.

      Now if you will excuse me I am going to watch clips of Irving and James have fun like little kids all over the court.

  8. June 7, 2016 5:03 pm

    Shaq talks old and new rules and talks bold. I love it. He has a right to.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/06/07/sports/basketball/ap-bkn-nba-finals-shaq-speaks.html

  9. June 9, 2016 6:29 am

    Bringing it down here for readability.

    First of all, I have tried to dig into stats of all varieties but I can’t seem to get very far with NBA.com, and I haven’t found anything else out there. If you can direct me to a site/tool that would allow me to look at the stats without waiting 30 seconds+ for a page to load that doesn’t even tell me what I want to know etc., that would be greatly appreciated and might serve to stem some ignorance in my comments.

    I am aware that by definition a conference is always .500 within itself, because if two teams within that conference are playing against each other, one will lose and the other win. The points are split and kept within the Conference. So, to compare conferences, you need to compare the total wins/losses of the two conferences. That tells you how “soft” or “hard” a conference is, though, you make another good point, that it doesn’t tell you where that soft/hard -ness is. I just checked and the EAST got 608 wins, the WEST got 622 wins – pretty statistically insignificant difference – I didn’t realize it was that close.

    The point you make about the Lakers and Timberwolves is actually a misunderstanding of how what I just described works. If one considers those teams as being the source of a leak of points, then all of their points flow out of the Western Conference into the East pockets (remember, any losses within conference are zero net change). So, it would have the opposite effect. It is basically moot point, however, because the East has the 76ers and the Nets, who similarly leak points to the West.

    So, what we would really need to do is look at how many games each team play against which teams, and what was their win/loss with each of those teams? I don’t know how to get it without literally going back and making my own chart – which I am not willing to do.

    I understand what you meant by “green light” and I am just saying that that is the team motto. The Warriors live and die (as they did tonight) by the three and the free flow system that fosters 3 opportunities, and that from all players. If they were a gambling facility, they would be the house that loses just slightly less than they win – which over the course of a year or so makes them wealthy.

    Tonight, Curry, Klay, and Draymond had several uncontested attempts that didn’t go in. If they had been “on fire”, the game would either have been close, or the Warriors would have won. I am not disagreeing with you. I am saying that the Warriors coaching/management staff do that willingly. That is their policy. Tonight it served them poorly.

    If you have problems with the way the media praises them, please point your anger at them, not at me.

    Rebounders. The Thunder have already shown what can be done to the Warriors with good rebounders. Hugely effective. Not soft at all. I am waiting for the Cavs to do the same, hoping they don’t. Look at my comments again. I have nothing but respect for their team. I was very surprised that the Warriors took the first two. I wasn’t surprised at all that the Warriors dropped it tonight. I think they are foolish (and playing with fire) if they don’t pull up their boot straps and try a little harder the next game, because anything can happen if they allow it to become a best of 3 series.

    You make an interesting point about blowout/close games. For me, I consider close games won to be even more difficult than blowouts – not something that was the toss of a coin. Winning a game in overtime, or at the buzzer requires concentration, heart, and clutch. That is my subjective opinion.

    Yes, the Warriors dropped three of their nine games to soft teams: Milwaukee (33-49) breaking their streak, Denver (33-49), and Lakers (17-65). But how I interpret that stat is this: it is difficult to maintain winning, even against poor teams because all the other teams want to knock off the king – they bring their best game every night. The Bulls themselves have said it was exhausting. Second, it also tells me that sometimes it is difficult to get motivated to play a soft team. That is the meaning I get out of those losses.

    As for the MVP of the Finals, though there may be much going on behind the scenes, none of what Curry has done on the court, has shown that he deserves that honor. I would cringe if the series ended tonight and they gave it to him. Green/Iguodala/Klay/Bogut for crying out loud, not Curry. Having said that, I noticed more than once tonight, that the Cavs are guarding Curry like white on rice. At at least one point, three guys were on him. That would be both tiring and frustrating. But again, he is lousy at defense, and is proving it with all his fouls. He doesn’t deserve the MVP, and that argument could probably be supported even if he did amazing things in the last games of this series.

