No one thought the Cavs would lose Game 3 to the depleted Boston Celtics. Even Vegas had the home whites at a ridiculously high -16 favorites. Cleveland had LeBron, Kyrie and Kevin Love playing at their highest level of the entire season. Boston had the lowly Marcus Smart replacing the hurt Isaiah Thomas who averaged 29 points in the regular season.
It was a true David and Goliath match up and we all know how that story ended…
Truthfully, I could feel it coming.
As soon as the Celtics started to creep back into the game, I had a bad idea about what was going to ensue. At 10 p.m. exactly, the Cavs had a 21 point lead. It was down to a five point game by 10:17 p.m. The game was tied at 95 at 10:38 p.m. At 11, the Cavs had lost.
LeBron was absolutely horrible. I haven’t seen him play this poorly in years. He totally vanished, not even making an effort to try and break out of his shooting slump. 4/13 for 11 points is not acceptable if you want to be the GOAT. However, we must be reminded that LeBron is human and everyone has bad games. But he certainly deserves all the heat he’s going to get for him sleeping through Game 3.
The loss once again does prove James’ value. The team couldn’t win without him, despite the hot first half up 21. His mind was wandering, in another place.
I’ve been going back and forth trying to decide on if adversity will help this team. I don’t think wishing to lose games for the future adversity it creates is ever a good idea. It’s more of an after-the-fact type of deal. But it’s mostly predicated on the situation and this Boston team will not win three more games against the Cavs.
If LeBron or someone got hurt in Game 5, we’d never hear the end of it. That’s why being happy the team loses doesn’t entirely work. On the flip slide, having more intense in-game action for an imminent battle with the Warriors may help.
All year long, the Cavs blew regular season leads. Remember that 26-point lead to the Hawks in the 4th quarter that vanished? That was one of many notable disappearing acts in the regular season and it came back to haunt the Cavs in Game 3.
Okay, let’s all relax.
The Wine & Gold are going to win this series. Everything is fine and we don’t need to panic. This was truly a wake up call that reminded the team you cannot glide through the playoffs, even the Eastern Conference. An extra game or two, while it shouldn’t be wished for, may help the Cavs become more battle-tested for the finals.
Hats of to the Celtics for not giving up. Down 2-0 and 21 points, it would’ve been easier for them to just quit. If I wasn’t a Cavs fan, I’d be impressed.
Now, dominate Game 4 and let’s go up 3-1 and win this baby in Boston!
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