After winning Game’s 1 and 2 by a total of 48 points, the Golden State Warriors were blown out by 30 points in game 3. It was a massive shift in the series momentum, one that I, nor any NBA fanatic could have predicted. I had the Cav’s winning by 7, a fairly bold prediction given the outcome of the first two games; but never, in any circumstance, did i see a 30 point blowout happening! After another embarrassing loss in the playoffs, I think it’s time to lay it out there: this is not the best team ever.
Perhaps it was just the two game rest, and the traveling that cooled Golden State off. We all know that basketball can be a funny game. Some times it just isn’t your night; some times the other team just can’t miss; but this is not the first time Golden State has been blown out in the 2016 Playoffs. In the WCF the Warriors were blown out by 20 in two consecutive games at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The first 4 games of that series were a total embarrassment, especially for a team that only lost 9 times during the regular season! That series could have easily ended 4-2 if not for some late game heroics from Klay Thompson, who hit 11 three pointers in game 6, and scored 19 in the fourth quarter, to erase an 8 point deficit.
Last night was possibly the worst game for the Warriors this season, looking more like a team that went 9-73 rather than the other way around. However, as i said, this might have been a cause of home court advantage, two days of rust, and an off night. It was anything but an off night for the Cav’s. Kyrie, and LeBron answered their critics by combing for 62 points on 26-51 shooting. Also, J.R. Smith was back to his usual self, firing up 10 three’s in the game, making 5. He complimented LeBron and Kyrie, with 20 points in the game.
It was a great performance by the Cav’s, but those performances are expected. What isn’t expected, is the “Greatest Team Ever” getting blowout by 30, whether it’s in the regular season, or in the playoffs. The fact that it was in the NBA Finals, makes it so much worse.
When we look at the 95-96 Bulls, who lost one more game than the 2015-16 Warriors in the regular season, their real greatness was defined by their continued domination into the playoffs. Losing only 3 times in the playoffs after going 72-10 in the regular season. They swept Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning’s Heat in the first round, won in 5 games against Patrick Ewing’s Knicks, then swept Shaq’s Magic in the ECF; and for their final act, beat one of the best teams of all time (4-2), the Seattle Supersonics, who were highlighted by Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and Detlef Schrempf.
The Golden State Warriors lost 3 times in their last series alone!
Curry, the new face of the league, has been very quiet in this series, so far, averaging only 16 points. Saved by his bench in game 1, and then saved by Draymond Green in game 2. The Cav’s have done a great job shutting down the ‘SplashBros’, and if Kyrie and Lebron can continue to emulate their game 3 performances it could mean trouble for Golden State. Especially if Love Returns. The Cav’s are yet to lose at home in the 2016 Playoffs, and I don’t think that will change on Friday.
Even if the Warriors are able to close out the Finals this year, they will never be considered the greatest in my mind.