    Lastly, enjoy watching LeBron and Kyrie run around like kids. Kyrie especially had a fantastic night, unlike the previous two nights. Seriously, enjoy it. (As a Warriors fan, I am hoping that you won’t get another chance. 😉 )

    • June 9, 2016 3:17 pm

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/

      East vs. West argument is dead this year. Here is how it works. Aside from the Big 4 in the West (OKC, SA, GS, LAC) it dips heavily.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2016.html

      You can look at point differentials and easily see a difference. The west starts going negative even before the top 8 teams of the playoffs are accounted for. What do point differentials say about a team, well for one it shows how consistently they play. You can have a winning team that has a negative point differential, which in the case of the west it means that even though the might get some Ws they still get beaten badly more often than they win big.

      Now you might say why does that matter? Because the NBA is all about matchups and scheduling plays a big role in this. Take for example GS, their division is Pacific. Now they will over the years play more of the Clippers, Lakers, Suns, and Kings.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2016_standings.html

      So that gives you almost a guaranteed 4 game series with those teams in the regular season.

      Now how do we know matchups play a role? Well take for example the same conclusion you gave about the Portland Trailblazers. They are 15-15 against the East and 29-23 against the West. If you scroll down further and see their win-loss against specific teams you will see they didn’t do that good against the playoff teams of the East, at all. So no. I doubt the Blazers would get to the Conference Finals easily against “soft” teams.

      Anyways there’s tons of stuff to digest in terms of data, and even more if we then go into comparing other decades, similar teams, etc. So I will leave it at that.

      About close games. That to me is the main difference between Kobe and Michael. See Michael could be clutch and come big in the 4th quarter, but he would much rather destroy you way before that and watch the game from the bench in the last minutes. Kobe on the other hand loved it. He loved the drama of a buzzer beater more so than the dominance of not needing a buzzer beater.

      but I make no mistake it is a coin toss, that’s why MJ even with a mountain of confidence in his abilities won two championships by passing to the open man in Paxton and Steve Kerr rather than taking the shot himself.

      It doesn’t matter how much concentration, heart, and “clutch”. If the ball doesn’t go in you lose.

      Which is why I love some of the narratives from the Warriors. Steph can miss 10 3s, and yet if he makes 1 when it matters on a close game.Oh He is awesome. Yet wouldn’t his team be better served by him trying to score in other ways instead of shooting 10 3s?

      Also I am pointing my anger towards the media. I am not mentioning you. However here’s the thing because this is a very bandwagon scenario, the media does play a larger role in this situation and by extension fans of the team and the game that don’t really look too deep into it. Heck big chunk of the fans wouldn’t have watched a Warriors game two years ago, even if they payed them.

      That’s it. That is my purpose of my venting I love this sport, I have seen it and played it for many years. I love going into the details of it. If not my arguments would be simply: Warriors Suck. Spurs are old. Lebron is a hater.

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 10, 2016 1:34 am

      What are you talking about, Frankie?!? Suns is the biggest bandwagoner around!!! 😜

    • June 9, 2016 6:32 pm

      Thank you for the Stats site! I have added it to the Links. It was terribly frustrating dealing with NBA.com and EPSN.com, and I didn’t notice this site in the google results.

      The stats show everything that I wanted to know and support your points. Good stuff!

