Before this series started, i truly believed that this could be the year that LeBron would give Cleveland a title. A title that they have waited 45 years for (The Cavaliers joined the league in 1970). Those hopes of all Cleveland fans and Lebron fanatics alike, once again, are fading. After last nights 33 point stomping by the Warriors it appears that it will be another disappointing ending for Cleveland, and Lebron’s Legacy.
The Warriors looked better than ever in game 2, getting the usual production from their starters, while their bench continued their great play, scoring 40 points. The Cleveland reserves actually put fourth a decent effort, scoring 30 points, but it was the Cleveland starters who didn’t show up. Kyrie Irving had another disappointing performance scoring a measily 10 points on 5-14 shooting, while Kevin Love only scored 5 before being hurt in the 2nd quarter. He continued to play after halftime before taking himself out in the 3rd quarter. It has been confirmed that he has a concussion, and it is unlikely that he will return before this series is over.
LeBron James did not pick up the slack for his star teammates, scoring only 19 points in the game on 7-17 shooting. LeBron continued to settle for jumpers, as he did in game 1, shooting 5 three pointers in the game, making only 1. LeBron seemed to lack a sense of urgency throughout the game, almost appearing to give up. He also allowed Draymond Green to score 28 points in the game. The LeBron we saw in last year’s finals who put up 35.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg, and 8.8 apg in the series, is somewhere cringing at this year’s performance. This LeBron is almost reminiscent of the 2011 LeBron who disappeared verse the Dallas Mavericks.
It is sad to say this, but last years Cavaliers looked better than this years Cav’s, despite the fact that Kyrie and Love were hurt. Kyrie and Love have done little to help LeBron in this series, and it appears that LeBron’s Legacy will be anything but a Legacy of winning. Despite the star power that he has had in the last 6 years, the West has bested him 4 out of the 6 times; and he is on the brink of being bested yet again.
The team that we saw go 12-2 in their first 3 match-ups is only a memory at this point, as the team we see now, reminds me more of the 2007 Cav’s that got beat 4-0 by the Spurs. A repeat of that series isn’t too far of a stretch, as the 2015-2016 Warriors truly, look like the best team ever. Is the West just that much better than the East, or is LeBron just cursed?
It’s hard to say. This year the West was top heavy, while the East had more teams with winning records.
I do know that the Warriors defense has been absolutely phenomenal. The Cav’s, who averaged 104 ppg in the regular season, have been held to just 83 ppg in the first two games of the Finals.
The Cav’s travel back home for game 3 on Wednesday, with their heads hanging low. LeBron must pick up the slack from here on out, if Cleveland hopes to even the series. Kyrie Irving and J.R. Smith must also be on top of their games. We all know, as does LeBron, that another loss in the finals will be a major hit to his legacy, more so than the other loses. At the age of 31, in his 13th season, time may be running out for the superstar.