It's last call for basketball in Cleveland this season. A myriad of emotions greet the Cavaliers and their fans. Game 3 was one of the biggest wins in Cleveland playoffs history (ok, there's not a lot of these) and saw them go up 2 games to 1 on mighty Golden State. Game 4 saw the Dubs stick to a plan of playing smaller and sweeter in a 21 point blowout victory.
The pivotal Game 5 was close most of the way but there wasn't enough support behind LeBron while Steph Curry scored in dominating fashion with 17 points in the last 12 minutes. That was the most in the 4th quarter of a Finals game in over 40 years. When Golden State is on, with shooters shooting, few teams can beat them.
So now we get Game 6 and the Cavs' last stand. Many fans have already given up. Most have little hope (and with good reason). Some fans can't even bear to watch. There will always be those that believe. It is Believeland after all. It's a Cleveland thing to do, to mix hope with despair. They have been here too many times before and experienced the same result almost every time. If something can go wrong, it will.
The chances of this happening are not high, but with the right mix of the Warriors struggling and some Cavaliers stepping up, we could see a historic Game 7 Friday night in East Oakland. In Game 4, the Cavs made a strong comeback to get to within 3 near the end of the 3rd quarter but that was as close as they'd get during LeBron's worst performance of the series. That was the game that Timofey Mozgov had 28 points in the greatest performance by a Russian against space (and pace) since Yuri Gagarin.
Mozgov played 9 minutes on Sunday night in a controversial decision by Cavs' coach David Blatt to meet the Warriors' small ball lineup head on. I don't think the Cavs stand that much better a chance without having Mozgov struggling to guard Draymond Green so you might as well let that big lug play. LeBron was pretty much manning center at times Sunday night, something he's capable of, but are we still going to ask him to do more? There's really not much more to say.
All the odds and probabilities and stats favor Golden State. Simple faith in LeBron favors Cleveland. It's been that way all series, really. It's really a matter of seeing what the greatest basketball player since Jordan can do to make us start believing that he's greater.
Cavs: 102 Warriors: 99
Here's a link to a pretty good NBA writer who uses math and stuff to make good points.
This link is to some numbers explaining how crazy the Finals have been in the Cleveland market with Columbus right there a strong 3rd place showing.