      EDIT:
      Here is a nice summary of Curry’s absence in the Finals series.
      http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2016/6/9/11894862/stephen-curry-not-having-good-nba-finals-golden-state-warriors-lebron-james

    • Blankman permalink*
      June 10, 2016 1:40 am

      Suns, your boy, Curry, is completely missing in the finals even though three games have been played so far. If he can’t “produce” in situations like this, he should draw more flack for that. He choked last year & was bailed out by his team, and it’s a repeat for this series as well (so far). Heck, if it weren’t for Klay in the game six of the OKC series, it would have been the Thunder vs. Cavs. IMO, with glaring facts like these, Curry is undeserving of his unanimous MVP title. Even though I’m not a Lebron fan, I respect what he brings to the game. He unfairly gets criticized for making it to seven finals and winning only two (if the Warriors win it this year). Now that’s complete shit treatment from the media. The NBA poster boy is Curry, but he’s stinking up the joint. Unfortunately people are purposely looking the other way.

    • June 10, 2016 2:26 am

      Hey, I have been saying since November 2015, in the middle of their streak, that Curry cannot remove the stink of his choke from last year until this year’s playoffs – no matter what he does during the regular season.

      He did mighty deeds during the regular season, and when he came up clutch many times, I thought he was going to move past that. However, with the exception of playing a great game against the Trailblazers, he has been very, very quiet for an “all star” in the rest of the playoffs. In this past game three, he had more turnovers than assists. Pretty embarrassing for any point guard at any time.

      The stink remains. 😦

      I don’t know if you were able to get through my walls of text, Kenny, but there would be no way that I could give him an MVP in the Finals, really, no matter what he did to close this series out.

      As for his MVP for the season, it is what it is. He played phenomenally, in and out of the paint, and way beyond the arc, shattering records that won’t easily be broken, maybe never. But dang, as a playoff baller, his performance is absolutely abysmal.

  10. Herandar permalink
    June 9, 2016 7:48 am

    A 30 point loss?! Why even bother playing any more games? It’s all over. 😛

  11. June 10, 2016 10:14 pm

    DOH!! I thought Game 4 was tomorrow! Starting now, score is 39:39, but going to start at the beginning. Jumping on after it is over.

    • June 11, 2016 10:13 am

      You guys gonna still diss on Steph? He’s a solid player. 4th quarter he did all the little things. Like hitting free throws. And Green came up with every loose ball.

    • June 11, 2016 6:15 pm

      At 38 points, he had a good game. Really, almost everyone on both teams did. It was the best game of the series so far. Not just this team or that team, but everyone’s hearts were in it. It felt like they had less turnovers in the whole game than they did in almost any period previous (I haven’t compared stats).

      Kenai, I will argue toe-to-toe in support of Curry that he fully deserved his (what turned out to be) unanimous MVP for the regular season. I really think he did. But even if he pulls another game like yesterday to clinch the title, I think the MVP should go to someone else. As the Most Valuable Player in the Finals, you cannot basically sit out the first three games of the series. I love Curry. He’s one of my favorite players, but for his sake, I couldn’t give it to him. If his performance weren’t reason enough, chalk it up to old school fatherly-type love I guess – in hopes that it might motivate him to do better next year. A Finals MVP has to perform more consistently, dependably, and with what at least appears to be, more heart throughout. This year will end without him proving that he is more than just a regular type good player (not a superstar) when it comes to the playoffs. I will argue that with anyone just as strongly as i will argue he deserved his regular season MVP.

      I have a question, did the Cavs forget their game plan in the 2nd half/4th quarter? If they did, why? Why are these excellent teams, that know and can see that what they are doing is working, giving up their leads and the W?

      And here, I have to be a little ranty, and I will probably take all sorts of crap for it but…

      rant/
      Would someone please tell Lue and his staff that the foul to get possession strategy is probably not very effective against the Splash Brothers, especially when one isn’t willing to try for threes. Foul Klay, swish, swish, change possession, get or miss 2 points(x2). Foul Steph, swish, swish, change possession, get or miss two points(x3). Sheesh! Put down the manual and play the game at hand! As a Warriors fan, I was laughing and lovin’ it! Foul him again! Yeah! Go for the paint, LeBron! Miss, yeah! They traded 10 points for 6 when they were down 7. That math don’t work.

