Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Game 6. Five to One

"Five to one baby. One in Five. No one here gets out alive."

So crooned Jim Morrison. He was not referring to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but last evening the Cavs proved that a team with one player cannot defeat a team with five.

In the final analysis I was correct with my series' predictions.  After the first game when the Cavs almost stole one but blew it, I wrote that the Cavs could not bounce back from the devastating loss.  I was wrong about that.  The Cavs did win and played courageously in Game 2 and 3.  However, as I also wrote after Game 3, the Cavaliers were spent after that victory.  LeBron James was playing 45 minutes a game and was no wallflower during the contests. He had the ball in his hands all the time and he rebounded better than anyone else on the court. So he was busy. And even a super player like he is, is bound to get tired.  A one man team in the NBA is not going to get out of a Finals series alive.

Some final observations:

  • JR Smith may not always play like this, but he did not play intelligently throughout the series. Very foolish fouls, bad decisions, just played like a knucklehead--and besides he did not really get hot throughout.  Some flashes last night, but after it was too late.
  • I have never seen anyone shoot like Stephen Curry.
  • How can one explain how Iguodala can stick the three, but can't make a foul shot.
  • The big Russian can play and if the Cavaliers had one or two other players besides James who could score, the Russian's size and finishing power would have made him a very significant asset.
  • Not sure Love would have made a big difference, but Kyrie Irving might have.
  • Steve Kerr is a rookie coach who won, but I think a lot of credit has to go to Mark Jackson for two reasons. When Jackson took over the Warriors they were horrible. Immediately they became winners. Then he was fired.  Word was that he was fired because of problems getting along with players and his large sized ego. But as a broadcaster in this game he never once made a peep as if he should get at least some credit for the team's success. And from my vantage point, he should have been at least acknowledged.  On the contrary, Jackson gave credit to Kerr for winning over the locker room an allusion to how Jackson himself did not.  Doesn't sound too egotistical to me. And Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are excellent commentators.  
  • What LeBron James did taking the Cavs to six games given that the other players were really not that good is a testament to just how great he is.  Some comments by Jackson suggested that James needed "to find it" somewhere when he was tired because the great ones do just that. As I just wrote, I think Jackson is an excellent commentator, but I think he is wrong with the "find it" sentiment.  James had no help. Jordan had Pippin, Bird had Parish and McHale, West had Baylor and Chamberlain, Russell had Cousy and then Havlicek.  James had borscht.
  • Blatt as well as Kerr did a good job coaching.
  • If you are going to give the MVP to a winner, it should have been Curry. Iguodala was great, but Curry was the most valuable player.
  • Barbosa can still play.  He is fun to watch.
  • Tristan Thompson played as well as he can play.
  • Klay Thompson can play a lot better. This, you may recall, is the guy who scored 37 points in one quarter this year.
  • I am sorry the season is over. Next year, I hope the Cavs can put it together and--to invoke The Doors again--break on through to the other side

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