I’ve been off this website since I don’t really know what I could write that hasn’t already been written. But I’ll check in more often this week, as we get closer to the start of the NBA Finals.
As great as the Warriors are, I can’t see them sweeping the Cavs. LeBron James is simply a tough guy to play against. Any team that has managed to beat a team with LeBron in it deserves a lot of credit. The Warriors did it once two years ago. They may very well do it again.
Obviously, last year’s Finals were of high significance to LeBron and the city of Cleveland. Back in 2010, when LeBron announced he would be heading off to Miami to join the Heat, the announcement was not very well-received over there. After four straight Finals appearances as a member of the Heat, he chose to go back to Cleveland and try to get their city an NBA championship. He did just that last year. Now he wants to do it again.
But I can only imagine that the Warriors will never get over the fact that they could’ve beat the Cavs last season, with a regular season winning record that beat that of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. I’m sure they’re going to do everything to win this series and take back the embarrassing loss of last year.
All in all, I see a lot of significance attached to this upcoming Finals series. If the Warriors can somehow win this series, this would prove that they are the most talented Western Conference team the NBA has seen since the early-00’s Los Angeles Lakers. If the Cavs manage to win this, this would seal the deal that LeBron is the best player of our generation and is worthy of comparisons to the great Michael Jordan. Should be a classic series — that’s for sure!
I didn’t post an analysis for Saturday’s game for the same reason I’m hesitant to make one for last night’s game: I’d be repeating myself (and I don’t like doing that).
There’s really nothing new to discuss here other than the fact that this may have been Manu Ginobili’s final game.
Now that the Warriors have swept the Spurs, they should be focusing on how to not repeat the fatal mistake of last year’s Finals. Sweeping the Spurs does not necessarily mean a potential match-up against the Cleveland Cavaliers will be similarly easy. They’ve been doing an excellent job bringing their A game to each game in this most recent series against the Spurs. Now, they need to bring their A game once again to the NBA Finals.
A friend of mine texted me commenting on how small the loss was for the Spurs in yesterday’s game. Yes, it is true that the Spurs’ loss was only by two points. On paper, that’s hardly a significant loss. But the context of this game could make this small deficit a very significant loss, depending on the outcome of the next game.
The Spurs were playing like a championship team last night in the first half and up until Kawhi Leonard’s injury. It seems like every team not named the Cleveland Cavaliers fears the Warriors, but the Spurs did not seem to fear the Warriors for most of the game last night. They were playing the Warriors not with fear, but with a sense of determination to win the Western Conference Finals and return to the NBA Finals for a rematch of 2007’s Spurs-Cavaliers Finals series.
I think once the Spurs lost control of the game, they weren’t playing as confidently as they were with Leonard in the lineup. Needless to say, this is only just one game.
Game 2 will be extremely critical for the Spurs. If they can somehow pull off a win tomorrow night, they’ll find themselves taking this series back to San Antonio for Games 3 and 4 tied at 1-1, which will undoubtedly help their chances at winning this series.
If the Spurs can get themselves together and continue playing in championship mode for the remainder of this series, we may very well see them in the Finals again this year — for the first time in the post-Duncan era.
In macroeconomics, there’s a concept called deficit and surplus. If the government increases its debt, there is a deficit. If the government reduces its debt, there is a surplus. In sports terms, the Spurs experienced a huge surplus with Leonard in the game, but that huge surplus became a small deficit after Leonard’s injury.
Whether or not yesterday’s game was just a small deficit or a significant loss for the Spurs will be determined by who wins the game tomorrow. Let’s hope it was just a small deficit.