      (It was almost as embarrassing as Curry’s behind the back pass turnover in the 3rd(?). I darn near punched the screen when he did that.)
      /rant

      Frenik, I am loving that stat site! BIG HUGE WOOT!

      Great game with a very enjoyable final score.

  12. June 12, 2016 12:25 am

    Just came across this article. Interesting analysis of a single play, even if his conclusions are wack.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-finals-this-one-warriors-play-likely-ended-the-cavaliers-season/

    PS I wouldn’t mind seein’ that guy in the picture at the bottom, get his second Finals MVP trophy, though I don’t think he has done quite enough to get it out of the hands of some others on the team.

    EDIT: Looks like there are some solid reasons to believe he will get it again. Couldn’t go to a more deserving player.

  13. June 12, 2016 6:08 pm

    The plot thickens. It looks like Green got his 4th Flagrant and will be out of Game 5.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2016/story/_/id/16151747/draymond-green-golden-state-warriors-suspended-game-5-nba-finals-cleveland-cavaliers

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/steph-curry-trails-shaun-livingston-in-the-nba-finals-mvp-race/

    http://247sports.com/Bolt/Report-Stephen-Curry-may-need-offseason-surgery-45766310

    If Stephen really is playing that injured, it explains a lot.

    EDIT: Here is something I have been talking about for a while now.

    The Math Problem: The Cavaliers actually dominated the paint in Game 4, winning 48-20. (They outscored the Warriors by 28 points in the paint and lost by nine!) They won on the offensive glass, with 25 second-chance points to 19 by the Warriors.

    But the Warriors hit 11 more 3-pointers. That’s your ballgame. That’s your series. That’s your season.

    Golden State has outscored Cleveland by 60 points from the arc in this series.
    The Cavs have more rebounds, more points in the paint, more second-chance points, and more fast-break points in this series.

    Too early to talk about the series being over. Not over till its over, especially if Curry has indeed been playing with surgery requiring injuries. However, if I’m a gambler, I would rather be the House dealing, than the twitchy guy on the stool.

  14. June 13, 2016 6:29 pm

    Bwahahahahahaha! So, either Curry is really going for the long con (a la Kerr “I lied”) or he is truly healthy. Which ever, the shoulder wrap in the interview is hilarious, and if he is so healthy, then his poor playoff performance for many of the games is all on him! LOL!

    Go Warriors! Take care of business tonight.

  15. June 14, 2016 5:30 pm

    Green got the suspension in the Finals that I mentioned back in the semis that he would, and the Warriors dropped a very important game.

    It was a game played well, especially in the first half (though the Warriors defense wasn’t as strong and they had lots of turnovers). LeBron and Kyrie were “on fire” by any definition droppin’ shots at will (best playoff game for them yet?). Was that the mental motivation provided by the suspension, or because their backs were/are against the wall? Both of them were missing wide open shots in previous games. They had so much swagger, even in the first half, Kyrie was helping Klay up and pattin’ him on the butt after he unintentionally fouled him. I was like “Dang”. Can’t help but love Kyrie. James is James. He sure shut up the mouths of the people callin’ him “cry baby”. So much drama!

    No team has lost being up 3-1 in the Finals. I certainly don’t want the Warriors to “set that record”. LOL They gotta take care of business.

    EDIT: I have made a bunch of changes to this comment, for those who may have read it since I first posted it about an hour ago.

  16. June 16, 2016 6:41 pm

    Game starts in 2.5 hours. Along with an “on fire” Irving, this is who the Warriors are going up against. For me, that says a heck of a lot.

  17. June 16, 2016 11:59 pm

    Iggy is injured now (does anyone know what it was – I missed it). Curry got ejected to complete the disaster! Klay walks off the court before the buzzer. They are going to have to work real hard to overcome they way they fell apart in this last game. They missed Bogut in the opening minutes, but that doesn’t explain the rest of the game (most of which I missed because of classes).

    LeBron and Cav fans are having probably the most enjoyable single night in their fandom. The only night better than tonight will be Sunday night if they win. Not over till the fat lady sings – or in this case, until the trophy is hoisted. But dang, there are going to be a lot of happy drunks in Cleveland tonight!

    Regardless of who wins, it has been simply a bizarre series for so many reasons, not least being because none of the victories were close. It is now a Single game NBA Championship. Talk about all the marbles. Mind boggling.

    EDIT: The announcers are still saying that the Warriors are greatly favored. Really? They are down two key players (Bogut and Iggy), and momentum is definitely NOT in their favor. Is home court that great an advantage, especially having lost two games already in front of their fans. Really, they are the team favored to win? Hmm…. Much as I want them to, they are going to have to show the world something different than what they showed the last two games.

  18. June 17, 2016 2:32 am

    Iggy is sore back I believe. I almost gave up on watching the finals after Cleveland lost to the Warriors with the warriors shooting %36 from 2pt range and %45 from 3. What a turn of events this has been. Cleveland has come back scoring inside and I’m loving it.

    You are right on all accounts. This last game was so good it almost doesn’t matter who wins the next one, they definitely put on a show and showed their worth to come back to a game 7. If they end up making history it would just be icing on the cake on top of winning the championship.

    I don’t even care about the Warriors woes. Lebron and Kyrie have been sensational, I have nothing else to write. LBJ is cementing his history on the league, I really hope he wins it all this year.

  19. Herandar permalink
    June 19, 2016 10:38 pm

    NOW… You can say it’s over. I’m glad Cleveland won.

  20. Blankman permalink*
    June 19, 2016 10:58 pm

    Very competitive game. Most even game out of the entire series. Like I’ve said in party chat many times, you can blame Donkey for blowing it. Even though he had a monster game of 30+ points, he gave the Cavs a window & they capitalized on it. To be up 3-1 and the ability to close it out at home, and you get suspended. You do NOT take your foot off of the neck of your opponent when you have them down & almost out. You simply don’t give them a spark of hope. Unbelieveably selfish and immature. In fact, the majority of GS players are immature. Klay Thompson walked to the lockers without even so much of a congratulations offered to the team that just beat them. Hell, Donkey even went up to give props to Lebron & crew. Look, you might be deflated and devastated by the loss, but have some self respect and take losing with some grace.

    Now the Warriors’ seventy-three win season doesn’t mean squat since the Warriors didn’t wind up with the final prize. Well, at least the Warriors helped the Cavs break their championship drought and helped them become the first team to EVER come from a 3-1 deficit to win the whole thing. Wow for the Cavs & it’s ironic how the Warriors failed on their home court.

    Curry threw up so many bricks that the Cavs used them to pave their way to the victory. Talk about choking & those bullshit behind the back passes that led to ugly turnovers. Six for nineteen shooting & your fellow Splash brother, Klay, went 6-17. More like bellyflop instead of splash. He got completely outplayed by Kyrie who doesn’t really play defense. I’m laughing at those idiot Warriors fans that paid $39K per ticket. That’s so obscene that I have no words for it other than to laugh aloud. Bwahahaha!

    • June 20, 2016 12:51 am

      I don’t think the suspension per se was the way he blew it. I think the biggest mistake Draymond made was pissing off Lebron in a big way. Yeah I mean the suspension happened because clearly the NBA had looked the other way too many times, in all the incidents that intentionally or not, he kicked people.

      That time it was obvious it was intentional, and he tried to talk trash and back pedal the whole way to hide it, which made Lebron even more mad.

      That game even though they lost, those last minutes the Cavs as a whole just got fierce, and pretty much marked the path of how they were going to win the next games in a row.

      Every game since Lebron just got to another level in terms of overall hustle and he was sure to let them know it with talk too. The suspension was one game, but that attitude stuck around through the rest of the series.

    • June 20, 2016 2:39 am

      I started to make this image before you posted. Took so long because of the ridiculous complexity of image editor software, I am just getting this up now.

      If anyone wants to argue the truth of that, all they need do is look at games 1,2, and most of 4. It wasn’t the kicking, it was the forbidden name calling. Green, Curry, Thompson, all have a huge opportunity to learn here. How they process this experience will determine what their next season, and playoffs will look like.

    • June 20, 2016 9:12 am

      The happiest guy on that locker room is Luke Walton. He managed to fast track getting a head coach job, what would have taken him 3-5 years easily.

      The thing about the warriors is that it doesn’t end here. Is not just that they lost with a 3-1 lead for the first time ever in the nba finals. Or that they joined a special group of teams in all sports that set the best record but didn’t win the championship.

      I think the worst part is that they drank their Kool-aid in a big way, from the owner, to the sponsorship deals everywhere. All of that on a record that started crumbling since the Thunder series, and after this loss it goes back to last years championship because people already started talking that there’s probably a big chance that Lebron’s MVP finals performance plus a healthy Kyrie Irving would have easily dispatched an even more immature warriors back then.

      But also because it set the blueprint on how to beat them reliably. Their interior defense with the small ball is done. Their outside shooting with a hand on their face has been put on notice. Teams are going to adjust, and figure them out even better. Extra salary cap on all the good teams are going to make them better.

      They are going to have to get used to losing a lot more, because I don’t think they will get close to 73 or let alone pass it, anytime soon (if ever). The media that prematurely enshrined them this year, will make them know of all of this on every step of the way.

      They’ll have to endure the scrutiny and mockery that LBJ has had to endure almost his entire career.

      That awesome chemistry will be tested. I can already see the split between who the true leader of the team is between Draymond, Klay and Steph. It reminds me of OKC during the Harden days. I wouldn’t be surprised whenever they stop winning, Klay being the first one to go.

      Curry has probably 3-4 years of championship window as lead scorer, a lot of his game relies on him being quick, as soon as everyone keeps up with him easily he is back to being a spot up shooter.

      Steve Kerr never struck me as a great in-game coach. I think his brilliance is setting up the gameplan, and the minutes of his players, but he doesn’t have control of the strategy in-game as much. If Luke Walton’s success threw some questions about his real ability, all of this is going to put him in the microscope in a big way.

      So again, I don’t think it ends here. The experience is going to last a while longer, and it is certainly up to them to man up to it in a big way.

  21. June 19, 2016 11:45 pm

    Just finished. Watched every play without checking ahead. Not only did the Cavs do it, but they set a record doing it. Congratulations to Cleveland and the Cavs! Very emotional after-game. They earned tears of joy.

    Amazing series, great final game if you are a fan of the sport. No game-changing bad calls, competitive final match. Yep, a lot of maturing ahead for the Warriors. James solidifies his spot with the top 5 players of the game as far as I am concerned.

  22. June 20, 2016 12:03 am

    Not going to focus on GSW, did that quite a lot over the season, and quite frankly is not surprising they lost, in any case it was surprising they didn’t lose by more points.

    It wasn’t about GSW, it is old news to talk about them.

    It was about LBJ. Guy averaged nearly 30 points, 11 rebounds, almost 9 assists, %53 from the field. He led in all major stats in the finals. Third player to ever get a triple-double on game 7. First player with back to back 41 points. tied 2nd with a bunch of guys as the only players to have 3 finals MVPs. 7 straight finals trips.

    On pace to break pretty much all playoffs records on the NBA. More importantly a player born and bred in Cleveland to finally bring back a championship to his city in 52 years.

    There may be better players in terms of skill sets, seasons, etc. But I can’t think of any other player in any sport that left a successful operation to comeback home and be in a position to deliver on his promise two years in a row, and finally deliver it.

    He is just something else. I am really happy he got to do it.

    The other thing is Kyrie Irving. Always knew that he was a scorer, but he held Steph Curry down. Dude is 24 it will be scary what he can accomplish on his prime.

    The core is pretty young so it will be interesting how they shape up, and who they grab in FA with the new cap space. Frye andJefferson freaking turn back the clock big time in these playoffs.

    What a game, series, team. My faith in basketball has been restored.

  23. June 20, 2016 8:04 am

    Love the posts. Here’s my 2 cents.

    GSW throw up a lot of crap shots. By GSW, I mean Curry and Thompson. Falling backward 3’s in game 7?! Like Kenny said, that behind the back pass by Steph was embarrassing. Like Frank and Kenny said, the Green suspension was the foreshadowing. Soon as it happened, I had a bad feeling for GSW.

    That debate all aside though, Cleveland played lights out after that. Lebron changed my opinion of him (as a player), he was so solid and balanced. Made so many free throws, took it to the hole without always just backing in and bumping. Great passer too. Such a stud out there. What an amazing athlete.

    The rising star though was Irving. A case could be made for him with the mvp, but James was just that good. Irving… Wow!! He was so good. He was what kept me glued to the games. He didn’t make any mistakes and seemed to always take good shots. Amazing shots, but good ones. Mixing it up between 3’s and taking it strong to the hoop. I Love his game. Tough tough player.

    The better team won.

  24. June 20, 2016 3:37 pm

    Frenik, agreed completely about the journey ahead for the Warriors*. I was saying to Kenny that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Klay go (and then he reminded me that Klay was on contract). Until the game ended (and he walked off without congratulating the winning team), he was the best producing, most consistent (and not in emotional trouble) Warrior out there (Iggy doesn’t count because he was struggling with injury). Klay was pissed when Curry made that behind the back pass. Curry disappears in the playoffs, and this year, they couldn’t win it without him.

    Kenai, agreed about Irving.

    *I still think the math for 3s works, but it has to be in mature hands. It wasn’t that the Warriors couldn’t get rebounds (though for the fast, young, towering Thunder it was), it was that they weren’t even trying to get them most of the time. Yes, the Cavs won, but taking the series as a whole, they by no means dominated the Warriors (as we discussed in previous comments, perspective). They won by four points in the final minute of game seven. As the Thunder, so the Warriors – they beat themselves – it was there for their taking. I suspect, however, that everyone will remember this year’s playoff as the Warriors being dominated throughout. That they were just “lucky” to make game sevens (as they were “lucky” to win 73). And that is fair. Winners get to write history. That is exactly why it was so important for them to win.

    But I agree that now, their whole system will be called into question, and the Warriors, having lost this, are now kind of naked on the court. There is no “mystical magic” that they are playing, “surprise” in their attack. Now, if they want to keep playing their system, they have to do so but without the “awe” factor helping them. The other teams won’t be “scared” of them anymore, and will make greater efforts to get in their faces and take them off their game, and definitely, to press their buttons.

    One more thing, regarding the kicking. Frenik, we were both right about that. I think it was the kicking that made LeBron disrespect Green and step over him. I don’t see LeBron doing that to many other players in the league, if any. LeBron had no respect for him. And it was the stepping over Green, that made Green call LeBron a B*tch, which woke LeBron up.

    As regards “chemistry”, I don’t think I am wrong about that. I think that LeBron and his own hand-picked team and coaching staff have some pretty solid “chemistry” – and when that is combined with strong, intelligent, game-respecting, time and crisis tested leadership, by one of the best players to play the game, united by a cause (in this case, we were called bitches) it will probably make winning easier. Kyrie didn’t really come alive until James lead the way. I think probably, if the Thunder had better chemistry, it would have been them and not the Warriors in the Finals.

    Anyway, glad that I didn’t miss this moment in basketball history. The best team won for sure. That is what seven games are all about.

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